12 April 2019 | By: Writing Buddha

The Ramayana Secret by Anurag Chandra (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1755th BLOG POST -->>

There are few authors who blow your mind with their first book itself. One of such books written by a debutante author, Anurag Chandra, which I completed reading this weekend is “The Ramayana Secret”. I generally write review of any book just after completing it but this one, unfortunately, I wrote after 7 days but still the book is afresh in my mind. In all these days since I completed it, I discussed its version of Ramayana with many of my friends and uncle-aunties and all of them are surprised and astonished with the version Author has based his Ramayana upon.

To start with, the cover page of the book, the synopsis mentioned in the backcover and the overall presentation and publishing quality is spectacular where the first fight to grab reader’s attention is won. Secondly, whenever there is a book with several characters and relationships among them, I always have to maintain a note separately where I keep on drawing the tree as per the hierarchy. This is one of the few books where I have been able to find a nicely drawn family tree with all the major characters of the book defined properly. This helped a lot in the initial chapters of the book where the characters keep on getting introduced.

I have read many books based on Ramayana but what I have liked basically about Anurag is his approach towards writing this book in the age of trilogy. Though the book can surely have its 2nd part but atleast the way whole Ramayana is covered in 220-odd pages is compliment-worthy. Also, the small chapters make it easy for you to go through the book in a single sitting without getting bored. The narration is very powerful and beholds you like any great book. The characterizations are done with very limited words hence there is not much investment author has done in this department but still manages to make some of the characters as your favorite such as Lakshmana, Vibhisana, Ravana’s son etc.

The many myths that author has tried to bust with his version of Ramayana is applaudable. The relationship of Sita and Ravana is the major one that will make this book a talking point. Then the concept of inner and outer world is nicely explained in the initial chapters. The background of Lord Rama’s ancestor regarding what they couldn’t do for inner world is nicely described. The whole segment of Surpanakha and why Ravana actually took Sita away to keep her as a hostage is again a new something in this book. Similarly, Kaikeyi and her role is mentioned quite differently.

There are few parts I would like to mention which made me interested in reading this book:- The way justice is made to Sage Gautam and Ahilya by Rama is nicely narrated. Rama’s advice to Bharat is one of the powerful segment in the book. I liked the way whole Lanka sequence is narrated regarding Ravana being egoistic and not listening to anyone in his family. How even his family had members who tried to stop him from doing wrong kept the war segment interesting. The Bali and Sugriva section is also narrated well. The whole Hanumana’s visit to Lanka’s section is beautifully written. The end of the book becomes very emotional with Sita leaving Rama and then Luv and Kush segment made me even more sentimental. The discussion on how the Ramayana got wrote in a different manner for the world gives this book the kind of ending it needed. 

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I wish Anurag Chandra come up with such short mythological and philosophical stuffs at least once in a year with a book. I give this one 4.5* out of 5.



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