A well-known epic, Ramayana, is clad in a beautiful attire by Shuba Vilas.
Valmiki’s Ramayana is straight-forward. Kamban, the renowned Tamil Poet, adorns it with poetic grandeur. Shubha Vilas derives the nectar from both the versions, carefully augments the narration with a relevance to society.
His outlook is likely to win the hearts of the modern reader.
It holds the techniques of governance, the principles of dharma and reveals the value of simplicity.
Dreams do haunt. They fascinate. They are precursors to the upcoming events.
The Ikshavaku dynasty or the Suryavamsa rulers had ruled Ayodhya for long. The pensive King Dasaratha is in distress. He paces up and down, fumes, frets, heaves and sighs. The mirror shows him that his hair has turned white. It is time for him to announce his successor. He is afraid of himself, scared of his dreams and seems restless. At this juncture, Shubha Vilas enters deftly picks up the thread and strings together the events that follow, spins in beautiful language the plots, the subplots. His characterisation is extremely insightful.His descriptions of the places, Ayodhya, Chitrakoot are so cryptic and full of imagery.
Rama, the protagonist upholds Dharma. The good and the bad are one and the same to him. Happiness and grief do not affect him. Wealth and penury are no different to this divine being. The day of his announcement as the heir apparent and the very nex day the denouncement and the exile are borne by this twenty-five -year-old with a sense of equanimity.The renunciation of worldly desires, obedience to his father and his love for his subjects make him great. He tells Bharatha, Our father has been just. ” You are the King Of Cities, I am the King of Forests.You have a white Umbrella over your head I have a Green one.”
Bharatha is the most seasoned of all the four brothers rejects the sceptre that has come to him. He excels Rama as such. Rama obeys his father’s will. Bharatha has no such obligation, yet he renunciates the throne.
Lakshmana is service minded. With no compulsion whatsoever follows Rama. He is the fatherly figure. always caring. He rejects his princely luxuries, on his own, leaves his wife Urmila in Ayodhya and turns away sleep for fourteen years.
As every story has to have a villain, keikeyi plays the role perfectly. The lovely queen, full of innocence becomes a sorceress at the impetus of Mantara the hunchbacked maid. Her demands are atrocious, The one, the desire to make Bharatha a king is acceptable. It could be a motherly instinct. The other one, banishing Rama is horrendous. Her adamancy kills her husband.
Dasaratha, the sagacious King, known for his administrative acumen, is seen as a puppet in the hands of keiikeyi. He neglects Kausalya and showers all his riches on his wife keikeyi, who ruined him finally. it is destiny nothing else.
Sita the sweet princess follows Rama to the forests undergoes all discomforts but still maintains her charm and sense of humour.
Shubha Vilas dwells shortly on Dasavira, his conquests and his transformation to Ravana, His undaunted faith in Shiva has granted him many a charm. He uses them not for a purpose of prosperity but for destruction.Rama’s exile is with a reason.He is the only one who would annihilate the Rakshasa demon.
The “Shattered Dream” subtly tells us the way to perfection, the path to success, the modalities of good governance. It sheds light on how to live. Forward is a propensity, easy to move ahead. Backwards is a setback hard to walk in the reverse. Yes, Life is punctuated by success and failures. Endure the strain with a pragmatism is what Rama wants to teach.
Life is eternal. It has to go on. The review would end with Tennyson’s
“And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.”
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