Shattered dreams is part 2 in the series "Ramayana - The Game of Life".
When I received this book , I had very little expectations in terms of the content. Having read Ramayana multiple times , I didn't expect anything different or fascinating from the book. I hadn't heard of the authors previous work on the same tittle ( prequel). But the experience of reading this book turned out to be positively surprising when compared to my expectations. To put in simple words, this is one of the best books that I have ever read on "Ramayana".
"What do you do when you are informed that you will be made the emperor of a Kingdom one fine day. Do you maintain your poise or jump in joy. Do you worry about the huge responsibility that comes with the crown or look forward to take up the challenge. When you are approaching the situation very positively and give your 100% in preparation, what if there is a reversal of the decision. Do you blame the people , fate or go around lamenting or Do you accept this decision whole heartedly. And when the decision to take away the crown from you is combined with a decision to send you to the forest for 14 years, How do you handle the situation?"
The author brings across such questions along the story line and in the process reveals why "Rama" is an incarnation par excellence. Rama's " equanimity of mind" is very clearly elucidated by the author in the process of story telling.
The finer aspects of all the characters are brought forward very easily and lucidly by the author. Sumanthara, Dasaratha, Kaikeyi, Kaushalya, Sumitra, Sita, Lakshmana, Urmila, Bharata, Sathrugana, Guha , Bharatwaja, Atri, Anusuya - All of these characters leave an impact on you for ever.
Most of the characters do get angry , do get judgemental , emotional, et all but all these turn positive as these emotions are displayed in a pure selfless spirit.The Love for Rama shown by the people of ayodhya and those around him are very clearly put forth by the author.
The "Notes" at the bottom of the page as the story unfolds is one of the key attraction of this book.
A few samples.
"The gift of health, fearlessness, talent, beauty and experience of joy is the result of grace. But real grace lies not just in possessing these qualities but laso in being grateful for these qulaities. The highest manifestation of gracefulness if gratefulness"
"Past mistakes are like a man dressed in black running after you with a knife.No matter how fast you run away from the past, it catches up with you.And when it does, it plunges the Knife right into you, causing suffering.When you know that your present suffering is related to a past mistake, shame is replaced with guilt"
"Uncertainity becomes a joy when you welcome flexibility instead of set expectations"
The author has done extensive research on Ramayana and that is clearly visible in the output.
Overall the book is a must read for all . I definitely plan to read this book again.!
I would give the book a 4 star on a scale of five :-)