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The Liberation of Sita

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  842 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Valmikis Ramayana is the story of Ramas exile and return to Ayodhya, a triumphant king who will always do right by his subjects.

In Volgas retelling, it is Sita who, after being abandoned by Purushottam Rama, embarks on an arduous journey to self-realization. Along the way, she meets extraordinary women who have broken free from all that held them back: Husbands, sons and
Paperback, 132 pages
Published August 22nd 2016 by Harper Perennial
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The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.

----Roseanne Barr

Popuri Lalita Kumari, who writes award-winning Telugu poems and stories under her pen name Volga, has penned yet another terrific and feminist tale revolving around India's most popular mythological tale Ramayana, called, The Liberation of Sita. In this book, the author meticulously weaves a story about the characters from Ramayana with their struggles, hardships and challenges that they
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Volga's The Liberation of Sita is a collection of short stories. Sita meets other famous (infamous?) women of the myths - Surpanaka, Renuka, Urmila, Ahalya. Through conversations, self reflection and quiet questions (that are often not asked), Sita finds herself in whole form, not as a manifestation of an image conferred upon her by a man's world. The stories pose questions of who is right and who is wrong; what is dharma; why women were always silenced; how men see women and so on. I ...more
This is the retelling I've been looking for. Not even a retelling, more so the POV. The Ramayana treats its female characters, amongst others, very poorly, so this was refreshing to read.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Volga is my first Telugu author.

I've always been proud of my heritage and especially prideful of being a Telugu person- perhaps it comes from my not living in India. This form of longing to understand and be a part of Telugu cultural norms as best as I can be has always gnawed away at my being. It shows through my accent-marked fluent Telugu. But, reading this book has finally given me the understanding of what it really means to be a Telugu woman marked by the societal standards that I have
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I cannot NOT give this book a 5 star.
"Society gave him that authority, I didn't. Till I give it, no one can have that authority over me.
But he has disowned you.
Pity, that is his loss."
The Authority being spoken about here is the authority to judge, the authority to dictate her actions.
The Liberation of Sita is a book which I felt, everyone should read. I finished this book in one sitting; but it lingered in my mind, so much so that it didnt let me sleep. Its a collection of 5 different, yet
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
My only complaint is that the writing (especially the translation) could have been far, far better. The subject discussed is serious, and its wisdom profound. It could've been dealt in with more deliberation.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad, but i feel like some of the passion/intensity got lost in the translation. It felt much more profound when i read the original.
Krutika Puranik
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
| Book Review | The Liberation Of Sita.

I can protect myself. I can match you in archery, Sita had said, laughing. Ramas face had fallen.
As long as I am alive, you will never have to protect yourself. Such a situation must never arise. You must look towards me for protection. You must turn to my strong arms for protection. If you take care of yourself, what am I for? Promise me that you will never do that'. - Volga.

Everyone knows the trials that Sita had to go through to prove her chastity and
Anupama C K(b0rn_2_read)
I enjoyed this retelling of Ramayana. It is a set of stories which are linked. Sita who has been abandoned by Rama is on a self realization journey. She meets Ahalya, Renuka, Shurpanaka and Urmila. I never did connect Ahalya's story with Sita and now I'm like why didn't I?
This was the BOTM for one my book clubs, it was a pretty short read. I'm glad I read it
Simple...a tad too simplistic at times. I somehow feel that the intensity got lost in translation.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Liberation of Sita takes us through the lives of 4 exceptional women in Hindu Mythology. These women have faced oppression from the society or their family for the crimes they never committed and were seen as mere casualties in a bigger operation/mission.

Some of the great men in Hindu Mythology have chosen the path of Dharma and made innumerable mistakes in the way. While these actions were for the greater good, women were seen to suffer the most.

Whatever gives you peace of mind, consider
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This slim volume is a translation of author, Popuri Lalita Kumari aka Volga's book in Telugu, Vimukta and retells the Ramayana through short stories that contextualize Sita in fictional interactions with other women from the epic like Urmila, Ahalya, Renuka and Surpanakha. While the language may come across as simplistic, it lays out the concept of feminism as a complex idea that throbs in the common and shared experiences of women. In some ways, it also portrays Rama as the shackled one, ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Ive heard so many people praising this book, about how feminist it was! But personally I think its overrated.
The work has been translated into English & I didnt like the writing style at all. It felt forced & childish.

I didnt really find the content to be particularly feminist in nature, sure it has elements, but it felt more philosophical than anything. Just another perspective of Sita & others from the Ramayan that wouldnt have necessarily crossed your mind.

Everyone can
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read the book in Telugu, absolutely worth it. Am amazing perspective on Sita's story..something we don't often hear, but need to.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Can you live without your children Sita? What about you ... without a husband, children?"

I am the daughter of Earth, Rama. I have realized who I am.
The whole universe belongs to me. I don't lack anything.
I am the daughter of Earth.

A small and simple, but profound read. Many of us might have read retellings of great epics from different perspectives, but don't leave this book on that account. Volga brings together all the characters and their stories which ended up shaping Sita's life. All the
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian-authors
I really really really liked this book.
I had been looking for modern re-tellings of Indian mythology, something beyond Devdutt Pattanaik and Ashwin Sanghi, that either brought a new perspective or told the story more objectively, and what I found was this slim, 100 page marvel, now a treasured addition to my favorites.

Written by a feminist, the book takes a completely fresh critical direction through a feminist point of view to Sita's story. Picking up at different points in her life, the
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Conquering the ego becomes the goal of spirituality for men. For women, to nourish that ego and to burn themselves to ashes in it becomes the goal. Sita, try to understand who you are, what the goal of your life is.

Recreating Ramayana from the eyes of Sita, this is a collection of 5 short stories. The story captures the zeitgeist of modern-day feminism. Sita meets four women; Surpankha who has found her lost beauty in a garden in the forest, Renuka whose sculptures speak for themselves, Ahalya
Raksha Bhat
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
There are always two sides to a story it is said, more so when it is a magnanimous epic like Ramaýana involving many notable women it deserves many retellings.  Volgas compilation in Telugu titled Vimuktha of five stories of Surpanakha, Renuka, Urmila, Ahalya and Sita titled as The Liberation of Sita in its English translation is an accomplishment in this regard. Indian mythology has been guarded indomitably by the walls of patriarchy for centuries. Women are portrayed to be goddesses of ...more
aman caur
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
an attempt to create a female collective, and redefine many conventional epistemes including liberation.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, reviewed
It was strange how I stumbled upon this book. I just happened to read one part of it found it interesting so bought it and read the whole book in one go. Usually I refrain from reading epic-retelling as I get agitated with the whole new perspective. Anyway this was not exactly a retelling it was more of revisioning. Though the whole book revolves around Ramayana but each story here is completely author woven. The story is about What-if Sita had met and had a deep conversation with Surpanaka, ...more
Simran Sharma (Craartology)
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wonder why a book about women and their lives, written by women are termed "feminist", aren't they just as important as the others? Is patriarchy so deep that the other Equal-half needs a special term or identity or a tag. Nevermind, these were my thoughts after reading this wonder.

Volga has written a beautiful book about Sita and her life, being a daughter, wife, sister and a mother. The book has stories and wisdom from the lives of Surpanakha, Ahalya, Renuka Devi and Urmila as short and
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved mythologies as a kid. When I read the kid version of the Ramayana it ended right after Sri Ram, Sita and Lakshman came back to Ayodhya triumphantly. There was no mention of Sita being sent back to the forest or about Luv and Kush and I was very surprised when I read about this part later. People always used to say a woman should wish for a husband like Ram and I used to be very confused. Why Ram? He is a great king. But he could not give his wife happiness. In spite of undergoing the ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 100-pages
Few years back, I read retellings of Mahabharata that made me contemplate about perspectives I never knew existed. Incidences we label as black and white, cannot be distinguished easily all the time. The lines start to blur and one doesn't know what is true or untrue.

Having read a few version of Ramayana, I had always come across books with Rama's pov. Even though the titles clearly mentioned, the book will never be about Sita.

Thankfully, this translated work caught my eyes. It consists of 5
Deepika Ramesh
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So so beautiful. More in my blog here:
Gowtham Sidharth
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it

There have been many adaptations and retelling of the epic Ramayana, Volga's vimukta takes a fresh look at certain portions of Sita's life and shows us a journey that questions truth, dharma, fidelity, duty, and feminism. few years after slaying the demon king Ravana, Rama abandons Sita in the forest, Sita, now a single mom raises her sons in Valmiki's ashram teaching them kshatriya dharma and practice so that Rama will accept his son when the time comes.initially, Sita
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Liberation of Sita by Volga (Popuri Lalitha Kumari) Translated from the Telugu by T Vijay Kumar and C. Vijaysree (5/5)

Some lost characters. Some untold stories. Amalgamated to show things to us that probably no one ever thought.

What happened to Surpanakha after Rama ripped her nose and eyes off for being in love for him? What happened to Ahalya when she slept with a stranger disguised as her husband, for which her husband cursed her for life? What happened to Renuka when her own son tried
Ronita Banerjee
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Volga's depiction of Sita and her story isn't just beautiful it's surreal as well. The whole journey of Sita's life mingled with Volga's imagination of Sita meeting the women in Ramayana and understanding their much neglected stories is something that I'll remember always.

Volga's Sita isn't just mature, she is wise and powerful in her own ways and the meetings with Urmila, Surpanakha, Ahalya, and others not made her life more fulfilling than it ever was.

Sita's life and her devotion towards Rama
Navneet Ojha
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story of self realization by Sita

I chose this rating, because this book is more than perfect for me.

Author has done justice with all the characters. She has formulated story in such a balanced way, I guess every one is going to love her point of view.

A line from the book

"Dont grieve over what has already happened. It is all for your own good, and is part of the process of self-realization. Be happy. Observe nature and the evolution of life. Notice the continual changes in them "
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
A good book to know about unheard, untold stories and conversations between Sita and many other strong women Urmila, Surpanakhae and more.
Overall a good book, unfortunately the translation could have been better, it's too poor at places almost vague..
A good feminist read.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
The storyline tends to swing back and forth in time which got me a little confused. A little to simplistic or it could be essence lost in translation.
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