Avanthika's Reviews > Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

Sita by Devdutt Pattanaik
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it was amazing
bookshelves: readathon-day-2015

I've always liked Mahabharat more than the Ramayan. There's no fun when there are no shades of evil.
But then, when I read the story again and again, I found the "righteousness and perfectionism" of Ram to be the real evil.
I loved the prologue which compared Ramayan & Mahabharat which actually sounded like a warning of Ram's actions to me.
" To all those who believe that the Mahabharata is more realistic and complex than the Ramayana :
In one, the protagonist is a kingmaker who can move around rules, while in the other protagonist is a king who must uphold rules, howsoever distasteful they may be. "

From Valmiki's script which was dated back to 2nd century BCE, Devdutt has interpolated different works across centuries which are about Ramayana. So what you have in your hand, brings to light the stories you have never heard of.

Devdutt Pattanaik's Sita throws a deeper insight into Sita's life. Hanuman goes in search of Ram's lost ring inside the earth and in Nag-log, Vasuki demands Hanuman to share Sita's story. Here it starts, the story of Sita, the martyr of Ramayana.
Greatest injustice in Ramayana, according to me, is done to Sita. Being a princess, she went to forest with Ram to accomplish his exile. She was then kidnapped by Ravana where she spends the most stressful time of her life. Her conversations with the Lankan women are all perfect. Just perfect. It doesn't stop there, Sita's suffering. Ram returns triumphantly rejoicing Ravan's death and gossips about Sita's purity perturbs Ram.
Lakshman takes Sita to leave her in the forest taking in account Ram's order. Lakshman is very much upset and disturbed, and Sita utters these words -
"You feel your Ram has abandoned his Sita, don't you? But he has not. He cannot. He is God - he abandons no one. And I am Goddess - I cannot be abandoned by anyone." I loved every bit of Sita from then on. Her attitude is icing on the cake.
Kalidasa's Raguvamsa, Bhoja's champu ramayana, Kamban's Ramavatharam, Akbar's collections of Ramayana Paintings, 1943's film Ram Rajya ( the only film seen by Mahatma Gandhi) , Ramanand sagar's Ramayana, Ashok Banker's Ramayana series are all taken into account while Devdutt penned down this book. The thing which is lovely is, Devdutt's book reveals new and minute details about Ramayana which includes rural-side stories of it.
The best book on Ramayan I've ever read :)
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Reading Progress

February 1, 2015 – Started Reading
February 1, 2015 – Shelved
February 1, 2015 – Shelved as: readathon-day-2015
February 1, 2015 – Finished Reading

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