Review: Stand Strong - Book 4 of Ramayana The Game Of Life

Just when I was wondering why it took so long for the fourth book in the series of Ramayana : The Game Of Life books, good guys at Jaico Books sent in their email, and after a couple of days, here it was. The awaited fourth installment in the series where Ramayana is presented as it is, without any deviation and variation, yet so differently translated that it makes a perfect self-help book you need to your side.  For background of this series, take a look at my posts on previous three books. (1, 2, 3).

First look at the cover and I was surprised. How this fourth book onwards a new design philosophy has been adapted by the publishers. The earlier books were good looking no doubt, but from this one onwards, it improves itself to higher notch. Fabulously minimally designed cover grabs the attention at first look. And now the title emphasizes on the theme of the current volume. Stand Strong. Yes, that's where the story has reached now.

After losing Sita, Ram Lakshan meet Sugriv and Hanuman. How Ram wins back Sugriva's lost empire in return of favor to find Sita. How Sugriva forms troops of millions and trillions monkeys to find her and how the troops keep their morale high despite of continued failures. This storyline, is the crux of the volume and this time it does better the past all books. Yes, this is the most interesting and unputdownable volume of the series. The way writer Shubha Vilas chooses to tell the tale, selected scenes, that unfolds in dramatic way and creating altogather different universe.

Like, going to all length in describing the mammoth troops of monkeys, the exquisite route each troop has taken, amazingly detailed description of the route described by Sugriva. The encounters of them with legends and magical lands. Everything makes me wonder why do we admire Tolkein a lot and ignore such fictional world created by our very own ancestors. That too, mostly oral history that got penned much later.

The key highlight of this series, shines again in this volume. The wisdom on the basis of this timeless tale. Wisdom at almost each page, as a footnote, describes the points flawlessly and effectively. Sample these -
"Excess fear leads to rebellion. Excess indulgence leads to disease. Excess comfort leads to lethargy. Excess power leads to arrogance. Excess of anything, however good it may seem, only tugs one toward the bad."
"Maturity is the peaceful acceptance of reality that gives one the ability to tolerate instead of agitate".

Many more such gems makes this book stand out when we see all the mytho-fictions are popping around us. And that, makes this book a unique effort.

Going back to the roots, is always a pleasant experience. And this book takes you just there. To the land where Rama walked, Hanuman jumped and great battles fought. And for that, you need to Stay Strong, which this book teaches us how.