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Showing posts with label shubha vilas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shubha vilas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas | Book #4 of Ramayana- The Game of Life Series


Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas | Book #4 of Ramayana - The Game of Life Series

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas is the fourth book of the Ramayana –The Game of Life Book Series. Since I have read the first 3 books of the series; I was elated when I got the opportunity to read this one. Stand Strong is a modern retelling of the Kishkindha Kand of Valmiki Ramayana - it tells us all about the events occurring in the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha. Like the previous books, this book too doesn’t just narrate the stories from Ramayana but also imparts insightful life lessons to the readers. The book is motivational, enlightening, and encouraging, all in the same breath.

The story tells us in detail how Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, how Rama decides to help Sugriva in dealing with his brother, the impudent monkey king Vali and how the vanara sena unite to help Rama in His mission of finding Sita. There are so many stories and anecdotes interspersed along the main storyline, each of them adding to the beauty of the prose and enhancing the reader’s experience with new perspective and learning. The main strength of the book is its narration - it is lucidly written with a simple yet vivid description of the incidences happening in the Kishkindha kingdom all of which ultimately culminate towards the invasion of Lanka – the grand kingdom ruled by the demon king Ravana.

As I keep saying in all the reviews of the previous books of this series, the author has given due attention to all the characters in the epic. They are intricately sketched – each having their space and chance to shine and grab the reader’s attention.

The tagline of the book says – keeping faith and conquering fear. That is also the lesson the author is trying to convey through the book. It was fear which made Sugriva feel weak and insecure - although he was not as feeble as he had started to think he was. Fear is debilitating, it clouds our thoughts and cuts our wings. Fear is the factor that limits us to make the most of our potential. If we learn to conquer our fear, we will realize that fear blows our tiny problems out of proportions and make it look huge. We will be free to chase our dreams in the truest sense, only when we keep faith and conquer fear.

It is a great book for anyone who is interested in Ramayana or in Indian mythological reads. This book also offers insights into the game that is life – so if you are looking for an inspirational read, it will make a great fit.

You can buy the book here:



I will like to end my review of this book by quoting some pearls of pearls of wisdom from the book here:

- Intelligence is about having the clarity to identify where the problem lies.

- When love leads to respect, it is called admiration. When respect leads to love, it is called inspiration.

- 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 towards the bad.

- Sometimes perception appears larger than reality. Many problems in life when perceived with fear result in pain, but when perceived with clarity, the result is freedom.

- The defining characteristic of inner stability is the ability to focus in the face of calamity.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in lieu of an honest review.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stolen Hope by Shubha Vilas (Book #3 of the Ramayana Series - The Game of Life)


Stolen Hope by Shubha Vilas (Book #3 of the Ramayana Series)

For the past half an hour, I am typing… and deleting as I type. I am not sure how to start the post. It has been than a year now since I blogged here the last time. A lot of changes have happened in the past that can account for my absence in the blogging world. I am a mom now and that explains it all.

And talking about the review of this book - Stolen Hope by Shubha Vilas - it should have been posted long ago, a year ago to be precise. Here is a picture of the New Year message the author had jotted down on the signed copy for the year 2016 and here I am posting the review in 2017.



My sincere apologies to the author for not being able to do it sooner. As a reader, I love reading books on Ramayana and hence, even after the inordinate delay, I couldn’t live with not posting a review of this book in particular. So, here I am here with a quick review. 

Author: Shubha Vilas
Title:  Stolen Hope, Book 3
Series: Ramayana: The Game of Life
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2016
ISBN 13: 9788184958249
Binding: Paperback
Number of pages: 312

Price: Rs 299

Re-telling Ramayana is a mammoth task and the author is doing it with utmost dedication and sincerity. This is the third book of the Ramayana series - The Game of Life by the author and you can read my review of the first two books - Rise of the Sun Prince (Book1) here and Shattered Dreams (Book 2) here. In his series of Ramayana, the author has tried to stay true to Valmiki Ramayana. As you read the book, you will realize how much research has gone into the writing it. I came across many unheard-of small tales which made the reading experience even more enriching.

The story in the book takes off from the point it was left in the last book. The trio - Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are settling down in Dandankaranya. Things are not meant to be monotonous for them - something or the other is always happening. Sometimes, they meet enlightened sages and sometimes they are fighting off demons. But, a chain of events start when Surphankha - sister of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka lays her eyes on Rama which ultimately leads to the abduction of Sita by Ravana. 

The writing style is lucid and engrossing. Everything is described in such detail that you could imagine it happening in your mind. The foot notes by the author are gems of wisdom. Just reading the book as you would read any other novel won't let you understand the crux. You have to go really slow with the book- absorbing the meaning and how the values it teaches holds good in our lives from the foot notes. At times, it does feel that they are disrupting the flow of the story. I too had such moments while reading the book and so, I would re-read chapters again. That is the beauty of Ramayana; you can read it again and again without getting bored. 

Another beauty of the author's writing style is that every character bloom and shine in his words. Every character, even the tiniest ones, gets their due share of space without being overshadowed by the main characters. That is the hallmark of a great story teller.

If you love reading books on Ramayana or Indian mythology, this series of books is a must have on your book shelf.

Some lessons in crisp lines quoted from the book.

Historical travel creates road maps.
Historical speeches create mindsets.
Historical habits create cultures.
Historical mistakes create wisdom.

The depth of contribution, the height of value system and the width of tolerance determine the real size of a human being.

Responsibility is not a choice, it's an honor.

Fame is like riding ocean waves.

In the absence of somebody's presence is revealed here true value. What presence cannot accomplish absence can.

Real faith is not about having insane, intense belief for a short duration but about having progressively increasing conviction for a longer duration.

Righteousness is like a surf board that keeps you afloat even in the midst of shifting tides of immorality.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.



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