It’s really been a while here. My tours to UAE or the meets with Sundar Pichai are not the reasons, but my laziness is the one 😛
I am in GoodReads and here is my link if you want to follow what I read and I would love to follow you too if you are a bibliophile.
The latest book that hopped on to the hands from the dusty shelf was ‘The Scion Of Ikshvaku’ – the first of the Ram Chandra series from the author who gave us the brilliant Shiva Trilogy – Amish Tripathi. I have a huge respect for this man because there are other IIM pass-outs who literally write bull shit portraying Indian youth as emotionally weak people.
I had hoped Amish would try writing about Krishna.
Digression has been a part of my posts nowadays..
The Scion of Ikshvaku starts off like a movie – the first chapter about Raavan kidnapping Sita. And then it spirals back a few decades to tell the tale from the birth of Ram. Dhashrath, the Emperor os Sapt Sindhu is a hasty man who is short-tempered, but valiant and rules till Lanka. Due to the ports, Lanka is able to trade very well with other parts of the world but they pay a cruel tax ( nine tenth of the revenue as tax is really evil ) to the Emperor Dhashrath. Kubaer, the then ruler of Lanka is a less aggressive or passive king who doesn’t want to meddle things with Dhashrath, but the new leader Ravan, the young leader opposes Dhashrath without a flinch of his eye. Dhashrath’s ego is hurt, he declares a war against Lanka and loses because of his hastiness and Ravan’s brilliant battle strategy. And, this is exactly the day Ram is born – the day when Dhashrath is defeated, for the first time in his life. This obviously makes Ram the inauspicious and unlucky child ( more like Potter ). Not only Dhashrath, the whole ( stupid ) empire believes that the reason for their misery is Ram’s birth.
Dhashrath falls into despair, the empire withers too. People are weakened by moral with crime rates and poverty soaring. Two decades of this sad flute which obviously needs a new leader to get the empire back on its feet. So this book is more about how the brothers bond in their Gurukul, what they learn from the endless ( sometimes boring ) lectures of Vashishta ( their Guru ) and how Ram gains attention, trust and respect from his father and his people. There can’t be any spoilers here – come on, its Ramayana.
About the brothers ( definitely in the order ), Ram – enough said about his daddy-issues. This guy, just like in our mythology, follows all the rules, goes by the book, definitely insanely moral and it’s quite obvious that he doesn’t stand any chance in today’s world. The characterization casts a gloomy face.
Bharat – this chap is more realistic and practical. He bends some rules here and there to get things done, but is morally strong too. He is equally intelligent, ladies-man-to-a-level, handsome and a healthy suitor for the throne. Nevertheless, he is very fond of Ram and has a great respect for him. If I had to vote for the king, then it would be Bharat.
Laxman – this guy is totally childish in the beginning, there is a lot of bromance between him and Ram. He is totally devoted to his brother. He is hefty and a little hasty too. A few women might call this character cute and pinch his cheeks.
Shatrugan – book worm, a little loquacious when it comes to stating facts and just keeps reading and reading.
There is nothing much to say about Sita, she is a princess and doesn’t strike to be a very impressive character. She is beautiful, lovely but fails to create that ‘blown-away’ effect which Sati had in the Meluha series. Well, one obviously cannot compare, but there was a expectation on Amish about the female lead.
Amish comfortably makes Jatayu and Hanuman as Nagas – who have features different from a normal human being.
And why bring the Nirbhaya story here for a sub-plot Mr.Amish – this was totally unnecessary. It was Amish wanting to voice his rage and he clearly wants the juvenile punished. Some pot-holes like portraying Ravan as an egoistic and arrogant king who is short of manners. Amish should read his books properly as Ravan was equally talented and was a strong devotee of Shiva. He had some ethics and the only mistake he did was trying to kidnap someone’s wife ( Would it be a bad comparison if I call this as an act similar to the only mistake of attacking Russia in winter ?)
The pace is moderate, there is nothing compelling and at times, there is too much philosophy that makes you feel like growing a beard or hung over. The only thing that will make you continue the book is the old tale of Ram and the re-visit to the ancient land. A good novel, but not something of Amish’s caliber. Recommending to all the fans of Shiva-trilogy.
New words learnt:
Tumult – state of confusion
contrite – remorse towards a wrong deed
inscrutable – tough to understand.
Just got nominated for an award. Heads up ! 😉