In the spiritual and motivational series by Shubha Vilas, this book is a sequel to Ramayana: The Game of Life- Rise of the Sun Prince.
The author Shubha Vilas is a spiritual author who has degrees in law and engineering. He holds motivational talks and attributes his wisdom to his grandmother whose eloquent narrations of the epic inspired him to write this series.
The cover has a eerie tragic aura to it. The lamentations of Dasaratha, the evil which had surrounded him in the form of Kaikeyi’s demands and the restlessness of Rama are all well-depicted. It paints a gloomy picture in stark contrast to its prequel. The red-brown tinge to the sky signify the impending doom and calming radiance in the backdrop serves as a cryptic message.
The first book was based on the first chapter (Bal Kanda) of Ramayana- the epic. This book takes the story forward from the point when twelve joyful years have passed to Ram’s marriage to Sita. The drama has just started unfolding now as the clouds of gloom are hovering over Ayodhya.
The book begins with Dasaratha’s inner turmoils and as with the previous book, there are footnotes that contain author’s insights on the situations in the story. These serve as lessons for the reader who is also a spiritual seeker.
The book talks about ideals to be followed in real life. Lessons are explained through the relationships between Ram and Lakshman, Ram and Sita, Ram and Bharat and Lakshman and Urmila.
At its core, Shattered Dreams is essentially a book about human relationships and idealism. One might think that the book would be unnecessarily preachy and boring but the thing is, Shubha Vilas has incorporated delightful chunks of information in it to keep it palatable for the wandering mind.
There are boxes which contain various interesting facts along with the author’s analyses. These boxes are a joy in themselves. One such box is at page 155 where Rama’s composed behaviour is contrasted against Lakshman’s volatility. It gives a lot of insight into what goes in the making of a hero Lakshman is called Shesha because he is always incomplete and is not anything if left alone. He is just a method by which God has tried to depict and define greatness. So, just by standing in front of Lakshman’s volatile behaviour, Ram showed the world why poise and dignity are important.
The grammatical errors are few and far apart. The font is easy on the eye and the pages are nice and crisp. Jaico has rendered the book utterly delightful and completely fitting for gifting etc.
Who should read this book? Well, it is a book meant for all ages but most importantly, it is for people who have a philosophical bent of mind. The parts where Rama and Sita are walking in the forest with Lakshman by their side are distinctly realistic portrayals of the characters. People with a deep sense of understanding of human emotions will rejoice in these small instances where the trio learn valuable life lessons from nature itself.
All in all, a delightful read for everyone!