The book SITA : AN ILLUSTRATED RETELLING OF THE RAMAYANA retold by Dr. Devdutt Pattaniak is a book which ad all that content that attracted me towards it . It had a new idea of presentation. We always herd Rams story but I imagine this was the first book which described Sita the goddess . It was a illustration having told SITAYAN instead of RAMAYAN ….. it really has the difference , a vast one
This whole section of prologue comes to an end with the grief Ram felt without his Siya and how he decided to leave the earth going back to VAYKUNTH- the dham of VISHNU ….. This episode of the book brings it to the end as the EPILOGUE- Ascent to Ayodhya.
Dr. Devdutt has done justice with the book retelling the Ramayana and making it an interesting one. Reading has always been loved by me, as we can really imagine the happening around the book. Being a constant reader of Mythology I found the book to be reasonably justified and intoxicating. And surely we cannot forget the artwork that has been applied by the author in each section… Amazingly presented is what comes to my mind when I read this book. His artistic artwork and splendid narration has kept me constantly engaged to the content of the book, surely the book has a beautiful look too.
Indian mythology has been a genre I have grown up reading or listening stories; especially the Ramayana and Mahabharata, or other mythology sections . The stories illustrating the victory of truth and defeat of evil has been an unforgettable portion of time . The tales having Rama, his Sita, God and demons have been fascinating people from ages . Everyone have their interests in some particular stories for me it was Ramayana . The stories of Ram and Sita have been a part of my life , reading them was a perfect time period of my life . Hence, to read a retelling of Ramayana ha to be attractive and interesting with a new aspect and a new idea .
Now talking about the structure of the book, has 3 major parts:
First the book starts with an Authors note : what Shiva told Shakti . Mainly explaining the story or the core of Sita and her Rams life Shiva explains the different incretions Vishnu took on earth to establish Dharma. The author has also brought forward the making of SURYAVANSH , it had it be done as the whole story revolves around the Solar Dynasty . he explain here the birth of ram and the main reason for him to come on earth .
The second important or the most important part of the book is the Prologue ; this part starts with Hanuman illustrating the story of Sita to Vasuki the god of nagas . tis is followed by BIRTH She was born of the earth and raised among Sages, this is the section explains Sitas founding by Janak the Rajrishi and how he brought up sita amits the surrounding of knowledge and Vedas. Thereafter comes MARRIAGE – “Janak told her to bring happiness to marriage , rather than seek happiness from it” this section hat the wedding if Sita and Ram . then we have the EXILE- ‘She followed her husband to ensure that he never feels incomplete .’ this has all the happenings that followed her to the exile . Next is the ABDUCTION- ‘Her body could be imprisioned , but never her mind’ , this section illustrates her captivation by the king of Lanka . How can we forget Sitas patience and faith that she kept oh her husband , and this section of the book is named as came her patience’ ANTICIPATION- ‘From her faith came her patience’. Ram was never to leave Sita in the pain and death like situations but he and his Ayodhya did bring the purity of a Sati to question , though rescuing her , so comes the RRESCUE- ‘Lanks desired her submission , Ayodhya demanded her innocence’ . And then the last is the freedom of Prakriti from the bounds of Purush . This is the part telling the injustice Ram and Raghukul did with the Pure Goddess who had submitted to her husband family . Here we are also introduced to Luv and Kush the twin boys , sons of RAM and Sita where Sita plays the pole of a single mother . And the end signifying her going back to mother earth. So here we have the FREEDOM- ‘He remained trapped in culture, but nature set her free’.
Now coming to the concept of it… Them Dr. Devdutt has explained aspects of today’s culture, traditions and beliefs which I came to know have been followed not only today but from ages. This series of book revolves around Ram and Sita who no doubt belonged to the areas today known as UP and Bihar and I myself being from this area witnessed many to such traditional activities. Ya those were unknown to me because I found no reason to follow them, but the way the author has explained these traditions, it so beautiful .
The book has many vignette, and the author has offered his views along with the imagination grounds to the readers . The views and thoughts has offered food for new ideas being provoked and new questions to arise in our minds , so try and look for the answers between the infinite myths .
SITA: AN ILLUSTRATED RETELLING OF THE RAMAYANA is the best retelling of Ramayana I have ever read. Its magically narrated, aptly illustrated.
I would advice the readers that the book is a splendid representation of literature. It must be read by all. Its easy to understand and u will really feel spellbound by the narration of the book.
Rating : The book has given new dimensions to Ramayana. The explanation of Ramayana in such a different aspect, with a new idea of presentation and art is splendid . Hence, I would rate it 5 on the line 0-5.