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March 12, wed. Edited to add.

The winner is Boo and I know exactly what to get you. Just thank me later :)

Growing up, listening to stories of Ramayana and Mahabaratha, my scales have always tilted towards Mahabaratha. I thought the later had much more realistic action. Realistic because the story had real human emotions. Plus it had Krishna, the ever charming persona who is okay with playing as well as praying.

Versus Ramayana had …..Rama. Rama whose face, according to the tamil poet Kambar was like a freshly blossomed lotus, even when Dasratha packed him off to the forest with nothing but clothes on his back. Can’t stand Mr.Goody two shoes. And even more irritating are the delicate darling heroines who mutely follow husbands in to the forest and sit and wait for 14 months to be rescued.

I had very many questions in my mind.

-What prompted Dasaratha to say yes to the unreasonable boons that Kaikeyi demanded?

-What is Mathara’s motive behind instigating Kaikeyi against her family. What happened to her later?

-Were the three queens(Kowsalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra) okay with sharing everything including a husband? Or was there friction between them?

-Did Kowsalya slap Kaikeyi silly after she knew what Kaikeyi did to her son?

-How can Dasaratha give off Rama to Vishwamitra without consulting the mother of the boy?

-Ravana also attended Sita’s swayamwaram. Did he face Rama? How did that go down?

-How can Gothama do what he did to his wife and still can live with himself. *serious eye rolling about fidelity imposed only on women*

-Living in a secluded spot, what was the dynamics of relationship between Lakshmana and Sita?

-Surpanakha, what prompted her to fall in love with Rama?

-How can a person stand behind a tree and kill another person and still be called a Kshatriya warrior? Can one really live with themselves after such a behavior?

-What made Ravana wait for almost 13 years before he tried kidnapping Sita?

-What is the dynamics of the Hanuman-Rama relationship.

-Last but not the least….. one would send the missus back to the forest?! Just like that?! Seriously?! Any decent man must have given up the crown and followed the missus in to the forest telling, “as a king I must to set an example to my citizens, but as a husband, I owe a duty to my wife”.

But looks like Banker had the same questions and his version of Ramayana has real people with emotions instead of pompous, self righteous creatures. His retelling has answers to most of my questions. I love his interpretation of Tatakavanam, his battle between humans and rakshas. His Sita….oh my, my, my…. she is a warrior princess, who fights shoulder to shoulder with Rama and Lakshmana. She even slaps Rama couple of times and the dude is okay with it. This me likes.

Tolkien(LOTR) must have been influenced by Ramayana at some level and Banker’s version seems to contain shades of Tolkien’s narration.

– the initial war between Ravana and Dasaratha + Kaikeyi + rest of the Kshatriya kings = initial war between Sauron and Elrond + Isildur.

– Rama giving up the throne = Aragorn giving up the crown.

-Sita following Rama = Arwen deciding to go with Aragorn.

-Lakshmana = Samwise, for his unwavering sense of duty to his brother/master.

-Rakshas = Orcs (that is a easy one!)

-Seers Vishwamitra and Vashishta = Gandalf

-Ravana keeping an ‘eye’ on the Kshatriya cities, more than reminded me of Sauron’s eye.

This is just a few. I am not going to spoon feed you with all the details, something are best when self discovered.

If I am to complain, his style story telling is giving detailed account through every character! Pick a few characters and the story in detail through these characters is okay, but he goes in to details through the eyes of many people! I can’t stand Ghuha, very boorish and I certainly do not want to read about Dasaratha romping around with his wives *eye rolling right here*.

I have finished three volumes, can’t wait for Hanuman to make his entry.

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– Guess the complete TITLE and AUTHOR.

– Quiz closes Friday, March 16th. 4.00PM IST.

– Results will be announced Monday, March 19th.

– Winner is picked by a random number generation of the right answers.

– The prize is a book. I want to choose a book appropriate for you/your child. So will announce the title of the book after I announce the winner.

-Comment moderation is on.

-Play nicely children. Sorry about the so-so image, just feeling a little drained.

 




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