Friday, February 6, 2015

Shattered dreams - a book review

Many a times we wonder, if age-old epics have relevance to our lives in today’s space age. Many dismiss them as myth, folk-lore and not relevant to today’s life.   Shattered dreams is a 387 book which breaks that thought and brings out gently Ramayana’s wisdom and  teaches how to handle  the various downturns  and pitfalls of our lives positively.

Ramayana – The game of life, Shattered dreams is second  in a series of book from Shubha vilas , the first being Ramayana –the game of life  titled Rise of the Sun prince ( my review here) . 

This book deals with the attempt of Dasharatha to bequeath his throne to his son Crown prince  Rama and so preparations are on for the Coronation.  How the coronation gets thwarted through   the story of kaikeyi’s boons , the banishment of Rama into exile,  the steadfastness of Rama in the face of his people’s shattered dreams, the beautiful  12 year old husband-wife  relationship dynamics of Rama and sita, the misunderstood Bharata  who goes to Chitrakoot to convince his brother Rama to rule form the narration of the book which itself is retold from Valmiki’s Ramayana, Kamba Ramayana, Ramcharit Manas and with folk tales thrown in from Lokapramana.

While I have read many books on Ramayana and have even watched the TV series, what made the read interesting was the unknown details of the great anti-hero Ravana.  The first few pages deals with the  birth of Ravana , his acquiring the pushpaka vimana and his international conquests.  Then it was  heart tugging to read the  love  of a royal father, Dasharatha when he is snatched the coronation rights and is forced to send his loving prince to exile. 

In between, I found certain chapters very preachy and too philosophical but the book turned dramatic with the meeting of Bharata and Lord Rama at Chitrakoot.  Rama offers his footwear to adorn the imperial throne and gifts him a set of five management mantras which form the base of vision based leadership leading to Rama Rajya.

The book finally ends with the exiled trio of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana moving ahead of chitrakoot down south towards Dandakaranya  with a visit to Sage  Atri’s hermitage.

There are interesting little folk tales embedded which makes it a fascinating read and also there are footnotes on each page which correlates the Ramayana situation on that page to our modern life.  While these footnotes help you to reflect and ponder at the same time, it  breaks the continuity of the story.  Some of the footnotes were  simple yet  profound like

 “when you focus on things that you have gained, you become grateful, when you focus on things that you have lost, you become hateful.”

Overall, a very interesting book that connects the human struggles and  power strategies of the world’s revered epic to modern day struggles.
Written in simple English, it may be a worthy read for people who love reading self-help motivational books and mythology.

 About the Author

Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


  1. Good one mam.. seems ot be interesting


    1. very intersting Bikram. IF you like mythology and will defintely like it.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review. We never get tired of reading/listening to anecdotes/episodes from Ramayana again and again.

  3. Very nicely reviewed.Ramayana incidents always attract me.

    1. Yes, ma'am. Ramayana is full of interesting incidents.

  4. I have read the part 1 of this book and had liked it. This one sounds good too. There are so many stories in one story and it is not only a treasure trove of knowledge but also a guide to understand our culture and values and wisdom too!

    1. treasure trove it is, Shilpa. and the after effects of this book was lingering in me even when i was reading a next book of similar genre.