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Book Review: The Rise of Rama by Vijay Singh Sodhi

There is a difference between reading a story and watching a story. What if you got a chance to read the timeless epic Ramayana the way you have seen ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ movies. Vijay Sodhi, the writer of The Rise of Rama, has put in cinematic techniques to make this retelling of the Ramayana a great thrilling experience for the people of today. The Rise of Rama by Vijay Sodhi is the first book in the Ramayana trilogy. It is written in a screenplay style which makes it easy to grasp and enjoy. With the help of terms like INT, EXT, FADE UP, ZOOM TO and so on, for readers it becomes clear where actually the scene is set. These cinematic techniques have added a lot of clarity in the story. It’s like you are all there – director, actor, and reader.

The timeless Ramayan is a long epic saga and its story frame stretches over a long period of time, thus it is divided into seven parts, in Hindi each part is called as ‘Kand’. Division into seven parts makes it a pleasurable read and the message that it serves also falls perfectly in the vistas of people. The Ramayana was originally written by the sage Valmikiji around five thousand years ago. Since then it has seen myriad versions, almost in all languages to reach to the people of the world. It just not a simple story – it is a saga echoed down the ages and encompasses deep and meaningful message for humans, as it guides them in the journey of their life.

The first part of this trilogy basically deals with the early days of Rama’s upbringing and his family history and how he got married to Sita. Parallel to him, other powerful characters of the Ramayana have also been highlighted and shown how they evolved and provided nudge to the characterization of Rama. This book consists of the Baalkand and some part of the Ayodhyakand. Vijay has done a wonderful by doing intense research and adding some cinematic techniques to the repertoire to make it a visually spectacular story.

Superheroes emanating from the Indian mythology need no introduction as their stories are universal ones. The only thing that they need from time to time, from baby boomers to millennial, is retelling without affecting the original content. The Ramayana came first, do did Rama. Rama came before anybody else. He is the original super hero.

The story of Rama appeals to people regardless of their background, ethos, and other cultural landscapes. The Ramayana explores basic human themes and virtuous like courage, love, honour and so on. The story never leaves its authenticity and credibility…it is done with elegance and at the same time relevant to the people of today.

Truly, the Ramayana is a timeless story that has echoed down the ages. No matter how many versions it passes through, its magnificence, significance, authenticity and veracity remains intact for the sake of mankind.


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