Book : Story of Sita
Author : Nabeena Srikanth
Publisher : Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Pages : 306
Price : 345/-
Format : Paperback
Another Mythological retelling, and people who follow me knows I am a DIE hard fan of Mytho retellings. I picked this book, off course for the reason it’s based on Mythological, and thought why not give the writer a chance to retell the story I have heard from my childhood in a different way.
Story is a retelling of Ramayana the great epic battle between good and the evil. Where goodness of Rama is prevailed over the evilness of Ravana.
As the blurb says, was Rama a real hero ?
Sita, is a daughter of Mother Earth, adopted by King Janaka, king of Mithila Rajya. Brought up with all the leisure of life, and taught the art of . Fell in love with Rama on her first sight, when she saw him helping a poor lady. Winning Sita in Swayambar by breaking the Shiv Dhanush (bow) and marrying her was what was destined for Rama. Becoming Princess of Ayodhya rajya was her destiny. But leaving all luxuries behind, she accompanied Ram his husband for 14 years to the exile to forest.
Kaikeyi demands Rama to be exiled into the wilderness for 14 years, while the throne passes to her son Bharata. The king under addiction by her third wife Kaikeyi to control him, gave in to her demands. Rama accepts his father’s decision in absolute submission. He is joined by Sita and Lakshman.
His travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, build cottages and live off the land. At the Panchavati forest they were visited by a Princess Surpanakha, sister of King Ravana of Lanka. She tries to seduce Rama and failing in this, attempts to kill Sita. Lakshman stops her by cutting off her nose, and they felt it was all over. Until few more men, came back to Pachvanti to avenge their Princess lost prestige. Everyone lost against to brothers Ram and Lakshman.
When one fine day, Ram goes off to collect deer for their food. He doesn’t come back for a while, this upsets Sita. And she asks Lakshman, to go after him and check may be the Lanka men are back to take their avenge. Lakshman puts across about the fact that she came to exile to take care of Sita, and Ram can look for himself. Sita curses him with words that cut through Lakshman’s heart. She says, that Lakshman is doing this intentionally, so that he can go back to Ayodhya as he is feed up with this wilderness. After lots of argument, Lakshman gives in and leaves Sita in the hut. Saying not to come out, or open door for anyone for her safety.
Ravana appears outside Sita’s hut and tricks her into talking about her, Ram and Lakshman. After knowing it was due to Sita, that Lakshman and Ram has refused his Sister Surpanakha’s proposal. And due to Sita, her sister roams around in veil in Lanka, he forcibly carries Sita out of hut on her Vyaman across the sea to his kingdom Lanka.
At Lanka, Sita refuses all the leisure of Lanka kingdom, and asks to live in the Ashokavana. She is kept under the heavy guard of rakshasis, who used to keep telling Sita about how great their King Ravana is and that she should marry her, and enjoy all the leisures of Lanka instead of living in this ashok vatika. Ravana demands Sita marry him, but Sita, eternally devoted to Rama, refuses.
Will Ram be able to win back Sita from Ravana ?
Living in Lanka around Ravana, and other Rakshas will Sita be still be considered pure ?
As it’s already 14 years, will Ram, Sita & Lakshman be able to make to Ayodhya for Ram’s coronation ?
This is Nabeena Srikanth debut book, and she has lots of scope to explore her writing. The language used is good, and pace shifts between slow and fast. It was an easy read, with some new words to be added in vocabulary.
There were many words that were printed like a single word, which were difficult to understand sometimes.
Things that worked out for me :
The relationship shown between Sita and Lakshman, they are like best friends. Whenever Sita had something to say, Lakshman was there to listen, and he understood her and knew that she was pure even after living in Lanka.
Some of the situations handled and gave them a new look, for example in Mytho telling I heard so many times that Manthara was the one who had suggested Kaikayi about sending Ram to exile, where as in this retelling its shown that Manthara was innocent and it was all Kaikayi but as Kaikayi was queen it was spread in the kingdom that it was Manthara.
Another situation, is showing that Dasharatha was under drug influence by Kaikayi. So he makes the decision to sends Rama to exile, which in actual mytho is not shown. This might be very thoughtful of Author, as Kekeya is located in North Western, which in earlier India was source of all these practices.
Things that didn't worked for me
The tittle said ‘Story of Sita’, where I couldn’t get much of SITA side of things. A retelling is great, when we add imagination to things, and show readers the aspect which they haven’t heard of. I being a believer in mythological, I know the stories by heart, and so this was same as what I was taught/saw of Ramayana, with a bit of twists.
I would have loved to see, more of Sita’s perspective. Like the author could have added Sita’s life before marriage. Showing her growing up years, the bond between sisters was another things that could have been given more emphasis. As I being growing up with all sisters, I know there are lots of things that can be told in a story.
Final Note :
If you don’t know the story, you can pick this up to know the Mythological telling of Ramayana. This will definitely open your thinking towards somethings which original mytho has different perspective.
The book was provided by Leadstart Publishing in return of a honest review.