I think I have read enough mythological books this year. Some working new stories- some assimilation of many versions. SITA – AN ILLUSTRATED RETELLING OF RAMAYANA- by Devdutt Pattanaik would be the last for many months to come.
I never bother if Devdutt has a point of view. Not getting into an argument- was SITA a victim or was RAM really not man enough. Does social injustice or justice norms and rule define you. Or should they define you. I would hold that DEVDUTT’s SITA s a fine collection of episodic RAMAYANA, Its chronological enough yet it is able to time and again digress into subplots without leaving the main story.
You want to read lightly the complex story- THIS IS THE BOOK. You want your kids to know a lot more THIS IS THE BOOK. There is a lot more meaningful discussions and directions on life and relationships but that is for you to discover. There is a difference between RAM the King and RAM the husband. There are conflicts that are natural. There are people adapting to the situation. And that is natural too. Only at times in raising voice on behalf of SITA – in terms of her treatment by RAM and expectations that she very well understands- does for a short time DEVDUTT forgoes the role of a story teller and attempts to make social statements.
More than SITA- I think this book places HANUMAN in a different perspective. Through DEVDUTT retelling of the tale- Hanuman comes alive as an astute learned man. One that grasps the situation and clearly understands his circle of Influence, control and love.
More so I love his way of bringing in cyclic nature of Vishu Avatar and how he compares to show the similarity or to answer the question shows how they counter balance. There are enough examples and a comparative study after each chapter. Many examples drawn from Mahabharat and Ramayana are used to demonstrate this cyclic nature.
IT IS A RICH PIECE OF WORK. The rich simple line drawing throughout the book are brilliant and add a lot to the easy narration style unique to Devdutt
SITA- AN ILLUSTRATED RETELLING OF RAMAYANA. By DevDutt Patanaik.