Nobody can interestify Indian mythology as Amish does. While most of the contemporary authors have chosen to recreate epics like Ramayana in their original form, Amish has a unique ability of humanizing the iconic characters in a way that the readers simply lose their hearts to them. He has successfully achieved this with his books from Immortals of Meluha to Sita Warrior of Mithila by Amish Tripathi.
The trend starting from the Shiva Trilogy that introduced Lord Shiva or Shivaji to the readers in a never-before avatar is continued with the Amish’s version of Ramayana, the Ramachandra series, with the Scion of Ikshvaku. While the Shiva series garnered huge accolades for Amish, the first two editions of the Ramachandra series has overwhelmed the fans too.
In this article, I will particularly talk about the Book 2 in the Ramchandra Series, Sita Warrior of Mithila, the Sita’s side of tale. Amish’s book describes Sita, the daughter of Janaka and the wife of Lord Rama, as a warrior princess, with a twist in the tale. Unlike the original Ramayana that sees Janaka finding Sita in an earthen pot while ploughing fields, Amish’ version features her as an abandoned infant who was adopted by King Janaka and his wife Sunaina. However, Sita’s prowess in using weapons is still intact, with of course dollops of larger-than-life moments, something Amish is specialized in.
Most part of the plot draws an elaborate sketch of the friendship and the subsequent animosity between Vashishtha and Vishvamitra, portrayed as the leaders of the Vayuputra and Malayputra tribes respectively, which might give you a conflicting sense of what you have read and heart until now. Sita, along with weapons, shows tremendous hold on matters including leadership, equality, governance, freedom and justice while she converses with Vishvamitra. Again, to readers’ surprise, Raavan has been shown as a cunning oppportunist who conquers trade and start dictating terms in the Sapt Sindhu region.
Amish, like his previous books, has successfully shaped an all-new plot from mythological characters by portraying them as normal human beings rather than somebody with supernatural powers. If you are wondering about Ram’s role. Then let me tell you he is being introduced late in the story. The good thing about the book it depicts the couple – Rama and Sita – as equals with Sita playing a strong part rather than a submissive entity in the original version.
Having said this I must tell you I do not find this book worth flipping 360 odd pages, possibly due to my comprehensive gyaan and a sense of perceived notion about the one of the greatest books of all time. I hope Amish would choose a comparatively lesser known backdrop the next time. Till then, you can look forward to the conclusion – Raavan: Orphan of Aryavarta.