Book Review: Shattered Dreams, Ramayana: the Game of Life, Book 2

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the much acclaimed bestseller, The Rise of the Sun Prince, by noted author Shubha Vilas. It is the powerful chronicle of a super human effort which one can relate to this day and age of human struggle. Never have I read such a remarkably written version of Rama's exile. The book gripped me from the get-go that I finished it in one sitting. Beautiful depiction of an epic tale that most of our generation are most likely to not have read, if maybe, just pieces and parts of. This book is a very adaptable version that works for our times.

You may really find the foot- notes of most pages very insightful and mind blowing as have I. I have felt the need to highlight them and some of the text in the book as it felt that I could go over them for re-reads. Extremely spiritual and in depth thinking has gone in to this piece of work.

I, personally, love reading the dedication at the beginning of each book and was to delighted to see Shubha Vilas so lovingly dedicate this book to his grandmother who used to narrate to him bedtime stories that planted the seed for the emergence of this book.

The book has nine chapters and 386 pages.

This dramatic story line unfolds with King Dasaratha frantically trying to escape his past which finally leads to his announcement of his heir; an aging king craves for repose which was met with jubilant acceptance. But it made him plunge into self-doubt. Now, that is the complexity of the human mind. It gets overshadowed to feel instability in place of pride, sadness in place of happiness. There are numerous accounts in this book of the complications we face in our relationships if the management of the mind is not understood or dealt with properly. Also within this book are six solutions to overcome obstacles of any nature to our ambitions and goals in life. It teaches us how to manage reversals in life efficaciously.

How wittingly the author takes on time and winds the story deep into the labyrinths of our thoughts especially when you come across a nightmare that cannot be chased.

The footnotes are exemplary lessons
I am stating some of my favourite ones but I will not put all of them down here..

-How long can one go with a smiling face and a crying heart?(I have left it incomplete as it would kill the joy of reading the entirety a second time)

-The easiest way to forget your limitation is to shift focus from self absorption to active facilitation.

-Damned by despair and buoyed by hope. Isn't that what life is about? Life is a combination of hope and despair. The one that dominates you, carves your personality.

-Calamity in friendship is absence of a person during sad times. ( I had to pick this one from the rest of this footnote as it just related to me so much with my friendship with someone I truly love and genuinely care about but the friend just turned around and put up a wall against me when I needed them the most. For no apparent reason. That's life, huh? I guess you really can't depend on love from a friend you've known for over a decade when you need them the most. I think it's wrong to even expect and think you need it. I really learned an avalanche of lessons there and these footnotes are mind-blowing. MIND-BLOWING, I say!)

- Resistance to inevitable change is a result of nature's painful unpredictability of the consequence of change. (There is such an amazing few pages written on change and how many of us really need to read this part, you must get this book just to find out what is written about this, it's explained so beautifully how to conquer your six inner enemies)

So after Rama's coronation and most of this story revolves around this, there was another coronation. That of Dasagriva, to the magical throne of Lanka. Dasagriva? Who is he? Ravana!!!
No sooner than that, the throne is threatened by his own blood. How will you tolerate someone possessing something that you yourself lost? Shiva please by Dasagriva's prayers decides to release him from his pain and named him RAVANA; along with the promise of a boon which was happily and certainly misused making the universe squirm. After upsurping Kubera's kingdom, he toured the world subjugating all powerful warriors creating fear among the controllers of the universe.

As the grim drama played out, Brahma watched in disdain and decided to mediate with the causer of worldly troubles by praising him no end. Now praise can melt a mountain and so it did the evil king. Ravana's sins took shape as the grey hair on Dasaratha's head. The shadowing loom is narrated seamlessly. This is a saga of ultimate sacrifice of the self and service to fellow men.

A wife does her duty and carries it on no end. A dutiful brother follows his sibling and leaves no stone un-turned in serving him righteously. A son who is completely devoted to his parents even if it meant exile into a forest and leaving his comfort behind accepts it as years of learning. Each character represents an official form of learning. If Laxman represented righteousness, then Urmila did faith.

Sumitra, Kaikeyi, Bharatha, Manthara, Urmila, Shatrugna, Kausalya, Guha, Anasuya, Sage Vasistha are all so graphically depicted. We all know the story but we do not know it this way. From Ayodhya to  Chitrakoot to the Dandakaranya jungles, a journey awaits. The author takes you through it like a spiritual guide and you the seeker need to find your path, It is a highly recommended reading for one and all. I urge you to pick this up and gift it to your friends and family.

You can follow the author Shubha Vilas here
You can learn more about Valmiki's Ramayana online

A foot note to my review:  I really enjoyed receiving this book and I thank BlogAdda for giving me a chance for the same. I have read many books over the past year and this has got to be the best by far as it really taught me some things that I would like to go over again. Definitely a great, soulful read. Do check it out.

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



  1. Wow u reviewed it beautifully Praseena. I love reading novels but it takes me months to finish it!

    1. Thank you, Megha. It's a wonderful book and deserves more :) It takes me so much time too mostly because I have a lot on my plate and then I sit and like doing nothing at all too haha :)

  2. What a great and detailed review. I am not so much into books, but loved your take on this one.

    1. Hi Alok, thank you so much for your sweet comment. I was not sure if anyone was reading my reviews, especially my book reviews hehe ;) But am glad . By the way it is a beautiful book, if you were ever interested in reading it is a nice and detailed read. I love books but I do not get much time to read them these days.