- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Rupa Publications India (1 October 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8129149036
- ISBN-13: 978-8129149039
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ravanaleela Paperback – 31 Oct 2017
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PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
A twisting, intricate tale that puts the spotlight on what made Ravana who he was—a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a scholar, a king and also, an abductor. Ravanaleela is a fascinating journey into the making of this legendary Rakshasa.—AYUSHMANN KHURRANA
Ravana comes alive in this imaginative first novel by Radha Viswanath. I know that Ravanaleela will stay on my book shelf for long.—RANNVIJAY SINGHA
Interesting insight into the lineage of Ravana—the original villain of Indian mythology. You will want to read it again and again.—KARANVIR BOHRA
About the Author
Radha Viswanath was born in Andhra Pradesh and spent most of her life in Delhi. Trained as a teacher, Radha entered journalism late in life. After a distinguished career as a political correspondent spanning three decades, she retired from active journalism. She has the honour of being the first woman journalist to be admitted in the long and distinguished category of parliamentary journalists, in 2006.
An avid reader with a keen interest in Hindu mythology, she aims to bring the complexities of the Indian political discourse into intricate and rich mythological narratives
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Ravana Leela is a unique take on Ramayana where author tells the story from Ravan’s point of view. It’s about his childhood, his relationship with his siblings, his love life, his achievements, his justifications, and of course his journey from a stubborn child to the ruler of Lanka.
Alright, we all know about these things, so there’s nothing much to say about the story, but what makes this book different and interesting is its different approach.
When it comes to mythology, the story itself is not the star, as we all have already heard/read about it. I believe that one thing that makes mythology intriguing is the lesser known characters/anecdotes. And, here this book is a winner! There are many interesting anecdotes, taken from various versions of Ramayana, which you might not have heard.
The writing is good, descriptions create apt imagery. However, a tad too descriptive for my taste sometimes, but it’s understandable that those details were somehow necessary for the development of the story, so I’m not complaining.
I liked the way it started – the conversation between Dhara (Mother Earth) and Sumali. The kind of bond Saraswati and Narad share is interesting. I loved the way the author has concluded the story.
All the basic characters (of Ramayana) have been covered but this book is mainly about Ravana and Kaikasi – their motive, aim, ambition and transformation. Others are supporting characters, including Ram and Sita. It also tries to highlight some social issues, voiced by Surpanakha.
Overall, Ravana Leela was a different read – a good reading experience, I'd say. If you like reading mythology, you must pick this one.
This was at a personal level one of that kind of books that I was waiting to be written for a long time. Since I read Ramayana, I felt that among all the characters in it, I wanted to know more about the story of Ravana which never really got the much need coverage in the widely available versions of it.
This book, finally giving justice to the never heard the backstory of Ravana answering so many questions behind his doings and works. Instead of simply hating Ravanna, we are given a chance to know and relate to him in one way or the another in thing book which was long needed.
And what makes it even better is that instead of being a product of just imagination, it is well-researched work backed by Valmiki Ramayana and counselled via different forms of Ramayana, picked with the mind, ordered and contrasted for just us, the readers.
The book demonstrates an alternate side of Ravana, a minding senior sibling to his two more youthful siblings and an unyielding sister. A devoted and decided child of his mom who went through her time on earth to satisfy her dad's fantasy. And unlike how I expected, the book didn't justify Ravana's actions and neither showed him as a victim or even a villain, what we get as a character is a Ravana, simply neutral for the readers to make the feelings that they want to form just by their own understandings.
You'll see yourself standing along with Ravana while the side characters will be seen impacting his life and character in one way or the other. I felt the book to be paced fast enough covering only what was needed from the Ramayana to create a story of Ravana while keeping it interesting enough for the readers.
I'll recommend this book to everyone who has read Ramayana or actually have even heard of the story because it will never be completely free and unbiased without this segment being read.
Rating: 4.2/5 Stars