Title: Story of Sita
Author: Nabeena Srikanth
Publisher: Inkstate- Leadstart Publishers
‘Story of Sita’ aims at presenting the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective. Sita is my favourite character from the Ramayana and undoubtedly the one for whom everyone feels. So, a retelling of the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective is really a great idea for me.
The book has an impressive blurb and the cover of the book is beautiful too. I started reading this book with high expectations. But all my expectations came thrashing down after reading the initial 2-3 chapters. Things did not work for me, but I kept reading in the hope to find what I was promised. Finally, I stopped after reading more than 100 pages. I had a lot of problems with this book.
Firstly, the author presents certain characters in a completely different light. Kaikeyi, for instance, is shown as a vamp from the beginning itself while Manthra is shown as a righteous lady. It is acceptable. But later we see Bharat torturing both Kaikeyi & Manthra, which is completely opposed to his true nature.
The author presents a bit different story from what we have heard. While some people might like this version of the story and applaud her for her imagination, I didn’t like it. We see Lakshman, Sita, Urmila & Sumitra overhearing Kaikeyi’s plan of manipulating Dasharatha to send Rama to exile. Yet they’re unable to stop it. Further, the exile for Rama comes as a punishment for having conspired against the King & making him announce Rama’s coronation during Kaikeyi’s absence from the court.
Basically the overall plot remains the same but there are some slight changes in the story. And unfortunately, I didn’t like these variations. Another thing that I didn’t like is the language which the characters use. My personal belief is that decorum (to some extent) has to be observed in every literary form. Here is what Shatrugana says to Lakshman & Urmila at a point:
“Oh my gosh you two!” said Shatruguna. “It is getting kind of gooey here. I think I will go back to see if the refreshments have been served indoors. You take your time smooching this out between the two of you.”
Now these are things that may be overlooked if we are getting what we expect from the book. But I didn’t get what I was looking for. We do not find Sita’s perspective. She appears just like any other character. The author uses an omniscient point of view but even that would have worked well if it was closely following Sita’s perspective. And this was my major concern with this book. All I wanted was to know how all the things appeared to Sita. But this book is just another retelling of the book.
Since I didn’t get what I expected from this book, I couldn’t appreciate the other things that this book had to offer. I thought there was no use of reading what I didn’t want to. So, after much deliberation I decided to DNF it.
My Rating: ** (2/5)
What do you think about this book? What are your views on the author’s version of this story? And which is your favourite retellimg of the Ramayana? Do share your views. Thanks.
*I received a review copy from the Publisher. Views expressed are entirely personal & unbiased.*