Saturday, January 9, 2016

Book Review : Ramayana – The Game of Life Book 3 (Stolen Hope)

I can summarize 2015 year for me as ‘Meeting Celebrity Year’. I met, talked, had photos, got emails and books autographed by celebrities such as Karishma Kapoor, Ranveer Brar, Aditya Bal, Vicky Ratnani, Amrita Raichand, Swati Jain, Saransh Goila and Ravi Subramanian. Addition to this, in the previous year I received Ramayana – The Game of Life Book 3 (Stolen Hope) with a personal letter from Shubha Vilas, the author too. 

Shubha Vilas though holds a degree in engineering and law with a specialization in patent law is a story teller par excellence, lifestyle coach, spiritual seeker and motivational speaker. His lectures and seminars are available on YouTube. He blogs at In author’s words, “As you flip the pages of these books (Ramayana series), one thought is sure to pass your mind; never has the Ramayana been so applicable in our own lives!”

The opening lines of the book describe about it.
Have you ever felt that there should be a book that bridges the gap between the loyal, traditional approach to the Ramayana and the twisted, modern but exciting approach to the epic?
If yes, your search ends here. Ramayana – The Game of Life is a series that attempts to present an authentic rendition of the Ramayana in an absolutely modern and riveting manner. This book promises to enlighten the loyalists and entertain the modernists.

Stolen Hope is based on Aranya Kanda when Lord Ram, his wife, Sita and his brother, Lakshman lived in the forest and met many sages till one day Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, King of Lanka.  
This book is full of beautiful sayings and quotes which are very practical and goes with every age. Some of them I have listed for you, my dear readers.
  1. Life often leaves you with limited options. Often the choice is between limited happiness and limited void.
  2. Time is like a mocking bird. It waits for you to laugh at others and then mocks you in the most embarrassing and irritating manner.
  3. People and situations in life appear like an ocean that seem deceptively simple but may actually be endlessly complicated.
  4. Just as an octopus eats itself due to stress, a human is mentally consumed due to negative stress.
  5. In the absence of somebody’s presence is revealed her true value. What presence cannot accomplish, absence can!
  6. In the broken confidence of your enemies lie half your victory and the other half in your own ability to handle your destiny courageously.
  7. While dissatisfaction is the backbone for creative excellence, it breaks the bones of mental peace.
  8. Rama also wanted to teach the world that when one prefers the cheap attractions of this world over God, He silently walks away from one’s life. Maricha represents the fraud veil of illusion over intelligence that numbs the sense of discrimination. All have their own golden deer in life.
  9. Sunlight can penetrate clean ocean water to a depth of hundreds of feet, because it is transparent. Similarly, for love to have a deep impact in relationships there has to be transparency that leads to respect between two people.
  10. Anxiety is the worm that eats away one’s peace of mind.
  11. A hurt hurts the most when the one you love hurts you the most.
Jeihe vidhi rakhe Ram teihi vidhi rahiye’ (Whatever be the circumstances created by God one should be happy and satisfied with that), this theory is beautifully explained in the chapter ‘A Reckless Request’ by the author.

Long ago, Sita had heard from a great sage that the center of happiness was not the world but the heart. Whenever and wherever your heart stabilizes, that is when and that is where happiness is born. Since Sita’s heart was stabilized on Rama, Her happiness did not depend on where She was – Ayodhya or the jungle.

These are my favorite lines from the book and are so true to the present context that happiness is not outside rather inside us. And we have to discover it!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this immensely insightful book whose strength lies in its simplicity and lucid writing. This book is like a priceless gem which is to be preserved, conserved and read again and again to absorb its deep teachings in our lives.


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