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India, 3400 BCE.

“She is the warrior we need.
The goddess we await.
She will defend Dharma.
She will protect us”.

Title: Sita: Warrior of Mithila
Author: Amish
Genre: Mythological fiction
Publisher: Westland
Price: 175 INR
Pages: 376 (Paperback)

So, I began reading this book given by a friend in the late evening breeze and enveloped it in three sittings. I read it with the speed tantamount to any sixth-generation fighter jet. The whole book delivered quietly an overwhelming adventure and acumens from the life of Sita and the best part was the way Amish portrayed the character of Sita as a fierce warrior which is again exemplary for the present context of time.

Sita Warrior of Mithila by Amish Tripathi is the succeeding book of The Ram Chandra Series. It falls under the genre of fiction mythology book. The cover page of the book is beautifully designed by sideways having an image of Sita in action holding a stick in an attack mode. The vibrance of orange and yellow are brilliantly used on the covers. Sita, Warrior of Mithila, delivers you a curious and thought-provoking storyline, right from the start of the book.

My favorite Quote from the Book – The best-laid plans always have a tendency to get spoiled. There have always been surprises. (Para 5, Page 335)

It lays Sita’s remarkable upbringing and the prominence of the wisdom imparted by her mother, Sunaina. Her character is indeed pragmatic, maintaining a proper balance with ways of Ram. Yet, I don’t appreciate Sita’s thoughts in the story that led her to marry Ram. This is the story of Sita as an individual from her birth till the point where Raavan kidnaps her. Also, the banter between Sita and Bharat about the Masculine and Feminine ways of life is very well narrated and stimulating.

When I began with the book, it withdrew the dint like a regular story of Sita’s background, but when it reached the point where she was chosen to lead the Vayuputras and Malayaputras in a war towards Raavan, I sat up straight in my place, enthralled and silently applauding Amish Tripathi, for envisaging such a different side of the celebrated woman.

The author doesn’t victimize Sita. He portrays Lady Sita a strong, dutiful and woman of wisdom that certainly enabled Sita for the title of Warrior.

It shows Sita in an entirely different light to how we have always supposed her. It takes you beyond her veil of beauty, poise and her loyalty towards her husband. Since the beginning of time, Sita has been celebrated only as an ideal wife, one who blindly follows her husband, even stands a character test to the world by immolating herself. But Amish’s Sita is not the typical bechari Sita we know.

This book takes you through the making of Sita as a warrior and an able leader. It let loose the potential of a woman not just to be part of a better society but the building of it as well. However, the most captivating piece of art that appeals to me is how handsomely and intricately he sews small beads of contemporary societal concerns and issues within the story. Winding the delicate fabric of an epic it and then lettering down to suit the modern times is a definitely a challenging task.

I was on an adrenaline rush with tension building throughout the book. The in-house tussles in the tribes, Raavan’s economic exploitation of India, especially the way the enmity between Vishwamitra and Vashistha is used. The coils were at right places some of which are still unanswered. The book sets an impressive stand for the upcoming books in the series.

There are few examples of the current happenings of World in the book. Imaginably the most prevalent interpretation of Ramayana today looks at the characters as epitomes. Protagonists are ideal “whites” and antagonists are ideal “black”.

I say it is an assortment of modern society into an epic. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. While I have nothing against his view of Ramayana, it is not the only way. There is much more to Ramayana. The first three books will tell the story till Sita’s abduction through the POV of the three main characters: Ram, Sita, and Ravan. This surely follows an unconventional way. That being said, the story is engaging, the characters are the usual variegated bunch.

If you are open to a different take on mythology along with a touch of modernity then Amish’s books are absolutely worth a read. They don’t epitomize the Epics; they are much more, with insightful messages that lie strewn across the storyline.

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