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The Forest of Enchantments

I just finished reading this book, the Sita’s version of Ramayana, Sitayana if you will.
I am overwhelmed, with strong thoughts running around in my head and heavy feelings taking over my heart. I never knew it would feel like this, reading a familiar story that I have known whole of my life. To be honest, I didn’t like it very much earlier. I understood it ofcourse, but¬† that didn’t help.
For wasn’t it just a tale of injustice done to a woman who had never done anything wrong in her life?
Wasn’t it a bad example set so that society could just mock women and do with them as they wished?
I even remember my own mother telling me that women had to be careful, because the society didn’t hesitate once when they accused Sita, or asked her to give an agni pariksha( A fire trial). Sita! Who has¬†always been considered a godess in human form!

 

But reading this book changed a lot of those feelings. It transformed the way I looked at Sita.For, I too considered her meak nature a sign of weakness just like the author did before she wrote this story.
But her sacrifice at the end of the story isn’t a sign of weakness or shame. It is a stand against the injustice that has been done to women since the beginning of time.

This book is well written, combining all of the stories we heard and watched as Ramayana. This isn’t a story about war. This is about Sita and the author has done a wonderful job of highlighting the Stories of all the women that Sita and Ram came across, thus shedding a light at life of women in Traita yug. Be it Kaikayi, who exiled them to hardships of forests. Or Urmila, the beloved sister of Sita who slept in a trance for 14 years so that her husband could stay awake.Mandodari, Sabari, Ahalya and even Surpnakha got to say their piece.

It was refreshing to see it all with a female perspective. At a point, I wished there was more of it in the original story.I would recommend this book to everyone who wishes to see a different side of this familiar tale.

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