After spinning alternative tales around Hindu mythological characters like Shiva and Ram, Amish Tripathi's latest book Sita- Warrior of Mithila portrays the main female character of Ramayana in a stronger and braver role.
Written in a "multi-linear narrative", the second book in the Ram Chandra Series tells the story of Sita, the princess of Mithila, from long before she was born, leading to her life after getting married to Ram.
Offering Sita an identity of her own, Tripathi has developed the protagonist, which is different from her conventional portrayal as a coy and obedient wife of Ram, as she rises from an ill-tempered princess to a strong-headed warrior and military strategist.
Instead of focusing on her relationship with Lord Ram, Sita- Warrior of Mithila, Tripathi turns the spotlight on Sita's relationship with her mother Sunaina.
Her relationship with her sister Urmila also forms an important part of the narrative.
It gives a glimpse of Sita taking hold of the reins of Mithila when her father Janak gets occupied with spirituality.
Besides Sita, other female characters are also painted in colours of strength and valour.
Be it Samichi, who rises from the slums to take the position of a high-ranked chief in the male-dominated police force of Mithila, or Manthara, a powerful businesswoman taking revenge from Ram for the injustice done to her, each woman is independent and intense in her own right.
Vivid descriptions of the warfare and the battle scars make the narrative gripping.
Here's the blurb for Sita- Warrior of Mithila:
She is the warrior we need. The Goddess we await.
She will defend Dharma. She will protect us.INDIA, 3400 BCE.
India is beset with divisions, resentment and poverty. The people hate their rulers. They despise their corrupt and selfish elite. Chaos is just one spark away. Outsiders exploit these divisions. Raavan, the demon king of Lanka, grows increasingly powerful, sinking his fangs deeper into the hapless Sapt Sindhu.
Two powerful tribes, the protectors of the divine land of India, decide that enough is enough. A saviour is needed. They begin their search.
An abandoned baby is found in a field. Protected by a vulture from a pack of murderous wolves. She is adopted by the ruler of Mithila, a powerless kingdom, ignored by all. Nobody believes this child will amount to much. But they are wrong.
For she is no ordinary girl. She is Sita.
Continue the epic journey with Amish's latest - A thrilling adventure that chronicles the rise of an adopted child, who became the prime minister. and then, a Goddess.
Tripathi, who has planned four books in the current series, says that it was the new style of writing that took him so long to release the book.
Three of these books will simply tell the backstory of the three main characters -- Ram, Sita, and Raavan -- while the fourth will bring together all the narratives to a culmination. The first book was called Scion of Ikshvaku and centred around Ram, meaning that the next one will be based on Raavan.
"I have been inspired by a storytelling technique called hyperlink, which some call the multi-linear narrative. In such a narrative, there are many characters; and a connection brings them all together.
"The three main characters in the Ram Chandra Series are Ram, Sita, and Raavan. Each character has life experiences which mould who they are and their stories converge with the kidnapping of Sita. And each has their own adventure and riveting backstory," the author says.
(With PTI Input)