Raavan - The Enemy of Aryavarta

Being an avid reader of Mythological stories and a fan of Amish Tripathi, this book was on top of my most anticipated books. After two years of gruesome waiting, I was relieved when the email from amazon brought the great news of book is about to get released. With so much expectation, I got this book, and it did met all of them.

This book is great in terms of detailing, character exploration, surprises and kept me hooked till the last page (Of Course it is Amish’s).I would say, the two years wait period is worth it. So here are my thoughts when I read this book. It is not a review in any way but some things I noticed in the book.

First, I am not happy with the change of title. The reason Author gave was not enough for me. Raavan, The Orphan would have made much sense than Raavan, The Enemy. When Ram and Sita was given neutral titles like Son and Warrior, why can’t Raavan be? Also in cover photo, both Ram and Sita had poses looking away from the scene and showing us their back. But in here, Raavan is looking you straight in the eye. What could be the reason?

That being said, let us dive straight into the book. I’ll start with the things I liked about the book.

1. Character Exploration of Raavan.

Raavan as we know is known to be a lot of things. He is a fierce warrior, a philosopher, a talented musician, sincere Devotee and a great Ruler. And on the other side, he is known as evil, relentless, and dark. This book touches all of this at some point. When reading Ram and Sita, I felt they met a little earlier in both books. There are abundant stories of Ram and Sita which wasn’t told. But this is rectified in Raavan. This book is about Raavan, Raavan and Raavan only. The depth of the character was explored in detail and with Amish detailing all the scenes, you really get to see Raavan in much closer action. Be ready for some sweet surprises.

2. The Brotherhood

When it comes to brotherhood, People always talk about Panch Pandava, Ram and Lakshman only. But Amish brought the untold story of Kumbha and Raavan. Kumbha was given a lot of exposure and he wasn’t overshadowed by his Mighty brother. This brother duo will steal your heart. I enjoyed every bit of their scene together. I have a brother and I can relate the fun we used to have.

3. Range of Emotions

When you read Ram and Sita, you will be in a smooth flight of emotions. But in Raavan, it is more turbulent. For a moment you will feel love, the next moment you will feel disgust. You will laugh by then you will be in fear. In many places, you will encounter multiple emotions in the same scene depending on the character you choose. There always will be an uncertainty of what you will encounter next.

4. Life lessons interwoven inside the story itself

The success of author is to convey the message without making much effort in convincing the reader. This is done brilliantly in Raavan. The usage of characters and the scene themselves will convince you. Without boring me with some random quotes, the book managed to impart some advice into my mind.

5. A Good Retelling

One of the strength of Amish is to connect the modern day science with Mythology. Calling the Deviastra as missile, magical power of arrows as complex chemical compounds, adding engineering into the Mysterious Flying Vimaan of that time are convincing. The reason Amish gave for the myth of Kumbhakarna sleeping for a long time is witty. Though the stories is known for centuries and have been told over thousand times, you will still enjoy the book.

6. Greater amount of Detailing

Be it the Lavish Palace of Lanka or a small hut of Mithila, the detailing is done superbly. You can easily visualise the scene in your mind. The dress, the jewellery, the tone of speech, the actions of characters are mentioned which adds a lively texture to the scene. Well this is expected when you write a Mythological story and you have it here as well.

There are many more things to look out for, but that I am leaving to you read and explore the book. Coming back to the things which I don’t like about the book.

1. Faster time travelling.

Agreed. When you have to cover an entire lifetime in a short span, you tend to skip some portions. But here I felt like, the timeline was jumping around than a transition. It was like hopping here and there.

2. Raavan is invincible

Raavan even though talented, wouldn’t have success at all the things he do. It looked like Raavan haven’t suffered a bit to build a vast and flourishing empire. This I’m a bit skeptical.

3. Missing links

Not to give spoilers, I am stopping with “The book has some missing links”. When you are finish reading it, we can discuss.

To conclude, let me put it in this way.

Raavan is smart and arrogant as Tony Stark, Tireless and fighting as Captain America, Powerful and Funny as Thor, Talented and skillful as Natasha, Gigantic and Deep as Hulk, A great ruler as Black Panther, Intelligent and Mysterious as Doctor Strange, Stupid enough as Quill to do things for Love (Oops that’s a spoiler?). And above all, he is ruthless, ravage and evil as Thanos.

Give it a read and wait for The End Game!