Sita: Warrior of Mithila – Amish Tripathi.
Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi are the two guys because of whom I started reading mythological fictions big time and have actually discovered some really fantastic books (Palace of Illusions and Karna’s wife). Shiva Trilogy (from Amish) was a fantastic read, no doubt, first being the best and second still was able to hold my interest unfortunately the third one didn’t work (wonders) but when I heard him writing another couple of books on Ramayan, I was excited. The prequel to this one (Sita) was “Scion of ikshvaku” was a good read I will say but the way he finished it and kept the readers hanging asking for more (a closure) which again unfortunately doesn’t come in the shape of Sita as this book exactly ends at the same point where the first one ended, how sad it is. Why? because he wants to make it a trilogy or may be a fourology or something. Sita for first is a drag just because he has to write the whole book on her character – he tries his level best to make it interesting which it isn’t. He has actually tempered so much with the Epic that it doesn’t even works like a fiction even for someone as easy to please as me who loves fictions. This was a complete disaster, although he has tried all the tricks in the trade to shatter the image of Sita I had in my mind but no ways I am going to remember this book six months down the line nor I will recommend it to anyone. Yes, he is definitely going the Chetan Bhagat way by writing a book which can be made into a superb action movie starring Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider minus leather plus cotton and replace guns with knives) as Sita as no one can do what his Sita does in the book, totally ROFL stuff this is.
How much liberty is too much in the name of fiction? that is one question that kept coming to my mind as I kept going forward as I am one of those people who would not leave a book half read, however tuff the book could be or whatever sort of disaster it may turn out to be. But this has some serious crap that I really need to name here like using the words like “Lady Sita” as if I am reading some western epic and then the characters will be mouthing the lines like “You got to do what you got to do”. Sita being five years elder then Ram was a revelation if thats true. He has actually made her a superb Warrior in his book and story, not only she is a perfect warrior but she doubles up as an Architect too. If thats not enough he actually lets her do a sort of Chariot race (Gladiator style). Vyomkesh the detective and his stories existed in the then era again was an eye opener of sorts for me (me poor unread soul). Hanuman happens to be Sita’s moohn bola brother of sorts and they knew each other prior to Ram developing a connection with the great Hanuman and it doesnt end here can you believe that? Do you remember why Ram, Lakshman and Sita go for 14 years exile? Amish has a different theory for it altogether. If Draupadi can be in love with Karn in a work of fiction why cant Raavan be in love and awe with Sita? He definitely can and so does Amish’s Raavan, he has feelings for Sita The Warrior. Shit just keeps getting deeper I tell you. And then they all keep calling the country “India” that was like a WHOA!! Did I read it correctly? Time was already invented as they calculate everything in hours like I will see you in half hour or may be an hour and a half later – my foot. Area names like Kerala, Mizoram, Colaba etc keep popping here there and everywhere. At one point of time imagine they actually go to a place called Mumbadevi the seven island city 🙂 I was so looking forward that he will call it Mumbai but he doesn’t.
But the best was when Sita meets Ram before marriage mind it and says somethings like “you have got to be joking” I felt like this was some NRI Sita he was talking about and she even says “I love you” to Ram before even she gets married to him. Bravo Amish Tripathi, this is the height of Fiction I should call it. There is this epic line I need to mention before I forget (the entire book) there comes a moment when someone says “Manthra is not interested in game of thrones”. Can you beat that? And you know what? Pushpak Viman was actually a 737 Aircraft which can bloody take 100 Lankans for a ride at a time with Raavan and his brother Kumbhakaran on board too. Amish had actually run out of the ideas I guess while writing this one as his detailing had such an uncanny resemblance to the scenic beauty of “Lord of the rings” that I just couldn’t believe it. I am sure I will not be the only person pointing this out, the caves, waterfalls, mountains and palaces etc. The similarity was so much that for once I though Mr. Frodo may pop out and ask where he should go to destroy the ring :). This is I guess one of the worst botched up version of an Epic that we all have loved at one point of time. He has made it a joke but yes a thrilling ride but pointless and I am not even looking forward to the final book of the series now which will be based on Raavan. That’s going to be another joke I guess as he is going to leave no stone upturned in making him a sort of a Hero. So if you have read this one already, do let me know how you liked it and if you haven’t, I guess you should stay away.
PS: I was furiously angry while composing the review and I unfortunately do not read again before posting, so please excuse if I have gone overboard.