Saraswati's Intelligence: Book 1 of the Kishkindha Chronicles, by Vamsee Juluri
The first thought that comes to your mind, when you see the cover page of this book is Hanuman. For, a picture of a monkey is drawn on it. When we think of Hanuman we also think of Ram, because Hanuman was a great devotee of Ram.
Now, the surprising thing is that this book does not even touch the subject of Ram. It is solely based on the childhood life of Hanuman. This book talks about his childhood which is not even mentioned in most Ramayana versions. When you read this book, you understand what really happened in Hanuman’s life before he encountered Ram.
The book goes slow at first but picks up pace as it moves on.
Hanuman was born to Kesari and Anjana while Vali and Sugriva were born to sister of Kesari, Riksharaja in Kishkindha. Vali, Sugriva and Hanuman were fast and steady friends. One day while the three of them were having a race when Sugriva slipped. Hanuman was shocked because Sugriva had committed a “param dharma apachara”. You must be wondering what is a ‘param dharma apachara’? In Kishkindha spilling even a drop of blood was called param dharma apachara. A drop of blood was made of the sunlight of 108 leaves. It was considered a sacrilege to spill blood. Hanuman tried to clean Sugriva’s wound. In the meanwhile, Vali had lied to Kesari by telling him that Hanuman had jumped first when it was Sugriva. Hanuman and Sugriva were exiled from Kishkindha for touching blood.
Both started wandering from place to place and on their way, they met the great sage Vishwamitra. All the three of them together went to the land of the Ganeshas.
Vishwamitra sensed that something was wrong in the far north. Then, one day a group of northern Ganas had come. A Ganesha chief went out to receive them but none of the Northern Ganeshas even answered. What happens next is a big surprise.
The rest of the book talks about their adventures, how Vali went after the creature inside a cave. Sugriva went to help Vali. Sugriva came back alone. He announced that Vali had been led into a cave and would come out only after defeating the monster. The creatures had been defeated. Sugriva was crowned king in Vali’s absence.
This book has a suspense ending. The book is also one of the books in a trilogy and makes you want to read the other 2 books. So far, this has been the summary of the book. Now, I am going to tell my views.
The book concentrates more on the culture and habits of the Kishkindhan people. I found it very interesting it did not lead to the subject of Ram. The book leaves each chapter in suspense so if you want to know more you have to read the whole book. In the ending of this book I felt like I had to know what would happen in the 2nd book.
The style of writing attracts you. At the starting it was slow and I was not interested but, as I read more I got interested and that resulted in reading the whole book. It has been a nice experience reading this book and I hope the other two books in the trilogy give the same experience.
If you want to know more read this fantastic book By Vamsee Juluri to find out.
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