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Book: Vengeance of Ravana by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-7)

“The rishi rose, spinning, as perfectly straight as a pillar – a few scant inches to any side would mean terrible wounds… He seemed to hover in mid-air for a brief fraction, like a hummingbird working at its nest, then….shot out like the yawning pincers of  stone crab Bharat had once seen at the moment it closed on its prey.”

— Chapter 3, Kaand 1, Vengeance of Ravana

That was rishi Valmiki on a visit to Ayodhya, showing his prowess when challenged by the gatekeepers/ security

Vengeance of Ravana

Title Vengeance of Ravana
Series Volume-7 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker

NOTE: Please read the reviewer’s opinions on the whole series here.

The Story in Book-7

The story is set in that period after decimation of Lanka and Rama’s return from his exile, but before Sita is banished. (I am not sure whether this part of the story is based on older versions of the Ramayana or it is a mainly a creation of Banker’s fertile imagination.)

In a dream/ nightmare Rama sees that Ravana is back. Rishi Valmiki (who is acknowledged as the original author of the Ramayana) visits Ayodhya with news of impending bad times. The city is attacked by rakshasa Kala-Nemi who was interned in the dungeons of the city. Soon after, Ayodhya is attacked by the armies and nobles of other Aryan kingdoms, led by Atikya (a son of Ravana) and Mandodari (Ravana’s wife).

At the gates of Ayodhya, there is a lot of drama, with many people getting into a ‘stasis’/ ‘freeze-frame’/ ‘statue’ mode so that a few others can take the centre-stage and show their moves, or make their speech. During one such exchange between Atikya/ Mandodari and Sita, Atikya puts a new spin to Sita’s parentage (you will have to read the book to know the new spin).
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