Ramayana Thoomanigal – Vaanati Publishers, 23, Deenadayalu Street, T. Nagar, Chennai 600017 – Contact 24342810, 24310769 - Rs. 495.
A. Krishnan has culled out 12 characters from Ramayana and discusses at length what makes them special. Based on Valmiki Ramayana, the book takes up for analysis, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Dasarata, Kaikeyi, Hanuman, Sugriva, Ravana, Guhan, Vibishana and Kumbakarna.
Rama’s integrity, the unwavering commitment with which he fulfils his father’s wish, respect for his parents have all been covered from different angles. The author, grandson of the illustrious Madurantakam Swachandam Srinivasacharya, invests it with new meaning and Rama Gita especially is interesting. Sita shines as the wife for whom spouse’s word is final.
Krishnan has happily borrowed Andal’s phrase for the title and says in his preface that the characters deserve the description. The book can be viewed as an extension of ‘Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam’ – the author’s work in English. “Written in simple English, it was a narration of the epic. Here, I have indulged in extensive commentary, armed with the knowledge I have gleaned from my forefathers, who were Sanskrit scholars,” observes the former banker.