Saga of Reading Kamba Ramayanam….! (Part 2) The Tale Unfolds………

Kamba Ramayanam has six kaandams …….

Like I had written in my previous post, I came to read the Kamba Ramayanam, to escape from some disapproval at my constant engagement with electronic trivia! I would have used the word garbage, but decided to go with the politer word.

The Kamba Ramayanam is actually ‘Srimad Kamba Ramayanam’ written by Pulavar E. Thirunavukkarasu in Tamil, my mother tongue, even though my usual reading tends to books and articles written in English.

Although I had been nurturing an unexplained fascination for Kamba Ramayanam, I had shied away from reading it, being extremely conscious of my limitations – I mean familiarity with the language, especially in the literary part of it.

This book is recommended for people with limited knowledge and claims to be in easy prose. So I ventured into reading this book, but treaded cautiously. The story of Ramayana is mostly known to many of us and this fact added to my comfort factor.

The story telling starts from Lord Rama’s birth, childhood, going to Ayodhya, time spent in the forest, meeting Guha, Sugriva and Hanuman, Vaali, Maruthi’s mission to Lanka, searching for and finally meeting Sita Devi, building RamaSethu, the actual war, destruction of Ravana’s Lanka, rescuing Sita Devi, etc.

These make up the six Kaandams which are the equivalent of chapters. This particular book has an additional kaandam – the seventh one viz. Uthara Kaandam by the renowned Tamil poet Ottakoothar. Normally this kaandam does not form part of Kamba Ramayanam.

The book takes you through 511 pages. To my utter surprise, I got involved in this book and was eager to read as much as possible, sometimes even sitting with the book at unexpected hours, many a times sacrificing TV shows like Adaalat, CID, etc. (I can spot a mischievous smile on the lips of my LS, who has a fervent aversion for them!)

When Lord Rama asks Sita Devi to undertake ‘Agni Pariksha’, it hits you hard as you genuinely feel that it is unfair to the womenfolk. Why should women undergo such hardships just to satisfy men folks’ EGO?

Lord Rama’s asking Sita Devi to undertake ‘Agni Pariksha’ evokes an automatic revulsion in us, as we genuinely feel that it is positively unfair to women. Why should only women have to subject themselves to these acts, just to prove their purity? Shouldn’t the same rule apply equally to men?

Were these ‘Parikshas’ intended to satisfy the male ego? Barbarious, isn’t it?

But aren’t we forgetting the times when these events took place?

Our present day practices too, even the ones that seem reasonable to us today, may be scoffed at by future generations!  

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Published by Musings of a GO

I am an engineer who worked in almost all branches of the Telecom Department of Government of India. I consider myself to be cool and collected at all times, myself being the operative word .....! I am a homebird and love being with my family. I miss my loving wife of more than five decades ..... she left for her Heavenly abode two years ago.

3 thoughts on “Saga of Reading Kamba Ramayanam….! (Part 2) The Tale Unfolds………

  1. While practices make sense mostly only in the context of the times when they occurred, patriarchy is nothing new. Clearly it was the norm even back then. And unfortunately, it continues to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

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