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The Ramayana
A great Indian epic retold by a great Indian writer
R.K. Narayan The Ramayana : R.K. Narayan : Vision Books : Book (ISBN: 8170944945)
Pages: 176
Price: Rs. 250
Format: Paperback
ISBN13/10: 9788170944942 / 8170944945
Availability: Yes
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For centuries, Indians have held Rama to be the perfect man: unfailingly noble, utterly poised, fearless and strong, wise, compassionate and free from anger, a just ruler and an implacable foe of all wrongdoers. Countless others worship Rama as an avatar, a human incarnation of Lord Vishnu born to vanquish the forces of evil and establish a kingdom of perfect justice and harmony upon the earth. The Ramayana, one of lndia's greatest epics, lovingly unfolds the story of Rama's life. Ever since its original composition in Sanskrit by Valmiki—possibly over 3,000 years ago—it has grown to be an all-pervasive and hugely-loved part of Indian life and ethos. Millions read it, re-read it, and revere it as a scripture. It is the perennially favourite bedtime story for children. And each autumn, Rama's victory over the mighty demon-king Ravana is celebrated through plays and dance-dramas in cities, towns and villages across the land. There is much festivity: crackers are exploded, sweets distributed and all houses are lit up in tribute to Rama.

R.K. Narayan's Ramayana is inspired by a Tamil-version of the epic written by an eleventh century poet, Kamban. It offers the reader a compact yet unhurried retelling of this great epic, and succeeds marvellously in evoking its literary lustre which has shone undimmed through the centuries.


"An enjoyable retelling ... the main story line comes out very well"  Joseph Campbell

"His appeal is timeless and very, very great"  Time Out

"A voice of great distinction ..., Narayan is a trustworthy guide to the heart and mind of India."  Sunday Times, London

R.K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan (1906-2001) is widely regarded as one of India's most distinguished English language writers. His books have been published in India, USA and UK and also been widely translated into several Indian and European languages. Narayan belongs among the earliest band of Indian novelists who drew the world’s attention to English writing from India.

Narayan was born in Madras in south India and educated in Mysore which became his home for over half-a-century. Through his many novels and short stories, he created the enchanting fictional world of Malgudi which captivated his readers and also millions of Indian television viewers who saw TV adaptations of several Malgudi stories.

During the course of his literary career, R. K. Narayan won numerous awards. In 1958, he won the Sahitya Akademi Award, India’s highest literary honour, for his novel, The Guide. In 1980, Narayan was awarded the AC Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature of which he was an honorary member. In 1982, he was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was also awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Leeds, Mysore and Delhi. In 1989, Narayan was nominated to the Upper House of Indian Parliament for a six-year term for his outstanding contribution to Indian literature. In 2000, a year before his death, he was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.

Apart from The Ramayana, Narayan also retold the other great Indian epic The Mahabharata, as well as select Indian legends in Gods, Demons and Others.

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