3400 BCE. INDIAAyodhya is weakened by divisions. A terrible war has taken its toll. The damage runs deep. The demon King of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. Money is sucked out of the empire. The Sapt Sindhu people descend into poverty, despondency and corruption. They cry for a leader to lead them out of the morass. Little do they appreciate that the leader is among them. One whom they know. A tortured and ostracised prince. A prince they tried to break. A prince called Ram.He loves his country, even when his countrymen torment him. He stands alone for the law. His band of brothers, his Sita, and he, against the darkness of chaos.
Will Ram rise above the taint that others heap on him? Will his love for Sita sustain him through his struggle? Will he defeat the demon Lord Raavan who destroyed his childhood? Will he fulfil the destiny of the Vishnu?
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Nilanjana sighed. She wasn’t even sure if the child would be a boy. But she wouldn’t risk the merest flagging of her mistress’ spirits. She administered some herbal pain relievers to the queen and bided her time. Ideally, the doctor wanted the birth to take place before midday. The royal astrologer had warned her that if the child was born later, he would suffer great hardships throughout his life. On the other hand, if the child was born before the sun reached its zenith, he would be remembered as one of the greatest among men and would be celebrated for millennia.
Nilanjana cast a quick glance at the prahar lamp, which measured time in six-hour intervals. The sun had already risen and it was the third hour of the second prahar. In another three hours it would be midday. Nilanjana had decided to wait till a half hour before noon and, if the baby was still not born,
she would go ahead with the surgery.
Kaushalya was stricken with another bout of dilatory pain. She pursed her lips together and began chanting in her mind the name she had chosen for her child. This gave her strength for it wasn’t an ordinary name. The name she had picked was that of the sixth Vishnu.
‘Vishnu’ was a title given to the greatest of leaders who were remembered as the Propagators of Good. The sixth man to have achieved this title was Lord Parshu Ram. That is how he was remembered by the common folk. Parshu means axe, and the word had been added to the name of the sixth Vishnu because the mighty battle axe had been his favourite weapon. His birth name was Ram. That was the name that reverberated in Kaushalya’s mind.
Ram… Ram… Ram… Ram…
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About Amish Tripathi
Amish is an IIM (Kolkata)educated, boring banker turned happy author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up a fourteen-year-old career in financial services to focus on writing. He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions.
Amish has most recently written the Shiva Trilogy (The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas & The Oath of the Vayuputras), which have sold over a million copies in the Indian subcontinent since 2010. The books that he plans to write in the future are also in the areas of mythology & history.
Amish lives in Mumbai with his wife, Preeti and son, Neel.