Aubrey Menen’s place in the Indian English literary canon has largely been forgotten. Even in the rare, flattering mention, he’s described as a. Books by AUBREY MENEN. THE RAMA YANA. DEAD MAN IN THE SILVER MARKET. THE DUKE OF GALLODORO. THE BACKWARD BRIDE. Aubrey Menen’s Rama Retold was the first book to be banned in independent Ramayan scholars like C. Rajagopalachari dismissed Menen’s.

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Traditionalists would obviously be shocked by this book, and it was banned in India for a while. The reason I picked up this book was that Aubrey Menen, an Irish-Indian satirist, used to live until his death in in Trivandrum, the city where I grew up.

The Prevalence of Witches takes place in an uncivilized area of India which he calls ” Limbo “, possibly an homage to the work Limbo by Aldous Huxley whom he explicitly acknowledges in the book as one of the greatest writers of his time. From mendn point, Valmiki sticks around for the duration of the story, offering long, meben parables Menen’s own inventions, another notable deviation from the source text that force him to unlearn the ideas of morality that were passed on to him by the Brahmins, and question the very exercise of attempting to interpret and decipher the meaning of life itself.

Then one night, Menn attack’s Valmiki’s hermitage. Jun 28, Raul Marrero Sauveterre rated it really liked it Shelves: May Learn how and when to remove this template message.

Since the first two pass our comprehension, we must do what we can with the third. Now they are in doubt whether their wives are faithful or not. Medium Rare is a column on society, politics and history. The men are much chastened when they discover what they all have been up to — but wiser. Asked to give advice to writers, Mr. His efforts to ” secularise a religious book ” seemed like the natural course to take in the fledgling republic, but this endeavour, subrey to Menen himself, was nipped menn the bud by an uncertain Jawaharlal Nehru who was “afraid of being criticised.


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Learn more about Amazon Prime. The brothers assemble a coalition of local rulers, all with their own grievances against Ravana and attack Lanka. Want to Read saving….

But anyone who is interested in a more scholarly appraoch had better look elsewhere. Shirvan rated it it was ok Aug 19, Sita is a fabulous character, and Valmiki is awesome. There was a certain haste at the end to close the story without it dragging into auvrey of war explanations etc.

This implies that he can keep track of the story within only pages and does not have to focus on development of a lot of characters. For example, ramayanaa original Ramayana is supposed to be in an era called Satyug.

I would especially indicate the story of the Locust, and the story of the four fishermen as interesting philosophical rmayana in its own. I am hesitant to give more details on how the transition form Ramayana to stories narrated by Valmiki are beautifully sometimes ever sarcastically woven. Menen’s ramaayna of the classic Hindu epic The Ramayana is meant as a funny and readable version of the work, but devout Hindus were horrified by the liberties Menen took with a sacred text and it was banned in India for some years.

Those reviewers simply miss the point; the book is a satirical retelling, questioning elements of the values and world-view of traditional interpretations. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Luxman, hothead that he is, provokes Ravana and engages him in man-on-man combat in which Ravana manages ramaywna floor Luxman using an illegal chariot move. Sep 18, Emily rated it really liked it.

The Ramayana as Told by Aubrey Menen by Aubrey Menen

Nobody in the great epic kenen spared. Priyanka Ramprasad rated it liked it Dec 08, Read reviews that mention english version version of the ramayana menen ancient retelling valmiki important satire apparently biting elsewhere entirely faithful hinduism readable reviewers taken versions. Ramayana, 35th Anniversary Edition.

Thus the book was unceremoniously banned from being imported into India it was originally published in England inand the ban is upheld to this day. Menen’s observations certainly come from being extremely well read but there’s a tough, reasonable sense of morality that takes primacy over any bookish learning.


In the introductory passage he positions his re-telling as an attempt to wrestle the grand narrative away from the claws of the Brahmin orthodoxy, under whose purview, he felt, the story had been distorted beyond belief. Yes, a different title could be less misleading and more considerate. Dasaratha himself is a dissolute and lecherous old man, and Rama is an earnest and well-meaning, but rather naive and none-too-bright young man, given to noble gestures and grand sounding sentiments, the meaning of which he himself does not fully grasp.

Return to Book Page. Did she really mean to kill herself. Ra,ayana read as a satire, it is an enjoyable read with plenty of thought-provoking points throughout. The Indo-Irish author Aubrey Menen, on the other hand, retells the epic in a modern and accessible ramayanw that distills it all down to mostly just comedy, while getting rid of such supernatural effects as heroic monkeys and evil demons.

The characters are all apparently avatars for the various qualities they possess–loyalty, chastity, etc. There is one moment in the book where Rama realises aubre he has been made a fool of and robbed of his right to inherit and rule the kingdom.

In this I think he is successful and this is what makes this little prose version such a pleasure to read. The characters are all apparently avatars for the various qualities they possess–loyalty, chastity, etc.

The Ramayana as Told by Aubrey Menen

I gave the 3 star rating because Amazon won’t let me post this review otherwise! This was the only version I could find at my college library, but it has been changed a lot from the original. God, human folly, and laughter. He is a master of the stealthily placed landmine: My only major gripe against this book was the fact that it didn’t even mention Hanuman, who is my favorite character in all of Southeast Asian Mythology.

As a result he was ruined, exiled, and disinherited: