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The Buddha retold

india Updated: May 15, 2012 17:19 IST
PP Wangchuk
PP Wangchuk
Hindustan Times
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The Buddha retold. Yes, that is what Vilas Sarang, an educationist, has done; and in a manner that one can't but appreciate. The book, The Dhamma Man, is an account, through dialogues, of the Buddha and his life. Though fictionalised, the Buddha comes out clear and serene and true to the historical facts.

The novel projects the Buddha's early dilemma in life and then how he renounced his palace and princely comforts to seek riddance from suffering and be free forever. The Buddha the man as a prince and as husband was no weakling but a man of iron resolve. A man who could do and did what he wanted, foregoing all the comforts and luxuries of life that he could enjoy.

The Dhamma Man is narrated through dialogues and several characters take turns to let us know the Buddha's journey as a simple but resolute prince to be the enlightened one, and how and what kind of obstacles he had to undergo in the process. Apart from the characters telling us the historical facts, Sarang himself takes over and holds the centre stage of story telling.

I have only one point of criticism and that too may not be much of a valid case. Should authors trivialise and come out with fictional accounts of historically important people like the Buddha? Frankly speaking, if I were to take a stand, I would go with those who would say 'no problem.'