Most writers favour Raman in their interpretation of Valmiki’s original poem narrating the story of the epic battle between the virtuous hero and his nemesis, Ravanan. But this novel is about the turbulent journey of Angadan, who believes that Raman killed his father Vali against all principles of dharma. Angadan is acutely aware of the silent sufferings of women which find no expression in the Ramayana. In his view, Ram’s act of forcing his wife to undergo the fire-ordeal in the name of raja dharma is against all sense of justice and fair play embedded in the human heart. In this novel, Angadan is the solitary thinker who is able to see what the others are blind to or choose to ignore.
In The Vigil, the familiar rhythm of the original poem is disturbed by the touch of Angadan’s ascetic touch. It is a new beginning, new path, a new way of understanding the grand old story.
The Vigil by Sarah Joseph
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