Vol. 5, Issue 4 (2019)
Ashok K Banker’s The Prince of Ayodhya: Chronicling the Events of the Ramayana
Author(s): Rajni Singhal
Abstract: The original Ramayana, a classic tale of war between absolute Good and Evil, written 3,000 years ago by Valmiki, has a simple, long and intriguing storyline, which still resonates. It is permeated with messages of life and also fantasy material which are appealing and irresistible in their own way. It is perhaps because of these quotients, the epic, Ramayana has inspired different versions at different times in its long life. Ashok K. Banker has also recreated the Ramayana in his books--Prince of Ayodhya, Siege of Mithila, Demons of Chitrakut, Armies of Hanuman, Bridge of Rama, King of Ayodhya, Vengeance of Ravana, Sons of Sita, Prince of Dharma, Prince of Ayodhya, Prince in Exil: Demon of Chitrakut, Prince at War, King of Dharma: Vengeance of Ramayana of Sita, King of Ayodhya in which he traces the journey of Rama’s life from the Prince to King, his life as he grows from a prince to an exiled king-in-waiting to Maryada Purushottam Rama to a demi-god for all those around him. The present paper deals with Ashok Banker’s attempt of a different kind of operation on the Ramayana with special reference to his first book Prince of Ayodhya where the centre is prediction about Ayodhya, legendary capital of warriors and seers, which will soon be a wasteland of ashes and blood and only Rama, Prince of Ayodhya, can be a hope to prevent the onslaught of darkness. The paper focuses on how Banker chronicles the events of the Ramayana in Prince of Ayodhya, improvising many scenes and adding new motivations to create a more straightforward fantasy epic tale for modern readers everywhere.