The Forest of Enchantments by: Chitra Banerjee

Chitra Banerjee’s The Forest of Enchantments tells the story of one of the greatest epics in the Hindu religion: The Ramayana. This is the story of one of the most strongest, and revered woman of Hindu mythology- Sita. It is the story of a woman with unconditional loyalty and love, daughter of the earth, who was abandoned by her husband despite giving him her all. This epic is written from Sita’s point of view making it the “Sitayam”. This beautifully written story takes you through all the twists and turns of Sita’s life, from the most beautiful moments of her life to the worst.

One of the most endearing things about this book was the simplicity of the language used. Even though the language was so simple, the clarity of the author’s voice was something completely different. It was as if Sita herself was speaking. Even though the language used was so simple, the words and sentences seemed to fit like those words carried the burden of a million rocks. The words and emotions were so deep, I remember being just 10-15 pages in and I couldn’t stop reading the book. The simplest words carried the ability to convey the most powerful emotions which touch straight into a reader’s heart. Chitra Banerjee describes Sita as this fresh breath of innocence but at the same time she transforms her into a beautiful, mature and understanding woman.

Banerjee does a great job giving human characteristics to a godlike woman. She creates such situations where Sita is capable of anger, hatred and jealousy. The purity of Sita’s character is shown through the many instances of the feeling of triumph. She falls, and then gets back up again depicting her bare soul at a greater horizon. Along with anger, hatred and jealousy, Sita expresses the emotions of loyalty towards her parents, her husband and her sisters. This is what makes her character, and the Forest of Enchantments just like a real life experience. The Forest of Enchantments successfully teaches readers that yes, women do have the ability to love. However, no matter what the circumstances are they are equally able to retain their identities and destroy anyone and anything which may harm their loved ones.

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