App alert: The Ramayana is now available in small, easy audio bytes

App alert: The Ramayana is now available in small, easy audio bytes

It’s a form of audio Wikipedia with one theme — the Ramayana.

An app launched in July by The Mind Network (TMN) lets folks scroll by tales from the huge epic by theme, interval, character or place. Listen to sections on the forests, the idea of purity, the Vanar Sena or the Kingdom of Lanka.

“Our aim is to introduce the timeless, universal tale of good versus evil to those who don’t already know it,” says Bhuwan Arora, 30, a software program engineer from Faridabad and founding father of TMN. “My father, Ved Prakash Arora, inspired me. He is a deeply spiritual person who loves Valmiki’s Ramayana. At some point, I realised I had not read the text myself. In this day of bite-sized information, it struck me that not many my age might read it. And so, amid the lockdown, I decided to present the ancient text in a new format.”

The epic is retold as 450 tales, every lower than a minute lengthy.

“I wanted people to think more deeply about the epic, develop their own perspective,” Bhuwan says. “The complexities, which have resulted in over 300 versions, are after all a big part of what make The Ramayana an epic.”

The app relies on the 2 most acquainted variations — the one by the sage and Sanskrit poet Valmiki, written someday between the first and fifth centuries BCE, and the one by the 17th century CE saint and poet Tulsidas. “To help with research, 30 interns were hired. Some, with backgrounds in dramatics and the theatre, helped the audio narrations too,” says undertaking lead Brinda Singh.

Add-ons reminiscent of footage of great locations from the epic as they’re right this moment, and character research of the folks featured within the epic, provide readers and listeners recent perception too, and goal to spotlight The Ramayana’s overarching themes of responsibility to 1’s fellowmen, loyalty, righteousness.

One of probably the most memorable tales for me was that of Sabari, an outdated lady who waits for Rama all by her life, and when he lastly arrived at her doorstep, tastes a fruit — there are lots of totally different variations of this half — after which presents it to him,” says N Jacintha, 23, an MBA pupil from Hyderabad who assisted with analysis for the Ramayana app. Lakshmana was offended by this, however Rama understood that she meant no disrespect and wished to make sure that what she supplied him was recent and candy. It symbolises to me what true devotion appears like.

The app accommodates a complete of 15 hours of audio content material. Some tales are free; a one-time charge of Rs 250 allows entry to the remaining.

“It is important to retell the Ramayana in whatever way is best suited to the times in which we live. That way it can be introduced to the youth,” says Hari Ram Mishra, assistant professor on the School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. “I enjoyed the app. But I’d suggest the voices be more emotional to have greater connect with the listener.”