Yes. Beautiful thread as always really. And I also almost knew the choices of Lola and Janaki. Not that sure but after seeing their posts, I felt that if I was asked their choices, I could have rightly guessed. But it doesn't seem that easy in my case. I think about each kand and I think there are at least 5 out of 7 which I feel like naming it.
Balkand because of entire journey with Vishwamitra from Ayodhya to Taadkavan, Taadkavan to Aashram, Aashram to Mithila and Mithila to Ayodhya.
Ayodhyakand because of greatest of sacrifices of many and entire Bharatmilaap sequence starting from Bharat coming back from nainihaal till Keikei's meeting in Nandigram; Nishadraj & Kevat.
Aranyakand because of Shabari and meeting with sages and Ram's dharmsansthapan commitment taken; and very happy & exciting 'pure jagat ke liye kalyaankaari' 13 years (further elaboration reserved till the end of this post).
Kishkindhakand because of Ram-Hanuman milan, Vali's realization, teaching about friendship, teaching about smashaan vairaagya and then immediately temporary loss of concentration away from devotion due to means of entertainment and Sugreev's realization.
Sundarkand because of blessings of Ram-Sita to Hanumanji, Hanumanji's adventure (Most favourite kand supposedly in childhood like any other child), Ram-Vibhishan milan, Ram's anger on Samudra.
Yuddhakand because of Rameshwaram, Setubandhan, Ram's forgiveness to spies and his forgiving and peace loving attempts for Ravan, Sanjeevani booti adventure, Incarnation's major objective accomplished and devatas made happy, Reunion.
Uttarkand/(Uttarkand+LavKushkand) I have very little to write honestly because I have felt the events only a few times. On the contrary in stead of Ram-Sita story, I more like to see meeting with Manthara and Ram-Sita in Hanumanji's heart and then sequences after Lav-Kush catching the horse. But even those scenes I have seen very few times only in the serial.
If I am forced to choose any one of the above, then I will have to pick up the criteria that which part of the story I would like to go there and watch as spectator from the sky in Tretayug live if allowed that boon. Again a very tough choice because the bliss of Balkand, sacrifices of Ayodhyakand, realizations of Kishkindhakand and Hanumanji in Sundarkand, Ramrajyaabhishek in Yuddhakand/Uttarkand (I have just kept it like this because of RCM chapterization) but I would go for Aranyakand. A thought also came to my mind that I like all kands equally and I am neutral and indifferent. A thought also came to my mind that perhaps I like the kands exactly in the same order in which they are. But ultimately the choice dropped on the third one.
Aranyakand is the kand perhaps I like to watch almost every moment of with it (just the exception of moments of Sitaharan - when I was kid, I used to shut my eyes & ears or go out to some other room outside the TV room in Sitaharan scene.) It has got everything perhaps (same argument can also be given for every kand still I suppose if one really tries to find out). Union of the trio almost throughout, happy and yet active & challenging 13 years of life. I love it because of the sanyaas content in it. Chaaron ore se kalyaan. Graced, natural and automatic way of getting the sanyaasi independent/self dependent life (and that too still in the company of sahdharmachaarini/better half) as a fulfillment of social duty. Meeting with sages (Pyaase tak neer chale) continuously is like dream come true for me (whether I am in place of Ram or in place of Sharbhang/Sutikshna equally). Being Shabari myself is like dream come true for me. Being committed to sweep away the garbage of evil from the earth is like exciting feeling for me (Sab asuran ke naam ke dhari tarakas me teer, nayee disa me pag dharyo, karamveer, Raghuveer - mai praigya karta hun ki sari prithvi ko raakshason se vihin kar dunga - what a turning and telling moment impressed!!! - Paritraanaay saadhunaam, vinaashaay cha dushkritaam). Dharm ke rath par, Karm ke rath par, badh chale aage Ram dhanurdhar (The near and far picture of the trio - the impact of this song and Ram Lakhan Siya bhramat aranya make me feel - I want to go there only, I want to go there only - arre want to go kya, wahin par to hun aisa feel hota hai; bas baagh/sher aur raakshason se Ram hi bachaaye. .......Udhar Ram kartavya ke path par, badhte jaayen nirantar; karmveer ke liye nahi kuchh harsh vishaad me antar (Geeta). It has Karmyog. It has Bhaktiyog/Buddhiyog (Navadha bhagati and Navdha bhakti's gyan). It has Gyanyog/Karmsanyas yog. It has peace of Godavari shore when the trio meets Jatayu for the first time, constructs the cottage and Ram sits on his special sitting place and has talks with Lakshman about mind and intellect (Bhavuk hona ati sundar baat hai parantu bhaavna par gyan ka ankush yadi na rahe, to bhavna ke aavesh me kai baar bhul ho sakti hai). It has natural beauty of the forest (only green green comes in the mind apart from bhagva muni vesh). It has two incidents of gyani's/devotee's wait and Mukti (Sharbhang and Shabri). It has Hanumanji's meditating wait (may not be written but present like he was to act in Dwapar and Kali now). It has similar unwritten implicit wait of Vibhishan and ray of hope of meeting sparked (though with feeling of guilt and shame for his brother's act). It has naughtiness and playful teaser of Ram with Shoorpankha-Khar-Dushan (Krishna's/Vishnu's darshan in Ram of seedhisaadi bholibhali image). It has continued/continuous Lakshman's service and continuous shelter of Ram on him. It has Bharat's continued devotion and sacrifice and karma in Nandigram. It has Keikei's tapobhoomi and repent ongoing. It has Urmila-Kaushalya-Sumitra wait ongoing. Sacrifices of Ayodhyakand continued..... Seperation pain between Vishnu and Lakshmi also starts towards the end. It also has Sitamata's strength in Ashokvatika begun (First ghaans ka tinka scene). It has Jatayu's sacrifice. Ram's respect paid to him. Unity of soul in all creatures (Jatayu ki katha vibhinna yonion me aatmaa ki ektaa ko siddha karti hai). Respect paid by Ram to a bhilani. It just seems to be complete kand. 13 very quick years passed in the epic but every moment worth living with. Ye kand bahut hi chhota parantu atyant shikshaprad hai kyunki isi me Shri Ram ka us samay ke sabhi rishimunion se samaagam hota hai. Sharbhang muni ki katha ye siddha karti hai ki maanav yadi poorna karmyogi ho jaay to wo devataon se bhi ooncha ho jata hai. Devata swayam uske aage peechhe hath bandhe phirte hain. Aur yeh kand bhaktiras se bhi otprot hai. Kyun ki Shabari ki katha bhi isi me aati hai. That Ramanand Sagar's commentary is also my most favourite commentary. Jis desh me Ramayan gaayi jaati ho, aur jis desh me Bhagwan swayam jaa kar ek bhilni ke jhoothe ber kha kar apne aap ko kritaarth maante ho; us desh me aaj bhi jaati paati ke bhed ki baat mai sunta hun, to vishwaas nahi hota. Jo Ramayan ko maantaa hai, wo kabhi aisa nahi soch sakta. Wo kabhi aisa nahi kar sakta. Aisi meri maanyata hai. Aur apeksha bhi. Jai Ramji ki. I initially thought not to cast vote in this poll but just to write comment because I have neither read VR nor RCM fully but only parts (And also ideally we should become eventually indifferent about all of them). So my choice at the moment is based on serial only. Opinion in future may or may not change. But then I thought to vote looking at the pattern of voting so far. It is even even and well balanced voting (And I can guess and sense Ayodhyakand also to be coming and also can guess from whom ). So I decided to register the first entry in favour of Aranyakand and make the poll even more balanced. And how naturally in continuous flow of thoughts I could describe the kand with such a lengthy post!!!! I could have even more to write for it who knows (may be for all kands if I try perhaps but at least at the moment, the length of this post affirms my mind that my voting is probably correct).
Edited by ShivangBuch - 19 January 2011 at 11:17am