REVISITING: Three plays of GIRISH KARNAD in Kannada!

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His first radio play


Tughlaq is a play set during the rule of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. It was first staged at The National School of Drama! It is a 13 scene play is also a commentary on the politics of those times! The rule of the ruler was an abject failure as in spite of having a sensitive heart; he took the wrong decision at the wrong time. He changes the STATE capital twice! He had great visions of unity in India but only ideally! The play uses lots of symbolism like chess, Aziz, Azam, prayer, Python, Daulatabad, rose and vultures!


This play ran at THE VINOD DOSHI FESTIVAL in Pune! The play is both romantic, allegory between a King Cobra, a man, the flame, Rani, Appanna, Kurudavva, Kappanna, village elders and the crowd! The setting of the play is a ruined temple, where a man wakes to the motes from the moonbeam! He is trying to stay awake and narrates his story of the curse! A very interesting narration and the charm of the writing draws around you! He is a playwright and the narration is one of the most beautiful in world writing! The flames also have a voice of their own and they enter and narrate their own story! The story continues with miracles and the unexpected and such beautiful use of Indian mythology in the most simple language! Rani and Naga take the story forward!


The play was first written in Kannada and translated by Karnad in English. The word Agni is used with all Sanskrit connotations! The reference is to Maharshi Ved Vyas! He narrates the story of Rishi Bharadwaja's son Yavakrit in Adhyays 135 to 138! In the narration, the Pandavas are resting at Rishi Raibhya's ashram! They have been forced into exile for 12 years. After they lost with Yudhisthir's defect in the game of dice against Shakuni! Maharshi Lomesh comes who informs the eldest 62 Pandava, Yudhishthir about the sacredness of the Ashram! Maharshi Lomesh also narrates the story of Bhardwaj, Yavakrit, Raibhya, sons: Arvavasu and Paravasu! The narration is about the family relation between the two sages, the lust for fame and status, jealousy and more; also how Arvavasu achieves the rebirth of Yavakri with strict penance! Yavakri's legend is an instance of living a heroes life!

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