Since it was necessary for her to earn a living, she began working as a nurse and cook general housekeeper for the bedridden wife of a certain Dr. Raghunath Karnad, a doctor in the Bombay Medical Services. Some five years later, and while the first wife was still alive, Krishnabai and Dr. Raghunath Karnad were married in a private ceremony.

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Act 2 Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Hayavadana, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness The Mind vs.

The Body Metatheatre and Storytelling Summary Analysis At the beginning of the performance, a mask of Ganesha a Hindu god with the head of an elephant and the body of a boy is brought onstage and placed onto a chair in front of the audience, and a puja is done. Right away, it is established that the play will be unique in several ways. Because Karnad wrote the play partly as a reaction against Western theatrical conventions, he begins by placing the audience directly within the Indian culture and religion that permeate the play.

He comments that Ganesha may seem to be an imperfect being because of his hybrid state, but that his completeness is simply unknowable to mortal beings.

The Bhagavata introduces a main theme within the play: hybridity. Ganesha is the first of many beings with a mismatched head and body to appear in the play. He first introduces the setting, the kingdom of Dharmapura. He then introduces the two heroes, Devadatta and Kapila. Devadatta, who is fair and handsome, is the son of a Brahmin and is a highly intellectual poet.

Active Themes At that moment, an actor screams in terror, running onstage. Only the musicians and audience are there. The actor explains that he was hurrying on his way to perform when he had to go to the bathroom. With nowhere to go, he sat by the side of the road, when a voice told him not to do that. He attempted to go again, but the voice once again chastised him. He looked up to find a talking horse in front of him. Download it! The Bhagavata does not believe the actor and tells him to get into costume and makeup.

The actor shows the Bhagavata his shaking hands, saying that he is too terrified to perform or fight with a sword. The Bhagavata has no choice but to send him back to make sure that there was no talking horse. The actor reluctantly goes. The fear that the actor feels toward the talking horse reinforces the idea that the Bhagavata had introduced with the ritual: that hybrid beings are beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.

Thus, the Bhagavata sends the actor back to make sure that no such hybrid being actually exists. Active Themes The Bhagavata once again tries to return to his story, but the actor rushes back on, crying that the creature is coming. The Bhagavata reasons that if the actor is so frightened, they should try to hide the creature from the audience.

Accordingly, two stage hands hold up a curtain. At that moment, the creature Hayavadana enters and stands behind the curtain. The audience hears the sound of someone sobbing. The Bhagavata orders the stage hands to lower the curtain. Eventually, Hayavadana is revealed in his full form: half-horse, half-man. The entrance of Hayavadana makes use of a technique traditionally used in Indian yakshagana theater. Here, however, the technique is used for comedic effect, as Hayavadana does not wish to be seen and his head keeps popping out of the curtain.

This is a prime example of Karnad using regional theatrical traditions but giving them a modern update. Active Themes The Bhagavata remains in disbelief and chides Hayavadana for trying to scare people with a mask. Active Themes The Bhagavata asks Hayavadana who he is, and what brought him to this place.

He explains that his mother was a princess, and when she came of age she was meant to choose her own husband. When the prince of Araby arrived on his great white stallion, she fainted. Her father decided that this was the man to marry her, but when the princess woke up, she insisted she would only marry the horse.

Active Themes Hayavadana continues his story, saying that no one could dissuade his mother from her decision, and so she and the horse had fifteen years of happy marriage. One morning, the horse turned into a Celestial Being. He had been cursed to be born a horse by another god, on the condition that after fifteen years of human love he could regain his divine form.

Thus, he cursed her to become a horse herself. She ran away happily, and Hayavadana was left behind as a product of their marriage. He wonders how he can become a complete man without a complete society. The Bhagavata here foreshadows that in each of the plot lines, the head wins out over the body, though not always with satisfactory results.

Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations The Bhagavata suggests that Hayavadana go to various temples and try to make a vow to a god. Hayavadana says that he has tried everything, but the Bhagavata thinks of one more temple he might try: that of the goddess Kali.

He says that thousands of people used to flock to her temple, but people stopped going because they discovered that she granted anything anyone asked. Hayavadana and the actor set off for the temple. The Bhagavata returns to his introduction concerning the mind and the heart as he describes what is about to unfold for the audience.

The Bhagavata only describes the first half of the story that he is about to tell, suggesting that he is not in complete control of the story even as he is its narrator. This is corroborated later, when he seems surprised by the actions of various characters. The chorus is a tradition borrowed from ancient Greek theatre that Karnad is integrating with other theatrical conventions from other cultures. Karnad continues to set up the opposition between the mind and the heart with masks of opposing colors and essentially opposite descriptions.

The masks also remind the audience that they are watching a play, and will become an important device later when the men exchange their masks. Devadatta is distracted and responds that he was working. Devadatta tries to convince him that this girl is especially important to him and rattles off poetry about her, but Kapila interrupts and finishes his thought for him, demonstrating how many times Devadatta has repeated these sentiments.

Devadatta becomes angry with Kapila for not taking his feelings seriously, and questions his friendship. Kapila affirms that he would die for Devadatta, jumping into a well or walking into fire. The initial exchange between Devadatta and Kapila hints at their eventual conflict and rivalry over Padmini, but it also continues to set up their character dichotomy: Kapila goes to the gymnasium to wrestle, while Devadatta works on his studies.

Devadatta also rattles off classical poetry while Kapila makes fun of him. Kapila instead prefers to put his own language about his loyalty in terms of the physical suffering he would endure. Active Themes Devadatta, convinced that his friend actually does understand him, tries to explain his love further.

When he begins to reveal his feelings more fully through new poetry, Kapila eventually realizes that this girl must be particularly special. Devadatta is upset because he believes she is beyond his reach, and vows that if he were to marry her, he would sacrifice his arms and his head to the gods. Devadatta tells him that he had followed her home from the market the previous evening, so he knows that she lives somewhere in Pavana Veethi.

The only thing Devadatta remembers about the house is that it had an engraving of a two-headed bird at the top of the door frame. Kapila goes off immediately to find her house and discover her name. Kapila departs instantly, acting before thinking. The two-headed bird on the knocker signifies the love that Padmini will eventually feel for both men simultaneously. Active Themes Kapila goes to Pavana Veethi, the street of merchants. He passes many enormous houses, searching for the one that has the two-headed bird.

When he finds the right house, he knocks on the door to try and find out who lives there. When the girl named Padmini answers the door, he is immediately love-struck. Padmini asks him what he wants, outwitting him as he tries to come up with reasons why he is there. She asks him if his eyes work, and then asks why, if he knew which house he wanted, he was peering at all the doors. She refuses to get the master of the house for him, or her father or brother, and Kapila is left in a desperate state as he tries to avoid revealing why he has knocked on the door.

This scene is a modern take on a common trope in Indian theater and storytelling in which a man goes to woo a woman. This adds to the assemblage of different elements from Indian culture that Karnad infuses into this play. However, Karnad puts a twist on this conventional device by having the woman outwit the man, instead of the other way around.

As Kapila falls in love with Padmini, the love triangle and with it the main conflict of the play is established. Active Themes Kapila eventually asks Padmini if she knows of Devadatta.

When he leaves, Kapila says to himself that Padmini really needs a man of steel, and that Devadatta is too sensitive for someone as quick and sharp as she is. The struggle between the head and the body really begins from this moment. He gets a strong response from Padmini, foreshadowing the trouble that will arise from her attraction to him. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations The Bhagavata explains that a match between Padmini and Devadatta had no obstacles because both families were of high status: her family was very wealthy, while his family was very intellectual.

They are married quickly and the Bhagavata explains that the friendship between the two of them and Kapila continues to be strong. Karnad does not give the audience a scene between Padmini and Devadatta before they are married, and builds on the theme he has set up by providing a very logical explanation for the reason that the two get married.

Thus, in the conflict of head vs. Active Themes The plot skips forwards six months. Padmini is pregnant and she, Devadatta, and Kapila are taking a trip to Ujjain. Devadatta reveals that he is he is nervous about her traveling while pregnant, and she in turn teases him that he is so protective of her that one might think she was the first woman to ever become pregnant. She comments that she only has to stumble for Devadatta to act like she has lost their child. Devadatta becomes very upset at this kind of teasing.

Active Themes As they talk, Devadatta reveals his jealousy of Kapila and of the attention Padmini gives him. He thinks that she drools over him, and was unhappy when she invited him to the house when Devadatta wanted to read a play to her, because when Kapila arrived there was no chance of reading the play.

Padmini asks if Devadatta is jealous of Kapila, which Devadatta adamantly denies. The rivalry between the two men becomes explicit for the first time as Padmini suspects that Devadatta is jealous of Kapila.


Hayavadana Summary by Girish Karnad

Unfortunately, most people are not aware of the spell bounding plays written by Karnad in Kannada language. Mann used mock-heroic tone to tell the story, whereas Karnad focuses on the incompleteness, twisting relations, humanity and the dark nature of humans to tell the story. However, there is not much seriousness that one could observe in the play and everything goes as if every occurrence is normal. Hayavadana is written in two acts with the involvement of Bhagavata who is the commentator to the actions done in the play. In the verses, the narrator talks of the incompleteness of God and declares that man is not wise enough to comprehend what is complete and what is incomplete! He says that people should accept God no matter the shape one visualizes Him. Bhagavata introduces the place and setting, which are announced as the city of Dharmapura ruled by the King Dharmasheela.


Girish Karnad – Hayavadana – Summary & Analysis

The play also deals with woman emancipation. Padmini gives preference to her sexual desires and gets an opportunity to remain with both the persons she loves though fails to fulfil her desire the mind of her husband and the body of her lover. Puja is done. He tells an anecdote of two best friends namely Devadatta man of mind and Kapila man of the body. Upon asking, he tells that while he was defecating, a horse taunted him by talking in a human voice.


Girish Karnad

Togal The secularism of Bollywood. Hayavadana is a masterpiece creation of Girish karnad,afamous play writer. The playwright cleverly poses the question to the audience: While they are arguing, the horse namely Hayavadana enters the stage who has a head of the human and body of a horse. Reliance taking control over the Network18 group is not a good news for ddrama industry.

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