A study of girish karnads yayati

July 26, 2017 Cultural

As a reader of Karnad ‘s dramas, one has to pay attending to their beginnings. Almost every text has a beginning in that the secret plan is derived from someplace. The common beginnings of his dramas include myth, folk narrative, Puranas, historical histories, heroic poems etc. He seems to hold inspired from Shakespeare who follows the same inclination of accommodating recognized secret plans. The modern playwrights tend to utilize original secret plans, or any good known historical or political event, or accommodate a popular Grecian myth. There is nil incorrect with the pattern of accommodating any known or unknown text since it may supply you with the new penetration into the beginning text. Some critics even say that every literature is based on another literature as it carries the reverberations of its procreator. For Peter Allen, literary texts ‘are built from systems, codifications, and traditions established by old plants of literature ‘ ( 2000: 1 ) . The exercising of happening how the original texts are adapted and the new significance generated in the procedure is deserving trying ; it offers us with a new position on the topic, event, secret plan etc.

The version is usually a procedure of seting a beginning text into another genre, a sort of switch over. Many fictions have been transformed into successful dramas or movies and frailty versa: Jhumph Lahiri ‘s Namesake, for case, is made into a movie. In the West, it is a popular pattern to dramatise a prose narrative or fiction. Sometimes, the altered text provides a sort of ‘commentary on a beginning text ‘ ( Drum sanders: 18 ) . It offers a new position, a point of view which is non realized or focused in the beginning text. It tries to simplify a hard or unintelligible text to the new readership. Modern Shakespeare is a really good illustration of such pattern. It is a sort of reinterpretation of the canonical texts either by modeling them into a different genre or relocating their cultural context. Besides, the more the version deviates from the beginning text, the more originative and original it becomes. The inquiry of fidelity towards the beginning text is irrelevant as it undermines the creativeness and innovativeness of the altered text. The recent success of versions is a clear rejection of all those who term these Acts of the Apostless as imitations, copying or plagiarism, or repeat. This is because they sustain or protract our pleasance of the beginning text. As John Ellis puts it, ‘Adaptation into another medium becomes a agency of protracting the pleasance of the original presentation, and reiterating the production of a memory ‘ ( 1982: 4-5 ) . Adaptation is a ne’er stoping procedure ; every bit long as the beginning text sustains its relevancy, a demand to accommodate it would be felt.

Adaptation of a popular narrative is a profitable endeavor for many grounds. It has already attracted the attending of readers. It has reached a big subdivision of people, and its properties- rubric, writer, characters-‘may be a franchise in or of themselves already ‘ ( wikipedia ) . All these grounds prompt authors to try versions on a regular basis thereby to be assured of the success of their plants. Though version into a phase drama is a common activity, it has its ain restrictions due to the spacio-temporal limitations of the phase. A dramatist has to work within these limitations by following assorted techniques such as eclipsis, insertion, narrative etc.

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Karnad engages himself in what Genette calls ‘transgeneric pattern ‘ i.e. accommodating mythic narrations, common people narrations and historical histories into play. He takes secret plans from these beginnings and delivers them in new dramatic signifiers. In that sense all his dramas are heterotaxies in which the original narrations are adapted with the ‘aesthetic conventions of an wholly different generic procedure ‘ ( Drum sanders: 20 ) . Moulded into a new signifier these texts offer a new position of life which is relevant in the present context. Karnad derives secret plans from these beginnings because he feels that they are relevant and enable him to reflect on the modern-day societal and political life in a more elusive and systematic manner. There are many tabus and out things in the universe which can non be discussed overtly. Otherwise you would ask for the irk of society unnecessarily. Beginnings such as myth, common people or historical events/lives of historical figures offer him with a safety valve which enables the look of the unacceptable or out thoughts in an acceptable mode. To set it merely, one can camouflage one ‘s remark on the present societal and political conditions with these versions. Take the illustration of Tughlaq which is considered to be a review of Post-Nehru epoch in Indian political relations. Tughlaq helps Karnad in showing the disenchantment after the decease of Pandit Nehru efficaciously.

The drama that started Girish Karnad ‘s successful calling as a dramatist was Yayati. It was penned over a few hebdomads in 1960 when Karnad was be aftering to go forth India for Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar for three old ages against the wants of his parents. Hence, the drama had its relevancy that older coevals demand forfeits on the portion of younger coevals.

Unlike his other drama, it was Priya Adarkar who foremost translated the drama. It served the intent until Girish Karnad himself felt the demand to interpret it in 2008. Actually he was loath to touch the drama, a work of his ‘juvenilia ‘ ( written when he was merely 20 two. ) The present interlingual rendition of the drama by Karnad is, hence, modified and enriched with the suggestions from Satyadev Dubey, Dr. Shreeram Lagoo, and C. R. Simha.

On the suggestion of Kurtkoti, Karnad, in Yayati, tried to re-explain the myth psychoanalytically like Eugene O’Neill. Karnad was really much influenced by O’Neill ‘s Mourning Becomes Electra and wanted to accomplish the same sort of strength. Karnad found the myth of Yayati-Devayani-Sharmishtha rich in possibilities for the look of psychological and physiological demands of human existences and societal duties. It was moulded on John Anouilh ‘s dramas as he was influenced by Alkazi ( who had enormous influence of Anouilh ) . He experienced Anouilh through Alkazi and wrote his first drama Yayati which was inspired from Anitigone.

The myth of Yayati-Devayani-Sharmishtha has been continuously adapted in Indian literature. It has been turned into many dramas and novels. There are movies based on the myth. In Marathi literature, the two Jnanapith Awardees Khandekar and Shiravadkar ( Kusumagraj ) adapted the myth into a novel and a phase drama severally. Indian author ‘s captivation with the myth of Yayati still exists and works based on the myth pour in every twelvemonth. However, Karnad ‘s version holds an of import topographic point in these outnumbering versions. He challenges the really authorization of parents by contriving the character of Chitralekha who inquiries the moral authorization of Yayati in taking over her hubby ‘s young person on the really first dark of their matrimony.

Harmonizing to Devdutta Pattaniak ( 2006 article: Myth Theory ) , in Hindu mythology there is a celebrated ‘Yayati Complex ‘ , that is, parents anticipating forfeits on the portion of their kids to carry through their selfish motivations. He termed it as ‘reverse Oedipus Complex ‘ . In Grecian mythology, there are legion narratives picturing a boy responsible for the decease of his male parent. For illustration, the celebrated narrative of Oedipus Rex. However, in Hindu mythology we have the contrary state of affairs i.e. a male parent destroys his boy to carry through his aspirations. Whether it is Bhisma, Rama or Pooru, they have to give for the interest of their male parents. The Yayati Complex indicates the moral duties in Indian household which even Karnad had to stay by when he decided to travel to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar for three old ages. Hence, Karnad employed the myth to demo the elaboratenesss of Indian household construction and dispute its moral authorization which makes boies like Pooru to give their premier and cherished things to maintain it integral. He writes,

While I was composing the drama, I saw it merely as an flight from my nerve-racking state of affairs. But looking back, I am amazed at how exactly the myth reflected my anxiousnesss at that minute, my bitterness with all those who seemed to demand that I sacrifice my hereafter. By the clip I had finished working on Yayati-during the three hebdomads it took the ship to make England and in the alone religious residences of the university – the myth had enabled me to joint to myself a set of values that I had been unable to get at rationally. Whether to return place eventually seemed the most minor of issues ; the myth had nailed me to the yesteryear ( 2008: 74 ) .

Karnad sticks to the original narrative every bit far as the yesteryear of the characters is concerned. The premarital conflicting relation of Devayani and Sharmishtha, Yayati ‘s brush with Devayani whom he found in a well after her wrangle with Sharmishtha, and his matrimony with Devayani form the portion of expounding which is spread through the drama. In the drama, Yayati ‘s affair with Sharmishtha and willingness to get married her cholers Devayani. She makes her father Shukracharya expletive Yayati for his evildoing to go dilapidation. In the original narrative, Devayani learns about the matrimony between Sharmishtha and Yayati from their boies.

Interpolation is a common characteristic in versions. Karnad excessively invents the character of Chitralekha as a married woman of Pooru. Her map is to inquiries the moral authorization of Yayati in taking her hubby ‘s young person for his sensuous pleasance. She suggests Yayati to take over the function of hubby.

Chitralekha: I did non cognize Prince Pooru when I married him. I married him for his young person. For his possible to works the seed of the Bharatas in my uterus. He has lost that authority now. He does n’t possess any of the qualities for which I married him. But you do.

Yayati ( flabbergast ) : Chitralekha!

Chitralekha: You have taken over your boy ‘s young person. It follows that you should accept everything that comes attached to it.

Yayati: Prostitute! Are you ask foring me to fornification? ( 2008:65-66 )

The suggestion of Chitralekha makes Yayati recognize his error and her suicide forces him to return Pooru ‘s young person. Swarnalata ‘s character like that of Chitralekha is invented and runs analogue to the disillusion experienced by the latter. She has besides lost her hubby and thinks that decease brings peace, ‘the rescue from uncertainness ‘ ( 2008: 60 ) . However, she repents her proposition when she finds Chitralekha, taking cue from her address, commits suicide. Just as Swarnalata ‘s hubby deserted her when he learned about her relationship with her instructor, Devayani excessively deserts Yayati after he makes love to Sharmishtha. Swarnalata ‘s married life is Karnad ‘s add-on to the original narrative.

Tranpositional patterns form the nucleus of version activity as genre-switch is largely what is expected of it. Karnad takes the narrative from one genre i.e. mythic narrative as it appeared in Mahabharata and delivers it to new audiences by agencies of the aesthetic conventions of an wholly different generic procedure, a phase drama. Yayati ‘s narrative which happened over many old ages is shown to be go oning in a really limited span of clip in Karnad ‘s Yayati. He has to cut or shorten many action units to concentrate on the nucleus portion of the myth i.e. organ transplant of age. Most of the events are simply narrated and conveyed or suggested by characters – the yesteryear of Devayani and Sharmishtha, Shukracharya cussing Yayati, Pooru ‘s matrimony and many other events.

The individuality of Pooru ‘s female parent is non revealed until the 3rd and 4th Act. In the first Act, there is an feeling that Devayani is Pooru ‘s female parent unlike in the original narrative. However, it becomes clear from the 3rd Act that it is Sharmishtha non Devayani who is the female parent of Pooru. The disclosure of Sharmishtha as Pooru ‘s female parent makes us understand that Yayati has been in love with her for a long clip maintaining Devayani in ignorance. It is merely in the 2nd Act that she becomes witness to their evildoing and decides to go forth the castle. That means Sharmishtha is non shown married to Yayati as in the original narrative. And it is more than mere retribution on the portion of Sharmishtha in the drama. She remains steadfast behind Yayati and attempts to forestall him from interchanging his dilapidation with anyone including Pooru. She wants him to accept his destiny and take a life of an ascetic.

Overall Karnad has been faithful to the beginning text of Yayati. However, he has made few alterations to escalate the subject of societal duties and ‘ripeness is all ‘ . As Karnad says:

…old age brings no cognition, no ego realisation, merely the inanity of a penalty meted out for an act in which he ( Pooru ) had non even participated ( 2008: 73 ) .

The drama shows that mere old age ( i.e.Yayati ) should non be revered but the adulthood of a young person ( i.e. Pooru ) . The version of the myth of Yayati by Karnad has its relevancy non merely at the clip it was written but besides to the present clip when kids have to give their wants to the caprices of their parents who are viing with other parents. However, some kids are besides coercing their loved 1s to flex to their wants. So it is really clear that versions provide us with new positions and points of position.


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