Re-Writing the Meaning and Reclaiming the Identity Status in the Play Hayavadana by Girish Karnad


  • Japneet Kaur, Dinesh Kumar Sharma


From mid-nineteenth century onwards, urban middle-class Indian intellectuals started to establish their own theaters, to make an interpretation of English plays into Indian dialects, and to compose their own plays in the style of the cutting edge English dramatization to which they had been uncovered. They organized these plays for bringing together a group of people of English-taught Indian vendors and professionals. The focal plot in Hayavadana depends on a story found in Kathasaritasagara, an accumulation of stories in Sanskrit. Its further movement of development has obviously concentrated on a plot and the plot has packed in Thomas Mann's German tale The Transposed Heads. The play has two noteworthy sequences: The principal plot and the minor or the sub-plot. These two plots are actualized or presented in folk forms. We notice that Girish Karnad, the playwright, consolidates the transposed heads' plot with the Hayavadana story which is completely his own creation or commitment. We likewise perused that Hayavadana, the man with the horse's head, go to recover his way of life as an entire man. At last, as opposed to his long desire, he is changed to an undeniable horse. His freedom is finished just when the five-year-old child of the lady in the transposed heads’ story requests that he giggle and the chuckling before long transforms into an appropriate neigh. In Hayavadana, Karnad re-shapes an antiquated Indian legend from the vetalapanchavimsati to point to man's unceasing journey for culmination, or self-realization. We could see that with its exceptionally adapted spirited action and mimicry, particularly the scene at the sanctuary of Kali and the sword battle between Devadatta and Kapila in the second act, Karnad contributes the play with a significant narration which draws out the vacancy of the "fragmented" individual. This idea of the modern theatre was in direct contrast to indigenous popular entertainment, ritual performance, and plays with mythological characters. Hayavadana gave a model to an advanced Indian theatre without getting to be caught on false essentialism. Here in this article, I try to assimilate the narrative techniques used by the writer and to re-read the implied meanings of the text focusing upon the philosophical perspectives of the writer in this post-modern era. The formal pattern of the play, the stage plan, and the action in the play are assessed to pinpoint the thematic stream of the activity within the narrative framework of the play and the visualization of the writer. It is said that Girish Karnad uses traditional forms and structures in his writings. As he clarifies in a meeting on accepting the Jnanpith Award, “I cannot invent plots; therefore I use myths. I cannot invent stories and hence go to history” and he adds, “Drama can be the production of meaning also and the story has an autonomous existence too.”