CHAPTERITHEMEOF DESTINY Themeis the pillar of the work which holds the story as a whole. It is like bridge between plot and setting. Theme provides character to the plot and situation to the event.
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It relates unity of action, unity of placeand unit of time altogether. Theme canbe divided into major and minor in which major theme goes along with the plotwhile the minors are the ingredients of the major one. Destiny is the branch, shadow of the life of people which teach them sadness, happiness, surprises, miracles and problems through lifetime experiences. It is the learningexperience to realize the difficulties by means of love and truth. Theme of Destiny is one of the majorimportant themes in most of the literary works. In other words it is the branchof theme. Marriage, Loneliness, Love andVictim of the society and culture are the ingredients of Theme of Destiny inGirish Karnad’s Naga-Mandala. Marriageis an essential ceremony of every woman which happens especially in India withsocietal rituals.
Woman undergoes various changes of inflexibility in marriagelife. Kahlil Gibran says there should bea space and freedom in marriage life through “ And stand together yet not toonear together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart,” in his famous poem onMarriage in “ The Prophet”. In the practical life, womanhas to sacrifice her happiness, freedom, equality, independence which extendsto her self esteem to fulfill the commitments in her in-laws home. Most of thetimes she has to adjust with her dreams to maintain the peace in family. In-laws home it projects drastic change ofenvironment through its rigidness when compare to the parental house of awoman. She is supposed to undergo some behavioral changes according to the newfamily.
Karnad represents marriagewhich is the most important ingredient of Theme of Destiny in Naga-Mandala. He chooses the classy female protagonist whois an only daughter to her parents and called by the name Rani which meansQueen “ Queen of whole wide world” (Girish Karnad, 6). She is a good looking woman and her name Raniexactly suits “ Ears like hibiscus. Skin likes young mango leaves. Lips likerolls of silk” (11). She is not onlybeautiful by means of physical appearance but inner beauty too due to naïve, soft, caring, loving, truth and affectionate in her soul and mind. He explains thedifficulties, problems and sufferings of an Indian woman after the marriagelife. He also talking about thebehavioral changes or the adoption of various orders of routine life whencompare to her parental home with in-laws home.
The pretty Rani was so happy, independent, and free from sufferings tillher marriage life starts. But themarriage life became exactly opposite to her previous life in parentalhome. Because she started to indulgemelancholy instead of happiness, dependency instead of independent andexperienced lot of sufferings in many forms of marriage life. She experienced isolationand sob in dawn and dusk in the marriage life “ Rani sits staring blankly intothe oven. Then begins to sob.
” (8). Themarriage life of Rani seized freedom, wishes, desires and dreams, she had inher parental home which are natural expectations of a woman have to have inlife. It leads her into the hands ofdestiny. The destiny manipulates herthrough the so called marriage life which is the substitute of Theme of Destinyto attain its purpose. These are thehappenings made her to experience the rigidity and inflexibility in the life ofmarriage.
So, she started to sacrificeher previous lifestyle which was filled with immense joy and pleasure. She convinced her expectations as a marriedwoman to prevail peace among the couple. She adjusts herself to go with loneliness, oppressions, depressions andsuppressions by adopting them in her daily life in in-laws home. The entire marriage life of Rani leads herinto the dark side of life which she never been in her life time by varioustorments which are caused by the ingredient of marriage in Theme ofDestiny. But it couldn’t succeed becauseRani has overcome all the difficulties and tortures with pure love andtruth. Finally Rani has to lead the lifeloneliness in the marriage life. Lonelinessis the poorest part in every human life. It is very difficult to go throughlife alone and remain happy.
GirishKarnad has incorporated loneliness as an ingredient to fulfill the Theme ofDestiny in Naga-Mandala with the use of protagonist Rani. It isillustrated in many places of the play to elucidate the loneliness of Rani. Rani is portrayed as an innocent doll who suffers a lot due to her lonelinessin Naga-Mandala. Appannais a husband of protagonist Rani, who doesn’t have love, care, affection andconcern towards his wife.
As a husbandhe doesn’t perform his duties to take care of Rani and ill treated her in manyways. According to Appanna, Rani was amachine to do all the household works without allowing her to come out of thepremises of his house. He is anirresponsible husband who never ever listened to his wife and never talked withher not a syllable more than required. “ Appanna should have been born a wild beast or a reptile.
By some mistake, he got human birth” (8). Raniis being taken to Appanna’s home to live a happy married life. As a woman, Rani’s expectations of marriagelife have been broken by merciless Appanna. She is all alone in home like a caged bird but he never worried aboutRani. “ He keeps his wife locked up likea caged bird?” (Girish Karnad, 10). He used to come to home once in a day thattoo for lunch alone and Rani left alone in that home till the time of next daylunch.
Appanna makes her to realize whatare all the things existing in this world except happiness. Nowshe is being alone in that home due to Appanna’s worst behavior. “ He pays no attention to her, goes out, shutsthe door, locks it from the outside and goes away” (6). This situation makes her to speak with herown self by means of imagination. Even in that imagination she thinks to escapefrom the loneliness and longing to meet her parents to feel comfortable withthe help of eagle in her dream.
Thisshows the state of Rani’s loneliness in Appanna’s home. When she awakes from her dream she got frightenedand makes herself relaxed by splashing water on her face in the bathroom. Ranibriefed about her loneliness with Appanna when he returned for lunch the nextday.
She told him that I felt frightenedalone at night. But the soul lessAppanna didn’t listen to her emotion and told her that there is nothing to bescared of and no one is going to bother you. By chanting these words, he finished his lunch then done the same.
The poor Rani approached the door but itcouldn’t be opened. She looks throughthe barred window but no one is there to rescue her from loneliness. It makes her to remember those days where sheused to sleep in between her parents. This nostalgia shows the painful feelings and loneliness of Rani in Naga-Mandala. Whileshe is experiencing loneliness, Appanna enjoys his life with pleasure andleisure. This cruel loneliness bringsRani a painful thought in her mind and painful feelings in her soul.
This shows that Rani’s life is full ofemptiness which holds nothing except agony. There were no one to share her feelings, no one to care for her andnothing is available to indulge herself to do something except loneliness. This depicts the state of being frustrated, oppressed and suppressed Rani. Shealways rebel with miseries, distress and crises which are caused by lonelinessin her marriage life.
She has no one tocomfort herself other than cry and tears. This most horrible loneliness made her to lose each and everycomfortable moment in her life. Appannagives his wife isolation instead of consolation. He also caused to be thereason for Rani’s separation from her parents care and love. These are all the situations created byTheme of Destiny and performed by loneliness which is also an ingredient ofTheme of Destiny. This loneliness leaves Rani with the constantneed and wants to have Appanna there to fill that empty void. She started to seek Appanna’s love to fulfillher loneliness by following Kurudavva’s advice. This harmful loneliness leads Rani to use magic love root to gainAppanna’s love.
Though loneliness hasbrought many difficulties in the life of Rani, she didn’t give up her hope toattain the love of Appanna till the end of play. Kurudavvahelped Rani to gain Appann’s love through her suggestions. Kurudavva asked Rani to follow the love rootmethod which she was experienced practically in her own life. Kurudavva who is a blind by birth didn’texpect to get married in her life. But amendicant offered the magical love root as a reciprocal of food given byKurudavva. It had worked incredibly whenKurudavva offered the love root to her distant relative with food then hebecomes her husband within two days.
Hedidn’t back to his village until his death. Kurudavva lived a happy married life with her husband and gave birth toa fair child Kappanna as a symbol of their love. Thesewords of Kurudavva gives hope and stimulate the love of Rani for her husbandAppanna. She decided to use the magic love root to temptate her husband. She got afraid when she decided to use theroot in the milk for the first time. Butsomehow she managed to overcome the fear by her love for her husband. Her first attempt created a shock becauseAppanna faints after consuming the milk.
This shows that the concern and lotsof love of Rani for her husband. Eventhough her first experience is not good her immense love for her husbandAppanna made her to try second one with big root. “ Rani prays silently to the gods and poursthe paste into the curry.” (Girish Karnad, 16).
But she doesn’t like to serve the blood red colored curry to Appannabecause her previous experience couldn’t allow her to proceed further. Sheplanned to dispose off that curry outside the house instead of serving toAppanna. Thedog barked while she poured the curry into the ant-hill. The barking sound ofthe dog reminds Appanna to search of Rani in the kitchen then out of the house.
When Appanna saw Rani outside the house he became anguish and slapped her sothe poor Rani faint down due to Appanna ill treat. Loveis a common one for each and every existing creature which is created by God onthe earth. It is the natural and fundamental happening or element not onlyamong the people but animals, birds and reptiles too. Sometimes the love couldbe exist human being and animals, human being and birds and human being andreptiles.
This love technique beautifully brought out by Girish Karnad throughmyth between Rani and Naga in the award winning play Naga-Mandala. Loveis an alternative drug therapy for all kind of life diseases. In Naga-Mandalalove cures Rani’s loneliness in the form of Naga. Thepoured curry mesmerized cobra, because it contains the paste of magic loveroot. So, the cobra supposed to fell in love with Rani deeply. Then the cobrastarted to seek the love of Rani in the form of her husband Appanna due to itschanging form of any character. The cobra is named Naga when it is in the formof Appanna with Rani. Naga used to come to her room through bathroom drain holewhen Appanna is not available in the house especially during the night.
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Naga’sLove for Rani is deep in heart, depth in soul and kind in mind. His behaviorsmade Rani to become shock, because Appanna is so cruel in heart, very arrogantin soul and very hard in mind. But Naga is simply opposite to him ineverything. Rani doesn’t aware of Nagabecause of the shape of own husband Appanna.
Naga is soft in his words, behaviors and he is so much concerned about her. He inquires about thedifficulties that she experienced because of him in marriage life. This shows his real affection towards Rani. Thenhe tenderly spoke with her through sweet and soft words and consoled her bymeans of make her to speak with her parents. He demands her to smile for thatto satisfy her wish. This shows Naga’s boundless love for Rani. His pure lovejust expects nothing rather than the happiness in Rani’s life in terms of smileand joy. Thefeeling of Naga is overflowing in love for Rani.
His love for Rani iseverything to him. In fact the love made him to do anything and everything forher. So, he had fight with the dog and he killed the dog to see Rani in herhome. This fight gave the good opportunity to become closer with Rani thanbefore. He does even care about his wound as a result of fighting with dog butit stimulates Rani’s concern for him. Then the concern turned as worriesbecause she feels so sad and painful due to his wounds. She washed wounds in his face and treatedhim with proper care by using medicines.
This incident made him to feel veryblissful and Rani too comfort with him while that moment. The love started toflourish step by step between them. This situation changed entire life of Ranithrough completely makes her drowned into love with him.
Now she feels veryhappy in life because of his love. Nagahad a trouble in his love life after killed the dog. Actually he is in crucialsituation because of the mongoose. It is the dangerous animal for Naga to fightbut which is the very big barrier to meet Rani. Even though he doesn’t batherabout perilous mongoose and he bravely and gallantly won the mongoose like asoldier in the war which is actually happened between the Naga and themongoose. While the war he was injured severely like a warrior but he has doneit that for his pretty queen Rani. Becauseof this incident he couldn’t meet Rani for fifteen days.
But this separationwhich made her to feel melancholy, isolation, agony and increased her love forhim more and more in a incredible way than before. He has indulging thispainful experience in love due to the separation which caused by the mongoosethrough wounds while fighting with that risky mongoose. Naga is suffering somuch not only in physic but also in soul. The abrasions and scratches are causefor his physic pain but the separation is the main reason for his soul pain butthe love is only one healing medicine for him for both pains even though thereasons could be vary. Raniis so excited because she could see her beloved after fifteen days. The meetingfulfilled both Rani and Naga’s thirst for love. The longings of love made themto share their love very happily after a long time.
Both Rani and Naga areblissfully embracing one another by means of love. During their pleasure momentRani has noticed an in injury in his shoulder. She was shocked and feltmiserable while that gloomy time. Then she applied medicine on the wound withso much care and affection. Actually that wound was caused by mongoose becauseit is the huge obstacle for Naga which stops him entering the house to seeRani.
He is always ready to face each and every problems and barriers in hislove life for Rani because she is the world to him. His love for Rani isvenerable, splendid and impressive. Heis always there for his pretty, beautiful Rani to take care of her from all theproblems, frustrations, depressions, oppressions and harms.
Naga is also therefor her to share the feelings, emotions and thoughts. Naga’s heart, mind, souland body filled with boundless love. It shows his pure love towards Rani.
SweetRani’s love for her husband is surprising and admiring because she missed herhusband and his love very much during those fifteen days. Her care, concern, affection projects the holy love of Rani towards her husband. Raniwas pregnant through Naga by means of due their love. Rani happily shared thisauspicious moment with Appannna. Immediately he stares blankly. Then he toldher to keep this news secret due to the fact which is actually doesn’t know byRani that she is living with Naga. “ There is a baby in my womb and we are goingto have a baby” (30). The theme of destiny used the love as a ingredient tomanipulated Rani’s life.
Nagais always so kind with Rani when he impersonates Appanna at night times whereasAppanna never had concern for his wife. This kindness during the night time shown by Appanna makes Rani to feelthe happiness in her life. But at thesame time she had to face the inhuman activities of her husband during daytime. She was always longing for thepleasant evening time where his husband (Naga) used to embrace her inlove. This love made Rani to forgetthose difficult times and try to understand his love with Appanna. Thelove between Rani and Naga in this play is portrayed in a mythical way.
Rani is really in love with her husbandAppanna though he is rude in his nature because she is given the status ofbeing the wife of Appanna. Rani’s love for Appanna with magical root methodleads to an unpredictable outcome where a Cobra has taken the shape of Appanna, make love with Rani and she becomes pregnant. This makes her as a victim in the society and leads to face theproceedings of the locals to deal with. Raniis depicted as a victim of love in this play. A victim is someone who suffersdirectly or indirectly by any cause which may be of his/her own activities orby anyone else. It affects the physical or emotional activities of aperson.
Its effects are often long-term, difficult to overcome, irrecoverable and sometimes leads to psychoproblems. Victims may become confused, anger and frustrated by go on grinding the activities happening to them intheir mind. Thelove made her to become as a victim of society and culture. She is answerableto the society at present due to her pregnancy. The game of victim isinterestingly played by destiny in the life of Rani.
Because of pregnancy theelders of the society asked her to prove her virginity. These all things are happenedbecause of Appanna. So, she is standing in front of the panchayat to prove hervirginity. That’s why the people of the society suggest her to follow fewmethods according to their culture to prove her virginity. So, she selects one method which is actually advised by Naga in the form ofAppanna. Then the people asked her to take out the cobra through her hands toprove her virginity.
The cobra spread itshood above her head and slide along the shoulder like a garland. She too had done it as people said andproved her virginity. While her taking the cobra from its hole which didn’tbite her. It is the great evidence for her virginity. The people automaticallypraised for her truth and love towards her husband. Then she was accepted byher husband Appanna.
Thedestiny has given so many difficulties through its ingredients. The ingredientsalso manipulate her through sufferings throughout the life. Whatever problemsand sufferings which are provided by destiny in the life of Rani, she stronglyand bravely faced it.
She never gives up and didn’t accept the defeat. Ranienormously won the destiny through her truth and love. Both love and truth helped her toovercome the difficulties in marriage life, loneliness, love life and even thedestiny. When she was standing as a victim in front of the society there isnothing to guide her except truth. Love is the great support when she became asa victim of culture and it changed her as a happy and optimistic person to liveher life in a positive way.