Nagamandala by Girish Karnad Summary

Nagamandala: It is a play written by one of the famous Indian English playwrights Girish Karnad in 1990. It was originally written in the Kannada language but later translated into English. This summary is useful for the BA English Honours Students of BBMKU university.

Nagamandala Summary BA English Sem II

Nagamandala is a play written by Girish Karnad, originally published in 1990. The story of the play is about Rani, the central character of the story. She was married to a man named Appana. Alpana always locked Rani inside the room and he spends most of his time outside with a concubine. He comes home only once a day at lunchtime. Appana does not love her wife, even though he has no interest to talk with her. Whenever Rani tries to talk with Appana, he shuts her up by saying he has no interest in her talks.

One day an old blind woman, Kurudhawa comes near Appana’s home with her son Kappana. She talks to Rani and learns about her bad situation of living at home alone. Kurudhawa admires her beauty and informs her about Appana’s love affair. Kurudhawa decides to help Rani in getting her husband’s love by giving her magical roots. Rani was happy by hearing Kurudhawa’s plan. Kurudhawa gave her two magical roots. Rani first mixed the small root with milk and gave Appana to consume. But it was of no use. It does not work. Then she thought to give him the big root. She mixed the big magical root in curry. It changed the color of the curry. She was afraid to give him this red-colored curry so she pours it outside the home on an ant hill where a king cobra lives. The Cobra ( Naga) consumes the curry and as it was not a normal curry so the Naga falls in love with Rani and it starts to visit Rani every night in form of Appana.

Rani was happy because she thought that her husband has changed his mentality and now he does not scolds her and treated her like a queen. But during the day Appanna (her husband) treats her like his servant. Thus, Appanna’s behavior changes day and night because at night it was Naga in the form of Appanna and during the day real Appanna comes home. So Rani thinks that it was her dream that Appana visits her at night.

But after a few months, Rani comes to know that she is pregnant, and then she realized that it was not only her dream but actually, really Appana visited her at night. When she informs her about it her husband Appana was frightened at Rani and dragged her to ‘Panchayat’. He accused Rani that she has extramarital affairs with some other person that’s why she is pregnant because he did not have marital relations with her. But Rani claims that the unborn infant’s father is Appana. Then, in the Panchayat the village elders suggest that Rani would have to pass through an ordeal to prove her innocence.

To prove her innocence Rani goes to the anthill and takes the Naga in her hand and says as Naga had suggested to her. The turned like a garland over her neck. Then, It slid through her shoulder and didn’t bite her. Thus her innocence was proved. Afterward, the villagers considered Rani a Goddess, and Appana had to accept her with the child. But Appana was still in confusion because he knew that he was not the father of that child but he had no choice except to accept her.

Some days later, one day Naga thought to see Rani so he went to the home where he found her with Appana. The Naga was very furious to see that so it decided to kill Rani but out of love, it stopped. And turn into a small cobra and hid in her long hair. In the morning when Rani combs her hair the dead Naga falls and the play ends. But the man (listener) was not satisfied with the sad ending so he provides a happy ending himself and that is … When Rani combs her hair the alive Naga falls, Appana tries to kill it but Rani hides it back in her hair. Here the play ends.

Nagamandala is a popular and interesting Play written by the famous Indian playwright Girish Karanad. It was written in the post-independence era.

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