Significance of the Title of The Mricchakatika
The title of the play The Mricchakatika is not based on the protagonist Charudatta. The heroine of the play Vasantasena is the attraction of the play. The dramatist has not used the name of hero Charudatta and heroine Vasantasena for the title of the play. The play is fine love story. Charudatta was poor Brahmana and Vasantasena was a rich courtesan. The play presents the struggle of Charudatta and Vasantasena in securing their love. Their love was opposed by Sakara. Sakara’s sister was married to king Palaka, the king of Ujjayini. He enjoyed massive power but he failed to secure Vasantasena’s consent for love.
The title of the play is not based on the villain of the play Sakara. The play illustrates deep Indian ethos. The Hindu philosophy is amply highlighted in the play. It gives importance to birth, rebirth, and divine punishment. The characters spoke the importance of ancient Indian civilization. The importance of fast and real nature of Brahmanahood have been also given importance. The game of dice and gambling was prevalent among the people. The polygamy was also practiced by the people. The play speaks the social condition during the time of Sudraka.
The caste and class were not followed rigidly. Vasantasena and Madanika, the courtesans of Ujjayini were married to Brahmanas. Charudatta was a worthy Brahmana of Ujjayini. His ancestors had glorious past. Vasantasena and Charudatta enjoyed the union of love and later it culminated into marriage. She was given the status of wife by king Aryaka. Sarvilaka another Brahmana married to Madanika. She was in the service of Vasantasena. The richness of Vasantasena was well known. The poverty of Charudatta has been depicted in the play in the opening Act. The class division was not prevalent during the period of Sudraka. The rich and poor had the liberty to get married.
Charudatta was too much obsessed with his poverty. He expressed pessimistic words to his friend Maitreya. His friend Maitreya had visited Vasantasena’s mansion. He was surprised by the richness of Vasantasena. When Vasantasena had come to meet her lover Charudatta at his home, she was described as goddess Laxmi by her attendant Vita.
The dramatist has shown the success of love of Charudatta and Vasantasena. Sakara failed to entice Vasantasena by his power and wealth. The poor Charudatta won the love of rich Vasantasena.
The caste distinction did not get importance during the time of dramatist. The merit was the yardstick to get success. By the virtue of his merit the cowherd Aryaka dethroned king Palaka. The cowherd Aryaka deserved the merit to become the king. King Aryaka gave due regard to the merit of Sarvilaka. He became the advisor of king Arvaka. He was a poor Brahmana. Charudatta was bestowed Kusavati kingdom by king Aryaka. King Aryaka also delivered the title of wedded wife to Vasantasena. Because of her extraordinary merit and beauty Vasantasena crossed the boundary of a courtesan and given the status of wedded wife of worthy Charudatta by king Aryaka.
The dramatist has overlooked all these important incidents and gave a title on one incident which has been extracted from Act-VI. Vasantasena had come to the home of Charudatta to meet him. She tried to return the gold necklace of Dhuta, the wife of Charudatta. The necklace was given to Vasantasena by Charudatta. The casket of Vasantasena which was kept by Charudatta was stolen by a thief. The thief was none the else but the lover of Madanika. The necklace was given as a return token to Vasantasena for the rest of the ornaments. In fact, the ornaments were returned to Vasantasena by Sarvilaka and she had come to Charudatta to tell the truth. She wanted to return the necklace. Vasantasena tried to return the necklace to Dhuta through Radanika. But Dhuta politely refused to take it. She told that her greatest ornament is her husband. After this incident another incident took place.
Vasantasena was attached to the son of Charudatta. Rohasen the son of Charudatta resembled with his father in physical appearance. Radanika took Rohasen to Vasantasena. The child was crying continuously. He was demanding the golden cart. Barlier the boy was playing with the golden cart which belonged to the son of Charudatta’s neighbour. The golden cart was a toy; when Vasantasena saw the boy she was attracted towards him in his first appearance.
Vasantasena opened her both arms to take him in her lap. The boy got seated on her lap. He did not stop crying. Vasantasena asked the reason for his crying. Radanika told that he was crying for the golden cart. He did not want to play with clay cart. The title speaks about the clay cart which was not liked by Rohasena.
The word Mricchakatika is the combination of two Sanskrit words. The first word is Mrid which means soil (Mitti) and Saktika (small cart). The boy felt dissatisfied with the clay cart or Mrichchhakatika. He wanted to play with golden cart or Suranakatika. Vasantasena felt sorry for the boy for his unfulfilled desire. The boy wanted to know about Vasantasena from Radanika. Vasantasena told that she happened to be the slayer of his father. Radanika told that she was your mother. The boy replied that her mother never wore ornaments. This sentence of the boy touched Vasantasena’s heart.
The boy declined to take the ornaments because Vasantasena was crying. Vasantasena stopped crying and requested the boy to take the ornaments. She further promised that she will never cry.
The title The Mricchakatika is pregnant with deep meaning. It speaks about the dissatisfaction from life. The boy was dissatisfied because he wanted to play with golden cart. Charudatta was dissatisfied because of his poverty. Vasantasena was dissatisfied because of her social position. Sakara was dissatisfied because he failed to get Vasantasena. The play ends with happy note. Vasantasena became the wife of worthy Brahmana Charudatta. The lost glory of Charudatta was restored. Though at the surface the title The Mricchakatika simply speaks the clay cart. But at the larger canvas it illustrates the dissatisfaction because of the unfulfilled desires of life.
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