About the Book
Mrichchhakatika is one of the best Sanskrit dramas based on the love story of Charudatta and Vasantasena in ten acts written by Shudraka. He bypasses many conventional rules of dramaturgy and shows such unusual scenes as the nocturnal pursuit of a girl by lustful men, street-fights of gamblers, open quarrel and abuse between king’s guards and between the contestants in a court of law, house-breaking and theft, sleep scene, murder and parade of the accused through city streets, and a scene of sati. Even the angle of love is different, because the heroine, a young woman and a young man goes to meet in pouring rain, thunder and darkness. The story is partly historical and partly invented, with no mythological ingredients. Mrichchhakatika remains one of the most widely celebrated and oft-performed in the West. It played a significant role in generating interest in Indian theatre among European audiences.
About the Author
King Shudraka was one of the best Sanskrit playwrights who was probably born in South India (Andhra Pradesh). The drama itself tells of him as a Brahmana, who versed in many sciences and as one who died by self-immolation at the age of over a hundred years. He was known to be the author of at least half a dozen Sanskrit works, but nothing definite can be said either about his authorship.