Translated from the Kannada original by P.P.Giridhar
In the present play THE PRICELESS an emperor who ruled most parts of the earth for several years with exalted goals disappears one fine day. His grandchildren, who survive, embark on a mission; to come face-to-face with the harsh realities of life. The competition, conflict and intrigue for his succession are intense to the point of being cut--throat: the emperor-trio, the astrologer, the poet, the techno, the woman aspirant. An ‘underdog’ who stakes his claim to the throne argues that only he has the real right to succeed since he represents the most suppressed who have been so far denied the right to rule. The religious heads/personas, representing various sects and schools of thought, clash with each other to assert their superiority over others.
The play creates its own folklore and myth, treading its self-made path in choosing the form. The ingenuity of the play lies in the manner it represents the times through its subtly-textured plot. What we see effectively depicted in the play is the echotexture of vaulting ambition at its pinnacle. Seeming to lend itself to multiple readings and staging, The Price-less may be an epic in the form of a play or vice versa, opposing the PROSE OF REALITY to the POETRY OF THE SOUL in a chiaroscuro of episodes. Almost everybody, including non-believers go in search of that which makes the ordinary an emperor and an emperor, the Emperor. The search for an able leader is an unending blood-stained struggle. The enduring beauty of The Priceless is that it explores complex issues, which could be of any nation and any society.
ISBN 9783962060213. lincom pocket 20. 156pp. 2019.