Yaksh (Baba Botalnath), the household deity of Baans, an old man with a marriageable daughter named Bholi, begins the play with a prologue about how he allowed Baans to discover a pot of gold buried in his house. Baans is then shown almost maniacally guarding his gold from real and imagined threats. Unknown to Baans, Bholi is pregnant by a young man named Bulbul. Bholi is never seen on stage, though at a key point in the play the audience hears her painful cries when she is in labor. Baans is persuaded to marry his daughter to his rich neighbor, an elderly bachelor named Kumar, who happens to be Bulbul`s uncle. This leads to much by-play involving preparations for the nuptials. Eventually Bulbul and his slave appear, and Bulbul confesses his love for Bholi to Baans. Bulbul`s slave manages to steal the by now notorious pot of gold. Bulbul confronts his slave about the theft. At this point the manuscript breaks off. Baans eventually recovers his pot of gold and gives it to Bulbul and Bholi, who marry to live their lives happily ever-after.
The figure of the miser has been a stock character of comedy for centuries. Plautus does not spare his protagonist various embarrassments caused by the vice, but he is relatively gentle in his satire. Baans is eventually shown as a good-hearted man who has only been temporarily affected by the greed for gold. The play also ridicules the old man Kumar for his dream of marrying the nubile and far younger Bholi.The play also includes Plautus frequent theme of clever servants outwitting their supposed superiors. Not only does Bulbul`s servant manage to filch Baans` beloved gold, but Baans housemaid Imarti is also shown as intelligent and kind in her attitude toward the unfortunately pregnant Bholi.
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23rd July, 2012, 07:00 PM Inox Milan Mall (Santacruz)
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