What can one say of a city where rich sweets cost the same as lowly vegetables? Bhartendu Harishchandra wrote the classic play, Andher Nagari, in 1881. It told the story of a foolish king whose well-intended but irrational decisions created mayhem in his kingdom. The play is still enacted in theatres all over India. This Amar Chitra Katha collection tells the story of this runaway hit. It also includes two famous stories from the 11th century Sanskrit classic, Karhasaritsagar, by Somadeva, a folk tale from Nepal, as well as some very humourous stories from a collection by John Dorairaj
Hardbound set of 5 comics includes the following titles:
Andher Nagari (802)
Mandukka the Accidental Astrologer (803)
The Miraculous Conch and a Game of Chess (804)
The Golden Sand (805)
The Clever Dancer (806)
Andher Nagari: A disciple walks into a town where sweets and vegetables cost the same amount of money. Thrilled at being able to eat sweets so cheaply, he decides to stay there, ignoring his guru's warnings. Bharatendu Harishchandra is one of the greatest playwrights in Hindi, and Andher Nagari, written in 1881, is his masterpiece. Harishchandra's vision of a kingdom so ill- run that it is effectively blind to injustice remains a powerful image even today and the phrase 'andher nagari chaupat raja' (in the city of darkness, the king is insane) has passed into popular usage.
Mandukka the Accidental Astrologer: Named after a frog, Manduka has spent his entire life being scorned by everyone around him. So he decides to pretend to be a wise astrologer, and get people to respect him. His plan works beyond his wildest dreams. Now Manduka finds himself in a different kind of fix: people are actually expecting him to make accurate predictions Worse, the king himself is asking Manduka's prophecies! The story of Manduka is taken from the Kathasaritsagar, the eleventh century Sanskrit classic by Somadeva.
The Miraculous Conch and a Game of Chess: A very poor man is given a magical conch, when it is put in a pot and food is cooked with it, the pot supplies an endless quantity of very delicious food. When the conch goes missing, the man and his companions, a dog and a cat, must find it before they starve. A tyrannical king decrees that anyone who wants a favour from him, has to play chess with him. Sitting near by will be the king's cat, with seven lamps balanced on her tail. If she moves and even a drop of oil is spilt, the king will do as his opponent wants. But if the cat remains still, the person will become the king's slave! The hilarious adventures of this book, are taken from John Dorairaj's collection of folk tales.
The Golden Sand: When Sakhwal accidentally gets some sand, intended for the king, he has no idea that it will turn to gold and change his life. Dravyashah uses his wits to win the kingdom of Liglig in the Himalayas. He is horrified when his brother demands the kingdom from him. When Dravyashah refuses to give up his kingdom, it looks like war will break out between the two brothers and their kingdoms. The stories in this collection come from the mountain country of Nepal. Though Nepal is very close to India and shares so much of its culture, these stories have a flavour all their own.
The Clever Dancer: Though very young, Muladeva is regarded as one of the wisest men in Ujjaini. Ond day, he sets off for Patliputra, with his friend Shashi, eager to debate with the scholars there. On the outskirts of the city, they meet a girl picking mangoes. She and Muladeva start arguing but the girl outwits him with ease and then, disappears. Enchanted by her quick replies and her intelligence Muladeva decides that he will not rest until he has found her, outsmarted her, and married her. In this story from the Kathasaritsagar, Muladeva's quest results in an elaborate and prolonged battle of wits.