The new farce of baNabhatta

bANa had just written a new play and was showing it to rAja harSha. harSha said he was impressed and decided that it must be put upon stage without any further delay. harSha called in his entertainers and asked them to make the arrangements. After a while, the entertainers reported to the mahArAjAdiraja paramabhaTTAraka of sthAneshwara stating that they were hard-pressed to find a suitable vidUShaka for the play. The rAja thought for a while and quipped: “I am pretty certain that our paNDita, shri bANa could as well be the vidUShaka. ” He summoned bANa and asked him to be the vidUShaka in his own play. bANa complained: “How can I be the vidUShaka? I have never acted before.” “All the better”; said the king. “I have decided that you shall be the vidUShaka yourself”. All bANa could do was to enjoy himself at his own expense.

* Any similitude to historical characters is purely coincidental.

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