Krishna Devaraya was known for his patronage of poets and scholars. He was equally fond of fine arts. Once he came to know about a brilliant artist named Raja Varma. He invited Raja Varma to the court and asked him to draw his portrait.
The king was very pleased with the artist when his portrait was ready. In the portrait, the majestic and handsome king seemed to have come alive within the frame.
Do you think that the king rewarded him?
Apart from this portrait, Raja Varma drew images of famous characters from Puranas, of men and women, and so on. He became well known for his skills. He became close and dear to the king.
Overwhelmed by joy, Krishna Devaraya called the artist and asked him what he wanted. When Raja Varma did not reply, the king, on the spur of a generous impulse, rewarded him with chief ministership.
Raja Varma will prove to be a very good Chief Minister.” Give your comments.
Though Raja Varma was a good man and a brilliant artist, he had no experience whatsoever, of administration. Soon everything was thrown into disorder because of his hasty decisions and bad management of the state affairs. Though people were unhappy about his administration, they did not dare to complain to the king because the king was very fond of him.
The elders of the town finally approached and sought Tenali Raman’s help in getting rid of the new and inept Chief Minister. Tenali Raman assured them, “I shall soon find a harmless way to remove the artist from the chief ministership.”
After a few weeks, Tenali Raman invited the king, the queens and some courtiers to his house for lunch. Meanwhile, he found a very good carpenter and put him on the job of preparing a grand feast for the king.
The king and others sat for lunch and at Tenali Raman’s order, the carpenter began serving them. As soon as they put the first morsel of food in their mouths, the people began to request for water again and again.
Soon after tasting the food, the king realized that the food was badly cooked and was unbearably hot. He was angry. “Raman, who has cooked this food? Do you want us all to suffer and die by eating this horrible food?”
In his usual humble way Tenali Raman said, “I beg Your Majesty’s forgiveness.” Then he showed the carpenter to the king. “I have never come across such an excellent carpenter and I have put him on the job of cooking the lunch for today’s feast.” The king began laughing loudly. “Have you lost all sense, Raman? A good carpenter should be employed to work on wood but not on food. How did you get this funny idea?”
Tenali Raman asked the king, “Lord! If an artist can become a Chief Minister, can’t a carpenter become a cook?”
Did the king become angry when he heard this?
The king at once understood that Tenali Raman got a carpenter to cook the food to make him realize his error in making Raja Varma the Chief Minister. The king was saved from the embarrassment of removing Raja Varma from the post because when Raja Varma came to know about the awkward incident at Raman’s house, he immediately resigned from his post.
Later Raja Varma told Tenali Raman that he was happy to remain an artist!
Answer the following questions:
(i) Why were the people unhappy with Raja Varma’s administration?
(ii) What was Tenali Raman’s plan to remove the artist from his new job?
(ii) Why did Tenali Raman ask a carpenter to cook food for his feast?
(iv) What does the title ‘Measure for Measure’ mean?