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‘Clever Tenali Ramakrishnan’ is a short play. As all stories of Tenali Raman goes, Tenali successfully solves a crisis here in Sri Krishna Devaraya’s empire.
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The theme of this play is wit and wisdom. As the title suggests, Tenali Ramakrishnan solves the issue by using his clever means.
The New Chief Advisor:
The play begins with a description of Chitra Varma painting, presumably in the palace. He was, after all, the most famous painter in Emperor Sri Krishna Devaraya’s court. On that particular day, the Emperor happened to visit him with his courtiers. All of them were awed at Chitra Varma’s mastery. Extremely pleased, Sri Krishna Devaraya wished to validate his efforts. Thus, he made him the chief advisor. When Tenali expressed his concern for the same, the emperor brushed it off, proceeding to go through with his wishes.
The State of the Empire:
As predicted by Tenali Ramakrishnan, Chitra Varma could not make efficient decisions for the empire. All hell broke loose. Despite this, Sri Krishna Devaraya extended his full support to him. People went to the wise court jester, Tenali himself, seeking help. Tenali assured them that he would take care of the crisis and went to meet the Emperor.
Tenali announces with great happiness that he had been blessed with a baby boy. The emperor happily agrees to visit his house the next day for the naming ceremony. There, he presents the baby a gold chain as a token of his love. Then, the emperor and his courtiers proceed to dine. However, the food was horrible, being too salty and spicy. They were angered.
Upon questioned as to who the cook was, Tenali replies that it was the best carpenter in the empire. Baffled, the Emperor asks him how a carpenter could become a cook. Tenali witty asks in return that if a painter can become the chief advisor of the empire, shouldn’t this be possible either? The Emperor at once realized his error. Heeding to Chitra Varma’s wishes, he sent him back to be the painter that he was. The empire thus hailed Tenali for his wisdom.
This is one of the many stories where Tenali Ramakrishnan displays his presence of mind to restore peace in the empire. He makes the Emperor himself see the errors in his ways, successfully making him see what was right in the end using his intelligence.