By Ramu Ramanathan

Bombay or Mumbai, is a city of migrants. And many of them arrived with bags full of tales. When Narayan Bapuji Kanitkar published Shashikala Ratnapal, his translation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in 1882, he modified the end from a tragedy to a happy ending, because, “A tragic end belies the belief that God is kind and forgiving”. He did this, he claimed, on the advice of friends. For one, scholar Mahadev Govind Ranade felt a play culminating in Shok Ras [the mental state of sorrow leading to pathos] is contrary to the Marathi Kavyapadhdhati [Marathi poetic tradition].

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