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The Bull (One Act Play) Summary

 The Bull

by Bhimnidhi Tiwari

About the author

Bhimnidhi Tiwari (1911-1973) is a well-known poet, story writer and dramatist from Nepal. An ardent social reformer, Tiwari established Nepal Natak Sangh (Nepal Drama Society) in 1949. Through this organization, he promoted the Nepali plays by staging plays and encouraging the Nepali writers to write plays. In order to sustain this organization, he also wrote plays like Matoko Maya, Shilanyas and Sahansheela Sushila, among others. Tiwari won Madan Puraskar for literature in 1970.

It was the late eighteenth century. Ranabahadur Shah, the grandson of Prithvi Narayan Shah, was the king of Nepal. Ranabahadur Shah was fond of bulls. In his one act play “The Bull,” Bhimnidhi Tiwari dramatizes an incident related to Ranabahadur Shah’s craze for bulls to make a biting satire on the feudal system, which dehumanizes human beings to such an extent that their existence depends on their deferential treatment towards the four-footed animals like bulls.


The Bull is a one act play written by famous Nepali poet and Dramatist Bhimnidhi Tiwari. The play shows the the strong love of Ranabahadur Shah towards four footed animal. He was fond of bulls. The play makes a satire on the feudal system which dehumanizes human beings in the 18th Century. The play turns around the death of the king Ranabahadur’s bull and the panic condition of the bull doctor and cowherds after that.


The setting of the play is yard of Laxminarayan . It takes place at dawn in the month of Ashwin of 1854 B.S. The two cowherds Gore and Jitman arrive there feeling so nervous and worried. They come there to inform about the death of the bull of the king Ranabahadur Shah. Now, Laxmi, Jitman and Gore are all very worried about the possible punishment from the king. He can even give them the death penalty. Laxmi is afraid of saving them from the happening. Gore explains that the bull died because it didn't get enough food (grass) and couldn't digest fine rice and soup of split gram. Laxmi suggests Gore and Jitman not to tell "the bull has died". He also says them to go to the bull and care it and goes to the palace to tell about the illness of the bull.


Laxmi reaches to the courtyard of Basantpur palace to inform about the ill health of the bull. Laxmi bows down to the king with full respect uttering Swosti and informs him that the bull is ill instead of saying the bull has died. He says "The bull doesn't wake up and eat breakfast. He doesn't speak or move. He is sleeping as if he is relaxed….". Laxmi describes the good habits of the bull and proposes to be taken to the hill to heal the health of the bull. due to climate change. Then the king himself wants to check the bull's condition and goes to the cowshed located at Thulo Gauchar on the palanquin with a convoy.


Before the king reaches there, Jitman and Gore wait desperately to hear the decision of the king. They are in the cowshed beside the dead bull. They even think of escaping to save their life but they think they will be arrested again and killed. Laxmi runs ahead of the convoy at Thulo Gauchar to tell Gore and Jitman to massage the back feet of the bull and wave the fan at the bull. They do as Laxmi has suggested. Laxmi grinds medicine for the bull. Ranabahadur rea

ches there and calls the bull but he doesn’t get up. Laxmi tells the king that they have been caring the bull since midnight. The bull is in fact lying dead on the mattress. It is neither breathing nor eating anything. Its tail has loosened and ears have drooped down. Yet, the cowherds and Laxmi cannot declare its death due to fear. King Ranabahadur Shah himself says the bull is dead. After listening to the king, Jitman starts crying and says he has been an orphan after bull's death. The King asks Dahal to console him. He also declares a tip of 400 rupees and tells to be quiet. Gore also does the same as Jitman. The king again declares the tip of 500 rupees to Gore. At last, Laxminarayan himself starts weeping and pretends to be in agony. The king scolds him to shut up and orders him to bury the bull with his own hands. He also asks him to manage the funeral rites and give offerings to the priest himself. At last, Jitman and Gore take deep breath to be alive. In this way the one act play ends.

The play shows the feudal society of that time. It also shows the condition of normal citizens how they are sucked by the kings and how their condition is.

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