(Last Updated on : 18-02-2012)
Nonti Natakam primarily refers to those types of plays in Tamil literature
that vividly depict the miseries and problems related to the life led by a wanton that is a man who leads a life of uncontrolled drinking, promiscuity and self-indulgence. During the 17th century and 18th century, various forms of satirical, ironic and comical plays were composed in the Tamil
country that gained much popularity and admiration of the spectators and critcs alike. But in those humourous Tamil plays, the subject matter of the play or the objects of amusement and laughter could never be targeted at any deity or any rich and noble patron. Thus the Nonti Natakam, as mentioned in Tamil literature
, mainly focuses on the moral and ethical dilemma and wrecks of the lower class of society and the poor populace. These people generally comprised as the basic theme of such type of plays and were made fun of in an amusing manner.
The Nonti Natakam in general describes the problems in the life of a debauchee, an irresponsible person who had spent most of his life in reckless drinking and stays in the company of prostitutes. These popular plays in Tamil literature usually portray that such type of individuals become disabled and defective due to disease.
Amongst the several plays composed in the genre of Nonti Natakam in Tamil plays, the most prominent and noteworthy is the Citakkati Nonti Natakam. The work of Citakkati Nonti Natakam elaborately describes the reckless life of a person who wasted most of his life as a criminal by robbing from innocent people. His life fundamentally revolved around unrestrained drinking and promiscuous women. But the lame robber eventually transformed and prevented himself from living a lewd life. Later, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Mecca and came back as a spiritually enlightened person. He was fully cured of his lameness. The play of Citakkati Nonti Natakam was written in the cintu metre, which is known as the Nontic Cintu that depicted the real events regarding the life of a robber who existed during the period of Citakkai, who was a well known philanthropist.
During the 18th century, Marimuttup Pulavar gained immense popularity by writing the Tamil play of Tirukkaccur Nonti Natakam. The Aiyanar Nonti Natakam was also amongst the one of the most praised Nonti Natakams that were composed during that period.