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Its frivolous subject may have been the reason why Malavika and Agni mitra is sometimes considered to be the least significant of the three dramas of Kali dasa, the poet laureate of Indian antiquity who probably lived in the fifth century CE. Yet the play’s lively and playful plot more than makes up for its lack of deities, heroic prowess and pathos. The machinations of King Agni mitra’s jester to help him add a dancing girl to his harem in spite of the subtle intrigues of the two jealous queens carry the gallant hero through hope and despair to the happy ending.