Friday, November 29, 2002

Modern drama

It was Deepawali time and it was usual for all us cousins to celebrate together. In the village we really celebrated the festival on a grand scale. Since it’s a small village its usual for everyone to contribute something or other for entertainment. My cousin and I decided to do a small skit for the general public. The stage was the raised foreground in front of the village temple with the court in front covered by shamiana.

The scene starts off with the narrator telling the crowd the cooked up history of our Super Drama Company. He then runs through the difficult financial situation for drama companies in these ages and how even the actors have not been paid for months together. We had a good narrator who made up all sorts of stories and all the villagers were silently listening to the tragic tales and woes of our drama troupe (for they didn't know what was yet to come!!). Finally he ends by telling us that the scene to be enacted is about Ram and Ravan's dialogue when the war has reached the final stage. I played the role of Ram; my cousin played the role of Ravan.

Drums’ beating in the background and red light slowly fades to normal light. I am standing on a table and so is Ravan (which you should realise are our chariots). Two little kids squatting in front on two chairs are our charioteers. There is a hushed silence in the crowd.

Ram: Ah! there you are thief and coward. You stole my wife and for that sake you have sacrificed your entire family.

Ravan (cleaning his ears): Who are you calling coward? I think the effect of staying with all these monkeys has rubbed onto you.

Ram: Ha! It's these same monkeys that have literally destroyed your army. And now I will make sure you will not run away. (With that he shoots an arrow at Ravan's charioteer).

Ravan (looking down casually at his dead charioteer): Nooo problem! Today you cannot kill me.

Ram: Well let’s see. Here comes the mighty 'Varuna-asthra'.
(A colourful arrow flies across and Ravan catches the arrow. And snaps it into two. Ram looks perplexed).

Ram: Fine be like that! Boss will be angry for breaking that arrow. But here comes the ultimate 'Brahmastra'. You cannot escape this.

Ravan is still chewing the paan and spitting. The arrow flies across, only to be caught in one hand and snapped into two pieces again.

Ram (almost teary eyed): What?!! That arrow cost us five rupees! (Turns to the narrator, cum director, cum drama company owner) He broke the arrow.. he broke it again...

Narrator runs on screen: Arrey Ravan, what is this? Every show you die... what’s the problem today?

Ravan: I am sick and tired of waiting for my salary. Unless you give my salary today I won't die.

Narrator: Offo! Look I will give you after the show.

Ravan: You say that all the time. I'm not listening to your excuses any more.

Narrator: Now stop acting like real Ravan. We can discuss all this later.

Ravan: No chance… I want my salary now (squats on the table and continues chewing the paan)

Narrator walking towards Ram: Do you have any money?

Ram (lifting his dhoti and taking out a leather purse) : I have two hundred and a credit card.

Narrator: Ok..forget the card. Here is three hundred more... (he runs and picks up the half broken Brahmastra on the stage) Now tie the five notes and shoot the arrow at him.

After a short while.

Ram: Ha! I have a more superior weapon than the Brahmastra coming now. Prepare to die.

Ravan: Shoot ... (The half broken arrow barely makes it across. The charioteer who had been shot earlier catches it and hands it to Ravan.)

Ravan (counting the notes): One, two, three, four five... aaaaaaahhhhhhh.. (collapses and dies).

Narrator and Ram do the ultimate victory dance.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Clicky Web Analytics