Tuesday, April 9, 2013
WINTER by Amjad Prawej
An old lady is sitting on a chair and knitting. Guddi enters running.
Guddi: Grand ma! Grand ma! We are here.
Grand Ma: Be careful Guddi. You will trip and fall.
She embraces Guddi and kisses her.
Enter Babloo. He looks disappointed.
Guddi: I won! I won! I touched Grand Ma first.
Babloo: You started running on “two”. You are a cheater.
Guddi: No, I am not.
Grand Ma: Stop fighting. Come here Babloo. (She kisses him) You both are winners.
Enter Rupak and Sandhya.
Sandhya: My God, these kids! They are uncontrollable. Stop harassing grand ma. Go play in the garden. Hello Ma (Mother).
Grand Ma: Hello. How was the drive? Hello Rupak.
Rupak: Hello Ma.
Sandhya: It was as usual except the kids wouldn't stop planning and talking about you.
Rupak: They get so excited and happy every time we plan on coming here.
Grand Ma: I can't thank you enough for bringing them here every month. Seeing them makes me happy. Thank you for making this old and lonely lady happy.
Sandhya: Don't say that ma. You have all the rights to see them. After all you are the only grand ma they have.
Rupak: Besides, they are so happy to see you.
Enter Babloo and Guddi.
Babloo: Grand Ma! Look what I found.
Grand Ma: Its a caterpillar.
Guddi: I saw it first.
Sandhya: I will go put these things in the kitchen and make some tea.
Rupak: I will help you.
Exit Sandhya and Rupak.
Grand ma: One day this caterpillar will turn into a butterfly.
Guddi: It will have many colors!
Grand Ma: Yes it will. Now go put it on the window sill.
They release the caterpillar on the window sill and return to Grand Ma.
Babloo: Grand Ma, what story are you going to tell us tonight?
Guddi: Sindbad the sailor!
Babloo: But we have heard that before.
Guddi: So what? You play that same stupid video game everyday!
Babloo: It's not the same. There are different levels.
Guddi: It's the same.
Babloo: No it's not.
Guddi: Yes it is.
Grand Ma: I will tell you a new story tonight.
B & G: Yeeeeeeeee!!!
Grand Ma: Have you heard the story of Shravan Kumar?
Babloo: No Grand ma. Who is Shravan Kumar?
Grand Ma: He was the son of Shantnav and Gyanvati. He was a dutiful son and is known for his devotion toward his parents. He was very obedient.
Guddi: Hmm... So he was not like Babloo?
Babloo: Huh.. As if you are like him. What did he do grand Ma?
Grand Ma: You will have to wait for me to tell the story tonight.
Babloo: I want to hear it now.
Guddi: I will wait till the story time Grand ma. See I am obedient.
Babloo: I am obedient too.
Guddi: No you are not.
Babloo: Yes I am.
Rupak: (Off stage) Babloo! Guddi! Come in here. Let Grand Ma have some rest.
Babloo and Guddi exit. Grand Ma goes back to her knitting. She knits for sometime in silence. Deepak enters. He is carrying a shopping bag.
Deepak: Ma! Don't you ever get tired of knitting? (He hugs her)
Grand Ma: I am knitting sweaters for Guddi and Babloo. I am hoping to finish before they come during their winter vacation.
Deepak: You'll ruin your eyes. Anyway, I got you some fruits and vegetables. I also got you this new ointment for your knees. I hear it is really good. Please massage every day.
Grand Ma: I will. How is your new job?
Deepak: Same as the old one. Slugging. It would be so different if I had an MBA. But... I can't afford it... unless of course... (their eyes meet, he sighs) I will put these in the fridge.
Exit Deepak. Grand Ma goes back to knitting again. Enter Geeta.
Geeta: How could you do that? I had been literally begging you to let me take a loan on this house. But no, I was not as good as Sandhya or Rupak. And look what they did to you! Their company is bankrupt and they have no means to pay off their loan. Are you satisfied?
Grand Ma: (Smiles) How are you sweetheart?
Geeta: I am fine. Ashok and I are moving to Bangalore this month. He knows someone there. It will be a struggle in the beginning. (Silence...) Ma... I would've asked you to come but...
Grand Ma: I know beta (son). Don't worry. I will be fine. I made some Gajar Halwa for you. It's in the fridge.
Exit Geeta. Grand Ma continues knitting for sometime. She stops. Looks around. Goes back to knitting again. Stops. Looks in one direction as if she heard something.
Grand Ma: Guddi... Babloo...
Kishore, a caretaker enters. He is wearing a uniform.
Kishore: Do you need something Mrs. Mathur?
Grand Ma: Ah, Kishore... No... I am... I thought...
Kishore: Would you like to go for a walk?
Grand Ma: Yes, that would be nice. (Caretaker helps her out of the chair. She looks at the unfinished sweater and picks it up) Are you married Kishore?
Kishore: Yes, Mrs. Mathur. I have a son and a daughter.
Grand Ma: That's nice. Do you love your children?
Kishore: Of course I do. More than anything else. Why do you ask?
Grand Ma: (Smiles) I forgot to knit a sweater for myself. You shouldn't. (Hands him the unfinished sweater) It'll keep you warm in the winter. And please bring me some more wool. I am going to start knitting for myself again.
Kishore: I will.