an indian youth searches for a hero – a play written by janardan ghosh

The Play

A group of actors run around and search for something… they look for all possibilities with their body and voice…

A Kid – Dhoondte rahe jaoge… (He repeats it in a mundane dragging tone)

The group starts singing while searching continues –

Up and down

Let’s look for the crown

That one should wear

Is here or there

Oh up and down

Oh please don’t frown

And don’t stop now

Or ask me how

Just keep searchin’

Till the crown is in

For us to sport

O’right in the court

And all shall hail

The Hero Machivell

A hero Machivell… a hero Machivell…

Actor 1 – Suno suno suno…Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli….3rd May 1469 to 21st June 1527… an Italian philosopher and writer…. based in Florence during the Renaissance. …. a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright… a civil servant of the Florentine Republic…… Machiavelli…

Actor 2 – Ek tha Republic… Republic of Florence….. or Republic of Insurance…..

Actor 3 – Insurance!

Act 2 – Ha bhai ha… Insurance… success ki insurance, victory ki insurance…. Jaise taise mujhe Jeet Chahie…

Act 4 – Jo jita who sikandar

Act 5 – Right… by hook or by crook you have to achieve the trophy… by means unheard of … by methods unapproved one should reach the top to be….

All – A hero a hero… a Hero no…. one

Act 1 – Suno suno… suno…. Suno…

Act – 2 – Oh shut up ….what… Suno suno suno… are we deaf…. Have we gathered here to have Ice creams and buy flowers for our darlings? Majak hai kya… we are here to listen… to see … sorry folks… ok carry on….

Act 1 – Suno suno suno…

All – Oh god….

Act 1 – The King…. the Badshah…. the Sultan…. the Emperor of our beloved motherland has declared a Grand Competition … a contest unparalleled in the history of time…

Act 3 – E bhai which time are you talking about?

Act 1 – Now … now… here and now…

Act 4 – Don’t fool around with us… don’t try our patience… you want us to believe that we are still ruled by Kings and Emperors..

Act 1 – Yes sir … now when you sit in the land of kahani…. Excuse me sir, sorry madam not Salman Rusdie’s kahani… this is our Kahani apni kahani… to speak the truth we don’t have stories without them… I know you are smirking…. Doubtful are you…. Ok ladies and gentlemen please open your History books and see…. all stories of kings and queens… no sada sidha insaan like us … not a single simple soul…. From Ram, Judhishthir to Harshavardhan to Ashok to Akbar to Jehangir to Shahjahan to Alexander to Victoria to Thacher to Bush to

Kid – Barrack Hussain Obama

Act 1 – Absolutely right Badshah ke Badshah Bare Badshah…. No no not our own Shahrukh Khan… madam… he also had to …you know… Badshah ke darbar me who checking sheking ka mamla … Are baba Shahrukh ne jab US gaya tha…you all must be knowing it …

All – Heeeeee….kahani chalti nahin chorke raja rani – ho babua / Mene cholo isab holo itihaser bani – ho babua / Bhook se mara garib tabhi kahani na bani – ho babua / Raja rani pie pani o bhi hoti kahani – ho babua…

Kid – Suna hai suna hai Sealdah Loreto me Badal Sircar ki natak… (Actor 1 closes his mouth and he struggles)

Act 1 – Oh shut up you little brat… Chappar chappar chappar… it’s a mouth or a manhole incessantly gurgling nonsense….anyway no more arguments…. Now Attention please the Grand competition….is to hunt for a hero.. a real hero… one who is able to find one real hero shall be awarded half the kingdom … and if once you register and then if you fail to get the hero you shall be sent to the house of alternative arithmetic crossing roads of consciousness and you…(noise and sound)

Act 5 – I am not afraid I am the first son of the King… I shall fetch one Hero soon

Act 3 – I shall also participate I am the minister’s son

Act 6 – Please register my name too

Act 7 – Or mera nam bhi

All – Chal chal chal, chal chal chal,

Kid – Dhoondte rahe jaoege

( all start searching through actions of cricket, acting, fighting, painting drawing….)

Act 5 – Apne koi Hero ko dekha idhar se jate hue

Act 8 – Ain Zero bola bhai… Temperature zero… ain thanda hain ain

Act 5 – Zero nahi hero hero…

Act 8 – Hero wo kia sarkar Lamba ya gol, garam ia thanda hain?

Act 5 – Are baba thora different

Act 8 – Oh Maggie pichku it’s different acha hain…

Act 5 – Sir an uncommon man

Act 8 – Uncommon man Ya I know one such Hero ain

Act 5 – Hain….Fast take me to him….

(Few actors point out to Act 1 who acts out what the others say)

Few actors – There was a very cautious man / Who never laughed or cried / He never risked, he never lost / he never won nor tried / And hwen one day he passed away / His insurance was denied / for since he never really lived / They claimed he never died.

Act 5 – Ahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……. (Sits flat on the ground)

Act 3 – There I saw somebody more like a hero

(Few actors point out to Act 1 who acts out what the others say)

Few Actors – He is thinking in the land of Gandhi, Tagore and Aurobindo…. What should be our way of life… Our values strong and straight…. No more of those psycho nervo-callisthenics…. Barbeque prongs, cameo suits….blank verse and few props…..

(Actor 3 falls thud on the ground)

Act 1 – Besharam lucha kahinka ghar me tution teacher nahi hai ka…. Sorry ma behan nahi hai ka…

Act 7 & Act 8 – Jungle jungle pata chala hai / Is shaharme ik hero mila hai

All – Ye shahar ….Our city / Rapid increase in crimes / Unemployment / Global warming / endangered species / loss of languages / disease, poverty, terrorism and DEATH !

(Act 7 & Act 8 scared rats run hither thither… )

Act 7, Act 8, Act 5, Act 3 – Bachao…bachao….

All – Either we shall all be saved together, or down together into destruction… Come on let us catch hold of somebody and declare him as the hero…. There he is… hold him tight, grab him and loft him to the pedestal make him a Hero….

Act 9 – Oh no please please don’t don’t… Not me I am no Hero….

All – Yes you are… (they raise him )

Act 9 – (weeping) I met my first dead body at 16…/ recorded my first kiss at 17 / you raise me now not in the best of times / In fact it is the worst of times…. The Wikileaks time,

All – Wikileak!!!!!

Act 9 – Yes these are times threatened by warnings raised by eco scientists and social scientists…..

All – Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Al Gore…

Act 9 – Oh please….please put me down… we all are ticking in our inappropriate boxes / waging peace in times of war, joining dots/ drawing straight lines….

All – Death awaits us …..

Act 10 – No arise awake and stop not till the goal is achieved…… let us all go back to the king and shout aloud that we are all for one and one for all we are Hero no one

All – Are you sure…

Act 10 – You have no options but ….

All – Ok ( they form a structure)

All – Deliverance is not for us in renunciation. We feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight…. No we will never shut the doors of our senses… The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy light… Yes, all our illusions will burn into the illumination of joy, and all our desires ripen into fruits of love….

Act 1 – One purpose of a walk is to stop, to move towards a moment, white washing walls, across the world…. And then write on it

We want no Heroes / we jus want a friend / a common man / who is just around / we want no wars / we just want a hug / a warm embrace / love unbound/ we want no trophies / we jus want to play / a game of wickets / boundaries unfound / we want no stars / we jus want to act / a comedy of our lives / a merry go round…. We want no heroes……

(all move into the audience space, the lone kid up on the stage)

All Actors from different directions – All heroes are Machiavellis…. Like the political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends – to become a HERO…..

Kid – Kaha tha na Dhoondte rahe jaoge… mante nahi ho….

End.

Janardan Ghosh

Please write in with your feedback or permission to janardan@culturemonks.in

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