ANALOG INDIA

Two friends, Anik and Barnak are writing in class whilst
talking in whispers.

ANIK
Seen Sacred Games yet?

BARNAK
What?

Anik stops writing. Looks at Barnak in disgust.

ANIK
Oh yes, I forgot, Doordarshan is
more of a comfort zone for you!

BARNAK
I told you, man… I’m not into all
these–

ANIK
What else do you do but cram stupid
notes all day?

BARNAK
It’s called self-study fool, ever
done that?

ANIK
Ever done that without books?

BARNAK
I don’t really prefer manuscripts,
thank you!

ANIK
You’re undoubtedly the worst
comedian I have ever heard of!

BARNAK
But you have heard of me…

1983_h

ANIK
So you do watch movies?

BARNAK
Occasionally.

ANIK
Talking of books, you can get loads
of that on the internet which you
can’t even dream of getting in the
market, what do you say to that,
Homo-habilis?

BARNAK
I don’t know if your updated mind
has come across this term, but we
laymen use a thing called the
‘li-bra-ry’, ever heard of it?

ANIK
Seriously? A library? You’re funny!
You think one library can match the
entire online database?

BARNAK
Maybe it can’t, but, if you had
been to one, you’d understand that
a library is more than–

Anik tries to cut in, Barnak gestures him not to interrupt.

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Just a storehouse of books, it’s a
place of meditation as well, which
offers tranquillity and
concentration! Tell me which of
your ‘websites’ does that?

ANIK
Libraries are currently doing one
thing, and that is digitisation!
Try and access Jstor sometime!

Barnak nods his head in acknowledgement and carries on
writing.

ANIK
Let alone all the web series’,
chuck them, they are just for
entertainment. But, don’t tell
me, the lectures and videos aren’t
helpful. They are done by the best
in the world. Admit it, you also
watch them.

BARNAK
I prefer a hands-on discussion with
my teachers, thank you very much.
Can your ‘best in the world’ give
you that?

ANIK
But you can at least check them out
Gestures at the blackboard
The one of differential calculus
was awesome, just awesome! I sent
you the link, you probably haven’t
even bothered to check it out.

BARNAK
Can’t take these–

Gestures at the blackboard

Down properly, and here you are
talking about more stuff. Pfft!

ANIK
As I said, they aid in your
understanding only–

BARNAK
As I also said, my home teachers
are perfectly capable of that!

ANIK
When did I say they are not? Come
on! E-learning is in demand bro!
They even offer certificates on
completing courses!

BARNAK
Nowadays they give certificates for
everything– someday I’ll hear
mothers handing out certificates to
their children for successfully
bringing dhania from the market!

ANIK
You’re tedious!

BARNAK
The point is, we’re ultimately
gonna toil night and day in some
corporate firm, so, what’s the
point of all this anyway?

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At this point, Anik comes out of character, breaks the fourth
wall and directly talks to the audience as an ad-hoc narrator
of sorts. Light focuses on Anik as Barnak is not seen.

ANIK
Eventually, after some more witty
repartee with Barnak, the bell rang
to mark the end of the tiring maths
class. Immediately, Barnak gets
called by, Shruti, another
classmate of ours, to solve- what
she calls- an ‘IIT level’ Maths
problem. For Barnak, this sounded
like a call for the show valour and
chivalry. He puffed his chests out
and went to rescue his damsel in
distress. It all looked very much
like a page from Walter Scott.
After a few moments, a dejected
Barnak quietly returned to the
seat, it is evident that he has
lost the battle of sexes. Not only
was he unable to solve the problem,
but Nayanika did it for him.
Shame…Shame…Shame…

Anik goes back into character as the lights now show both of
them.

BARNAK
Eh, Anik, umm, could you send me
those links today evening?

ANIK
Oh, there are loads, I have to
search for them…

BARNAK
Please man…

ANIK
Won’t be possible today evening, in
the night perhaps?

BARNAK
Are you busy this evening?

ANIK
Yes, have Roshni ma’am’s tuition.

fin

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Well Past Midnight

It is well past midnight now and I am here sitting in the railway station with you. Countless earthen pots are lying beside me as you can very well see.

Heyy! Look!—What? Don’t you see?

See that young lady over there, gracefully mixing with darkness at the horizon. She is out my sight now. Fear not! Her silhouette is with me and I will tell her story, yes I am determined now! I will only tell her story!

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And you, will you listen?

She was stranger, true, but in this godforsaken place, she became a stranger to herself as well. She felt lonely. Nobody knew her and she knew nobody.

The isolation was eating her by the day

She had no one to say ‘hey’

We are a rational animal they say

And True!

A social animal, yes, so was she…but an animal without food

Isn’t that an insult to the neighbourhood?

She didn’t know how this world worked; she was an amateur, a hungry amateur.

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Come on let’s get on this train, it’s the last one! We’ll continue our story there. Make sure you put on your woollens properly, it’s chilly.

Ahh! There’s a seat, come.

Whooo does that yuckkkk! Look at that kinky poster and it is stuck with a gum, how cheap is that!

I can never get these people with stupid agendas you know, I mean, how foolish do you think people are huh?  To fall for these cheap tricks? The government must do something to protect the innocent people who perhaps are getting fooled by these tricksters every day! My head is so on fire you know, I will write a letter as soon as I get home to the highest of authorities.

I have a LOT of connections!

Ohh! Damn it why isn’t the train moving yet?! I need to have a chat with the driver, pronto!

Come down the platform with me……

I need to talk to the driver about the problems and the damn posters people are sticking, incorrigible!

Oh, your story! I am so sorry, I almost forgot, happens to creative peo—-

Isn’t this that girl??? Yes, it is her!

What is she doing? Is she, OH MY!

She is putting up a poster… it is the same poster…

IT also reads…

RIYA WANTS TO BE FRIENDS

CALL  **********

She’s the one who really needs the FRIENDS.

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You see I may not be the most popular guy in the world, but I have you as my friend and I am grateful to you for that, and I will be in this year and in the next!

Make friends; talk with people… because you never know who might need one!

Don’t just wish Happy New Year,

Make someone’s New Year, Happy!

CIAO! This train was for the Car-shed anyway.

Image Courtesy:

 

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Finding the Calling

A play of sorts in one act

Narrator: Ladies and gentlemen, attention please, A red digital clock at Howrah station platform no.3 showed 4:29; the diabolical figure resonated through his mind, as missing the 4:30 local….oh the horror! He dragged his over-exhausted right leg amidst the sea of people and managed to somehow scamper into the much dreaded first compartment.

Boy: Phew! That was so close!

Narrator: His momentary inflated ego was crushed immediately by a nonchalant hawker who shrugged him off as if he wasn’t there.

Boy: Heyy! Can’t you see me? Huh?

Narrator: No brother, you’re John Cena. (pause) Just as he had managed a decent standing place, saw something very odd lurking in a general compartment, (bold sarcastic voice) two young ladies (yay!).

Boy: Oh crap! She is looking at me!

Girl1: Umm…will the train stop at konnagar?

Boy (blabbering): Well! The train, madam, stops at every station but you know, the journey never ends.

Just like love, it goes on and on and on…

Girl1: stupid! (aside)

Boy: (to the audience)

Forget trains!

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in love, must say yes to everything at first. And…I think…yes, I am in Love.

Narrator: She was not the one for the poets and it was exactly that which made everything so poetic.

Girl1 (to Girl2): Why is he being so weird?

Girl2 (smiles while looking at the boy through the corner of her eye; speaks distractedly): What do YOU think? … well, you should know!

Girl1: NO, I mean..umm …wait! What do you mean by that?

Girl2: Ummm… nothing.. well, I prefer speaking in innuendoes you know!

Girl1: INNUENDOES???   Ughhh!! You and your “MILLS AND BOONS”!

Narrator: The switch my friend is ON!

Girl1: No INNUENDOS and for your kind information No Love Story here..

Girl2: By the way… When did I say it’s a LOVE story? Huh?

Boy (sudden excitement and despair): Oh GOD! I can’t find my phone! (to Girl1; panting) Excuse me! Can you please give me a missed call?

Girl2(whispers): Ahem! Ahem! Divine intervention you see…

Boy: Well, yeah… I do understand it’s awkward for you, please help me out here…

Girl1: Why do you think brother I will help you? Do you think I’m a nun in some Cathedral ready to help everyone?

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Boy (whispers): What! Brother!
(aloud): Okay, sorry to brother you… I mean to bother you… wait! Why should I be sorry? A nun is never bothered anyway. After all, she’s the harbinger of love.

Girl2: Whoa!.. is something on fire? Or someone diss-appointed?

Narrator: On hitting call after moments of reluctant dialling… the compartment was instantly graced by the tunes of “Can’t Help falling in Love”, thanks to the Chinese speakers! (pause) After few moments of rampant rummaging, our boy discovers his device, lying below a seat and picks up in the blink of an eye.

Boy: Thanks… (whispers) It is truly said that one can never predict them… (pause) Okay, sorry, don’t mind…

Narrator: She smiles away with her friend on another side of the compartment; leaving the boy red-faced. Thank god for the climax, that was one intensely boring narration! So, ladies and gentlemen, that was our—-

Girl2 (interrupts the narrator): Hey, narrator! You didn’t tell the full story?

Narrator: What story? My script ends here!

*gestures “she is crazy” to the audience*

Girl2 (to the audience; *Girl1 and Boy high-fives*): Allow me to finish it then, and take you all into the future (points at Girl1 while she hides her face)you know “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” Well, what started as a mutual admiration laced with scorn has ended with the two smiling.

Narrator: What are you talking about?

Girl2: Can’t you see the mutual glimmer in their eyes? The glimmer of happiness

Narrator: Happiness! A thing which started as an act of incivility has culminated otherwise? Really!

Boy: See sometimes even a simple start can…

Girl1: …lead to a story!

Boy: (to the audience):

Well, everything said and done,

I hope you had much fun;

I would now like to conclude by saying this—

So as to leave you all in bliss:

You might as now well think, that I had kept the phone there on purpose…..

Well….. Did I?

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-FIN-

 

This was performed as a closet drama by the SA Jaipuria team at Shri Shikshayatan College.

It is inspired by Com Partment:  https://thepenarchist.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/com-partment/

, originally written by Samya Brata Roy.

However, it was adapted for the performance by a lot of people:

Samya Brata Roy

Srija Chakraborty

Susmita Roy Chaudhuri

Shreya Banerjee

Chandrani Sanyal

and last but not the least

Mr Bimal Chakraborty or as we lovingly call him Bimal sir.

We enjoyed working on it so much that we even plan to release a video of it in the near future.

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Com partment.

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A red digital clock at Howrah station platform no.3 showed 4:29; the diabolical figure resonated through my mind as missing the 4:30 local would surely have been fatal. I dragged my over-exhausted right leg amidst the sea of people and managed to somehow scamper into the much dreaded first compartment. My momentary inflated ego was crushed immediately by a nonchalant “Murshidabad er gamcha” seller who shrugged me off by a very courteous “dada shorun”. Just as I had managed a decent standing place, I saw something very odd lurking in a general local train compartment, a young lady (yay!).

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As fate might have had it, she was directly looking at me(now that doesn’t happen), only to ask me if the train would stop at Konnagar (such a romance killer). A nod came in reflex.

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She was not the one for the poets and it was exactly that which made everything so poetic.

The tired train moved with a grunt and slacked like a baby to school. She couldn’t find the perfect posture in the overcrowded compartment and kept turning; new to “daily passenger-i” I thought. With every turn, it seemed she stole one glance here and another glance there as if it opened up different facets to her.

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I, the skilled playboy that I am, remained silent and observed the proceedings in awe. Her protruding rucksack hit me sometimes as a reminder from my inner Barney Stinson to start up a conversation. I did, in my head of course as the hawker raved on about his “quality cotton maal” in the background.

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I don’t know if it was fact or fiction, but after a few moments, I saw her conversing with another guy. A flurry of emotions wrapped around my brain as if to make folly out of my failures. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

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There was nothing romantic, or there was I don’t know! But at that very moment, I realised what could have been! There are so many people, we don’t know, who could have been so much more, if only…

I didn’t know if she knew him or she did not (please be the former), honestly I don’t care! She was all smiles and so was he.

Is this a tale of love lost or stalking gained I don’t know. But what I do know is that trillion tales have been told of this style but very few are actually experienced.

Everything it seems stopped that day, for them, for me; except the train, which wasn’t supposed to stop at Konnagar (which I remembered after getting down at Bally).

What have I done! What have I done! What have I done!

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The Last Ball

Two groups of women were battling for supremacy on a foreign turf. But, the fight, irrespective of the context, seemed familiar to many others who observed it from a great distance. The world had never seen anything like this before.                                                   Like many other high-born women, Raima was also traditionally sold into another household.   Putting her dreams in the dumpster, she took charge of the kitchen during day and kisses during the night. The noble Pal bongsho had just acquired a new scapegoat.

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The match was nearing a nail-biting conclusion when the gods of thunder from all mythologies joined heads and decided to intervene. The ominous clouds came from all directions to dampen their spirits. To their utter shock, nothing could deter the spirits of these amazons.                                                                                                                             Raima wanted to be a player herself but failed, as maintaining a chaste demeanour was considered more important than the very unwomanly barbarianism she was interested in.

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It was a do or die situation now, the last moment of action would seal the fate. On one side, a burly lady was charging in to deliver at a great pace and accuracy; on the other hand, a meek Raima was attempting her first roti. Stakes were high: pride of the team and the soshur-bari were at stake on both the sides. The lady delivered with great pace but it was dispatched with equal vigour. Raima flamed one side of the roti for far too long: it was burnt!

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The girls’ team were distraught, it was the first time they had reached such a stage but couldn’t capitalise on it. Raima was shocked on seeing the shape of the roti and had started imagining the unimaginable.

Just when everything was falling apart, the girls saw the entire stadium giving them a standing ovation. Kottababu was taken aback by Raima’s grim look. He went beside her, smiled and said “ashte ashte hobe” and hugged her tight.

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It was then that these women realised, the apparent defeat is just another stepping stone for success.

What if a war is lost? The battle is there to be won!

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Glossary

bongsho-family

roti– a type of flatbread

soshur-bari– in-laws’ house

kottababu– head of the family

ashte ashte hobe-give it time

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Oh God!

The darkness of the stage is broken by a momentary flash of blinding light and loud cracks.

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The light silhouetted darkness is now pervaded by two characters who enter from both ends.

[drum roll]

enter Oh and God!

Oh, a highly cynical lady of age surveys her surroundings and keeps stuttering towards the middle of the stage while letting out a puff or two. On reaching, her eyes fall on a young man who wore deep purple robes, a cap and a shiny long necklace, which was the cause of much amusement for the lady.

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God!, a young lad, most probably a teenager, perhaps the calmest one there ever was; casually strolls into the stage and looks at the smoking old lady dressed in a curious manner. Her head was covered by a cloth, like a hippie! He couldn’t control his chuckle and let out a loud sneer.

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[The coincidental bursts of not so subtle scorn swiftly gained their ways into each other’s ears.]

[Long pause and melodious violin plays as the characters start to dance towards each other and stop at once when they meet]

Oh: So, why do you dress in such a fancy manner eh? RELIGIOUS ARE YOU? Don’t you know that there is nothing called God! How can you be so backwards that in spite of living in the modern times you still cling on to these ancient beliefs? Allow me to illuminate you, YOUNG MAN!

There is no proof about God! Science triumphed way back when Darwin paraded the minds of the intellectuals with his groundbreaking theories! And yet, you crackpots…still believe that someone is up there who created us, eh? Do you even Science, huh?

Religion was introduced as a mean of oppression to thwart the voices of the subaltern! It was nothing more than a fancy narrative, meant for striking fear in the hearts of the laymen. The oppressors enjoyed the shunning of these classes as that allowed them to reap the fruits of their “sinned” lives! How else do you explain the concepts of sin and retribution or whatever measures they have for wiping sin away in a jiffy!

And, you know what, all of y’all think that your faith tells the absolute truth and all the others are absolute nonsense! And that’s MY BOY is the root of all evils in the modern society!!!!!! The devastating wars are wiping the universe of anything human that is left in society, Why doesn’t your God look after us now? Do you have an answer you ignorant fool?

[The young man, after a long period of constant ranting, finally opens his mouth while fingering the insides of his ear]

God!: Calm down madam, such rage is not good for your pursuit to heaven.

[The lady’s face turns purple and she prepares to throw her walking stick but decides against it at the end]

Why are you so angry madame? The evil forces have taken your soul over I am sorry to say. I do understand what you’re trying to say, madame.

See, we, the so-called religious people do understand the reason for your frustration as you all will never be accepted by the almighty. So, you all decided to rant against him to hide your deep seated angsts.

[The lady manages to keep her cool, in spite of shaking vigorously with anger]

And with your science stuff, with all due respect madame, your lot are always coming up with new explanations and theories every day…

Which one do we believe?

Are the modern explanations true? Not even you can guarantee that! Can you?

Coming to the tortures and making others to forcefully believe in your belief,

Is that not what you were doing to me till now?

[The lady opens her mouth and every sane living being could foretell the ranting that she’d be going on right now]


But, whoops!!! Powercut !

All the cast and crew are left irritated with this mishap, the room was pitch black.

The final rehearsal of “Oh God!” sadly met an abrupt end.

The director was forced to scream “Pack-up!” and promised that he would try and squeeze in another session or two before the first screening of the already full house production!

The main characters Oh (played by Adidi Warrens) and God!(played by Hitchen Dawkins) were left disgruntled but hugged each other out after a virtual phase of mutual scorn.

Before leaving the set, Hitchen came running towards Adidi and returned her cross necklace which she takes everyday to church. He almost threw the necklace to her and ran homewards.

“Have some respect!” the lady yelled.

“You and your religion..ugh!” came the reply.


Rumour has it that never again were actors so committed.

One can show their bodies in spite of reluctance but,

Can one reluctantly acknowledge the other side of their beliefs?  

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He is Manik and He is Felu!

 

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Satyajit Ray

Contributed to Ink Elan for observing 23rd https://www.facebook.com/inksfromyoursoul/photos/a.1388273137878638.1073741829.986575891381700/1740521299320485/?type=3&theater

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Life in little rooms

Link to the Ink Elan Post:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1914459091926704&id=986575891381700

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HIS STORY

KOSHA MANGSHO

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Dokandar is in a hurry to close his shop a little early this evening.

Why not?

His wife has made his favourite kosha mangsho for dinner.

You can’t help a man falling for that,can you? *wink*

There he pulls his shutter and it comes down with the traditional “grrrrr….”.

He zips to his bicycle in a flash whilst blabbering excuses to the visibly disappointed customers.

He strokes the paddle and takes off for home sweet home.

Amidst the twirly roads with its quirky turns, dokandar babu humms his favourite tune and sometimes rubs his capon lined vintage pot belly.

pure bliss!eh?

CHOTU EKTI PRAN

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Chotu is sleeping in the only charpoy that his Kottababu gave him.He twists and turns as the room suffocates his senses. There is only one window in the room from where the sunlight gains entry and ends its errand just before the foot of the bed. In spite of being deprived of air and light, Chotu manages to stay and work for his Kottababu .That night it got a little extra hot at some point in time and Chotu woke up with a start to realise that his room was on fire!

Bewildered at his present predicament he found himself at the storehouse of death, he couldn’t call out for help as the door was also conveniently jammed! Rest aside phones, not a single pigeon could be seen nearby!

He screamed

and screamed

and screamed

and screamed

and did it again!

Alas! It was all in vain when he stopped screaming, Mother Nature understood that the fire has engulfed him!

Somewhere, a leaf fell on the floor.

BHIVISHIKA

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Many people were huddled up in one corner,discussing something, apparently very important and serious. All I could hear was some humdrum, nothing significant caught my ear, maybe because I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes. As I got nearer, the “what’s and how’s” reached my ear and suddenly someone exclaimed,

“Hey, Dokandar’s here!”

Hearing my name I cycled faster to the spot and saw a little body wrapped in a dirty piece of cloth, suddenly everyone went mum, I couldn’t understand why, as I slowly removed the cloth my eyes swelled with tears.

The tiffin carrier which had some left over Kosha Mangsho fell with a clink on the road…

“Why did I leave Chotu alone that night?”

Is a question that still haunts me in my dreams.

 

based on a true incident

 

 

Simplicity

Richard Bucks, an accountant of some repute stepped into the café. At an instant, he became the subject of meticulous scanning by the passersby. Not paying any heed he walked straight to the counter and ordered a cuppa of cappuccino, the large one.Having adjusted his Armani suit, he placed his Gucci handbag on a table placed nearby and started to fiddle with his i-Phone 6s. When his order arrived, he accepted it with a professional smile.

After such a glamorous display, what would everyone expect? That this bigshot Bucks would  sip on with an authority whilst showing all his bells and whistles off?
You also expected that, didn’t you?

But, what followed, is quite on the contrary which had people again staring at him after they had finished chatting about his “black-money”. Mr.Bucks jotted down the aisle and handed the cuppa over to a destitute who was shivering with cold at the roadside.

So, everyone would expect a typical moral of the story after such a clichéd point of view. So, here it is!

Simplicity can be attained inspite of owning all kinds of gizmos.
Everything depends on the “insides” and the “insights” of a man.

thank you for reading!