Mannj ( Snow : Screenplay, 1983)
( Snow, for a word that encompasses everything from fog, snow, blizzard, smog from a land that has never seen winter.)
The Sardar waits for her by the verandah downstairs.Near the steps. Through his eyes, Vimala descending. She stands apart, no emotions on her face.
Sardar: How was yesterday’s boat ride?
Vimala looks at him with intense anger.
Sardar: Can I not guess it? I can read your whole mind like a book. Madam, the loss is mine.(Pauses for a while.) Shall I tell you a joke?
Sardar: I like you.
Sardar: Do not feel perturbed. Will not stop you on the way. Will not offer a love letter. Just like that…a liking..
Slightly Irritated, Vimala : For what?
Vimala struggling for words..Smiles with bitterness..
Vimala : Even before establishing an acquaintance..good!
Sardar: I could have investigated a hundred little things.Then the picture would be filled with branches, leaves, roots. You are but a dot.
Vimala: Utter nonsense!
Sardar: Exactly! Life is also utter nonsense, is it not?
Vimala walks in the opposite direction. Sardar catches up with her.
Sardar :Just one more thing, madam!
Sardar: It is a request!
Vimala turns a little.
Sardar: Smile occasionally. Else you might totally forget that divine gift. That is not just my request- it is nature’s request!
He smiles and walks off. Vimala stands astounded, then stares at an unseen picture puzzle that she cannot solve. Tired, she sits down .
**********End of Scene
Scene 15: The Raja Lomapada is looking troubled…He can see the Queen coming near him, but ignores her. His mind is elsewhere.
Queen ( With a hardly disguised glee): No use even when the Raj Guru has arrived, is there?
Raja listens, and turns his face away.
With a sigh, the Queen: My favourite Satapatra have dried in my garden!
Angrily, the Raja : At least you have drinking water in the palace! In the whole of the kingdom of Anga, the houses are without that!
With mockery, the Queen: Could you not have send a missive to your intimate friend in Ayodhya? Is not Dasrath, the greatly learned King who gives advice for every problem?
The Raja realises the deep meaning hidden within her words. He stares at her.
Then calmly, Raja : The King of Ayodhya cannot make the Sarayu river change her course, can he?
Queen: He gave up his daughter in adoption to his best friend..
Raja, in seriousness : Yes, complete your sentence.Unless you remind me often, I might forget that Santha is my adopted daughter, right?
Queen, smiles but with bitterness.
Queen :No, not that.I bring her up, as if she is the gift I received, without going through the pain of labour.But there are those who say that she was given in adoption because the land where she lives, will always be troubled by disasters. False story, I do not believe in it…
The Raja gets up and looks at the Queen with contemptuous anger.
Raja : There are also those who say that disasters started the day when a Queen who could not give birth came into the land, as Lomapada’s wife! False story, I do not believe in it either.
He moves out from the chamber like a furious cyclone.
The dust storm enters the room through the windows and envelops the Queen. She tries to escape from the dust, by hiding her face.She is crying aloud in anger and unhappiness..
**************End of Scene