What’s The Scene?
- Noyonika Goswami and Maschio D.
- Unnati Dholakia and Saksham Jain
- Shekhani Aishah and Christopher D.
Script Your Tales
- Tanay Kadel and Dhruv Verma
- Mitali Muralidhar and Tanvi Chamboowala
- Sujay Choksey and Niranjani Verekar, Akhilesh Kumar, Vama Gor
What Are Words Worth?
- Vishwambhar V.
- Rishabh Jain
- Reesha Jhangiani
For Better Or For Verse
- Kaajal Ahuja
- Maulik Dhabolkar
- Misbah Ansari and Ameya Bhatt
What’s The Scene?
FOLIE DE DEUX BY NOYONIKA GOSWAMI & MASCHIO D’MELLO
The officer sighed, holding the cup of coffee while surveying the scene. Murder again, third one in the city.
“Who are our suspects?”, he asks looking around.
“The girl over there. Jina. She is quite shaken, sir”, the young officer responds motioning at the girl sitting on the side, wrapped in an orange blanket, staring into nothing.
The officer sighs again, scratching his head before going over to her.
“Hello! My name is officer Gordon. You are the deceased’s?”
“Best friend. We are very close.”
“I see. Could you, err, tell us your story? About what happened.”
Jina locks her light grey eyes with his, sending an odd feeling of something being off. She starts narrating in a monotonous voice.
“I came back at 7pm from work. Met Kiara, she was working on a project. Something about feelings and handling them. I dressed up, had a shower, changed and went upstairs to the studio to unwind.”
“Studio?” he asks, taking a gulp of the coffee.
“Yes, I paint in my time off. Helps me relax.”
“Oh?” he asks, looking at the smaller portraits on the desks and the larger one above the double bed.
“Interesting paintings, these..”, he remarks, casually looking at the blue one.
“When did you find her like this?”, he asks, turning back to her after taking another gulp.
“Around 9pm.I came down for dinner. Called Kiara a few times, got no response. But when I went to the bedroom, and..”
She stops, closing her eyes, and crying, her head low against her knees.
“I found her..”, she mumbles, voice shaky.
“I’m so sorry, Miss Jina”, Gordon replied, reaching out to pick a lipstick from the table. It was open.
“She was so good, a complete sweetheart. I..I cannot believe she is gone”, Jina continues, voice quivering slightly as she looks at the corner of their bed.
“So beautiful..beautiful lovely Kiara.” She closes her eyes again, breath hitching.
“I’m sorry again, Jina. May I call you Jina?”
“No”, the flat response came again.
“Alright, could you tell me about someone or people who could have done..this?”
“Yes, there was this professor at her college. He was quite odd. Stalked her back home from college and tried to bust in once but we managed to get a stay order and expulsion letter for him”, she narrates, staring unblinkingly at the bed again.
“Okay, any more?”
“A girl from her class. Elizabeth. But I don’t think she would have been competitive and vicious enough to kill someone, even if she hated them.”
“And..?” she looks at the officer again with the same deadpan expression. She narrates again.
“And there is this guy, Sid. He was in Kiara’s class. They were very close and he is a fun and sweet guy. I met him a couple of times as he used to walk Kiara back after the professor incident. Quite protective of her too. In fact..”, she stops taking a deep breath, before continuing, her cheeks flushing lightly.
“In fact, he almost beat up a guy in her college, because that guy was passing off-remarks, about Kiara. He was protective of her, and such a sweet and charming young man. Played some sport. Rugby I think..”.
She pauses, her eyes widening as she looks at the officer.
“You don’t think he has done it, do you?”, she almost breathes that statement looking all worried.
“I mean, Sid is an amazing guy. So caring, so protective of Jina. He was always looking out for her. Would he?” She suddenly breaks off, placing her face in her hands, and taking a deep breath.
“I don’t think anything, ma’am. Not unless I have the proof”, officer Gordon responds quietly, his eyes roaming from the cigarette in the mug, and then the inhaler.
“Kiara did. I’m asthmatic”, comes the suddenly unemotional response.
“Oh, I see.”
“We went to Sid’s birthday party recently. It was great fun actually. We danced, ate and Kiara even baked him a cake. Red Velvet.”
“Happy Birthday Siddi boi!” Kiara greets him on his door, giving him air kisses on his cheek as he grins, hugging her.
“Thanks and welcome to the party!” he says looking at Kiara, while Jina breezes in.
“Happy Birthday, Sid.” Kiara says, handing him a bar of something that smelled like..
“Red velvet cake! Oh my god, Kiara! How did you know it’s my favorite?” he asks, ushering her in.
“I din’t. We just guessed.” Kiara responds, a flushing smile as Jina calls her.
“Kiara darling, come here.”
“Yes babe!” Kiara responds, turning to Sid, once.
“I’l be back.”
Smiling, Sid places their gift in the kitchen and walks out only to see a crowd around Kiara and Jina, mainly Jina.
“…and that’s how I managed to make it to Forbes. Oh, look! Birthday boy, come here!” Jina calls out, as others pull Sid towards the cake. Kiara, meanwhile, stays firmly by her girlfriend’s side.
“To one of Kiara’s great friends. I wouldn’t have discovered the new Tapas Bar, the various types of maki rolls without you. Happy Birthday!”, she cheers, handing him a bottle of dom perignon brut champagne.
“I…Jina? Are you sure?” Sid asks, looking in awe of the magnum-sized bottle.
“Sure, besides Kiara made you the cake-she turns and gives Kiara a peck on the cheek while Kiara barely flinches.
“And, I bring the booze.”
It was later on, after a couple of glasses, that Jina finally left Kiara’s side.
“I’l be right back, love”, she says, winking, before going to the washroom.
As soon as she goes in, Kiara finds Sid standing in front of her, stony faced.
“Kiara, we need to talk, about you and Jina.”
Kiara turns away, “I can’t. There is nothing. She whispers, her voice breaking.
“Trust me.” Sid asks her.
“Hey love! Jina stops at the kitchen door, to see Sid hugging Kiara, tightly, placing a kiss on her forehead. The moment he sees her, however the two move apart, Sid starts removing some dishes, while Kiara takes the knife out of the cake.
“Love, it’s late. We should probably go now. Shall we?” Jina asks, her smile tight, pretending as if she saw nothing.
Kiara nods, sniffling once before turning to Sid.
“It was a good party! Thank you.” She says and Sid nods mutely.
“Call me if you need something.”
“Let’s go Kiara”, Jina says, her voice harder, and Kiara comes along.
It’s been a few days since the murder. Jina finally had the house to herself. She makes some strong jasmine tea. Inhaling the aroma she leans back on the couch, sitting, relaxing. The past few days had been rough. Especially the murder, she could recollect the day so clearly. It was exactly 7:02pm when she entered the house, placing her keys in the bowl, her bag on the couch, and going straight to the washroom. Once she is done washing her face, she goes to the bedroom.
Kiara almost perhaps looking frightened.
“What’s this, Jina asks, picking up a page with a bold red ‘Done’ on it.
:It’s a..Jina, I need to tell you something.”
“Yes?” Jina asks, her steely eyes glittering.
“I don’t think we can be together anymore.”
“Why would you say that?” Jina asks, her eyes suddenly welling up.
“After all this time, all the love I have given you, this house, after everything you want to break up with me?” She asks, tears slowly rolling down.
“It’s not like..”
“It’s exactly that!” Jina screams, turning around to punch the wall hard, her eyes not watering anymore.
“You hate me, all because I’m better than you. You’re a pathetic jealous little girl while I am successful, and you hate that you are living off me.”, she says through clenched teeth punching the wall a lot more now.
“You know you can’t leave me. Jina turns to her again, eyes tearing up. “You know I can’t live without you. Please don’t go. “She closes her eyes and sobs, sinking on the floor, repeating only one sentence.
“I’m sorry, I hurt you..”
Kiara sits on the bed, shivering, crying herself.
“Jina, Please listen to me.”
No response, except the continuous sobbing.
“You love him, don’t you? That weak little boy, Sid. He doesn’t have a job, and I know you are cheating with him. Kiara!” She stops screaming, beginning to cry again.
“How could you..”, she sobs. Kiara gets off the bed, going close enough to Jina to pat her shoulder.
“I’m, I’m not cheating on him, Ji. I’m not doing anything. But you need help, Jina, you need..”
“NO! I AM PERFECTLY FINE!” Jina almost screeches to Kiara before crumpling to the floor, head in her hands, sobbing.
“ Kiara, my baby, my love, I’m sorry I hit you, I’m sorry I hurt you, please don’t leave me for him. I love you…”
Kiara moves closer, wrapping one arm around her.
“I’m leaving you, because I can’t help you anymore.”
There was silence for one second.
“NO!” Jina shrieks, and pushes Kiara hard, making her lose her balance and falling back. In front of her very eyes, she sees Kiara’s head hit the corners of the bed. She hears a loud crack as the skull breaks from behind, the slackening of Kiara’s limbs as she loses consciousness. And in front of her very eyes, she sees Kiara fall face forward, a pool of blood forming under her.
“Kiki?” Jina asks, heart racing as she waits for her response.
“Kiki? Kiki? Answer me!” She says as she curls away from Kiara, horrified. She has killed her?
“No no no no, no no no..” she chants, crawling up towards Kiara’s body. The tentative fingers find a slow weak pulse. Not dead. But the police would come, they would jail Jina for this. She would lose everything.
Slowly, her mind going numb, she gets up. She snaps on rubber gloves, usually when she is painting, and carefully holding their mirror, she picks it up. Balancing it carefully, she XX it down on Kiara’s head, nearly losing her grip, at the sickening sound of the skull cracking, the squish of the brain being bashed in.
After the fourth time, she stops, looking down on what she had done. She felt nothing. She felt nothing when she used her inhaler to calm herself. She felt nothing as she cleaned the corner of her bed, removing the blood, the bone bits and the hair. She felt nothing while washing her clothes with warm water and ammonium chloride, watching the blood flow into the drain. She felt nothing as she stuck Kiara’s picture on the mirror, crossing it off with the tube of red lipstick. She felt nothing as she calmly picked up the phone, and called the police, her mind forming an alibi.
Once it was done, however, she sat down beside Kiara’s body and wailed.
“I’m so sorry, I din’t want to hurt you, but you shouldn’t have loved Sid. Kiki, I’m so sorry..”, she repeated, tears streaming as she rocked back and forth.
She barely realized it when the cops came, pulling her away from the body, and helping her onto the living room couch, wrapping a blanket around her, as the weight of what she had done, shook her.
She killed her Kiki because she cheated with Sid and she din’t regret it.
Jina was interrupted from her jasmine tea by a call on her phone, from an unknown number.
“Jina, Hi! Sid here.”
A rush of static.
“Jina, I’m so sorry for your loss. But we need to talk.”
“My boyfriend and I are planning to come at around 6, sounds cool?”
THE PARTY POOPER BY SAKSHAM JAIN & UNNATI DHOLAKIA
It was loud and steamy hot inside the nightclub. The music was blasting through the speakers on the dance floor. Sitting in one of the corners, were four FBI agents celebrating a case that they just closed. It was an extremely difficult one but they made it.
“Congratulations guys! We finally made it and closed the biggest case of the century!’ exclaimed Cho, as he raised his glass of another shot for a cheers. Amanda, his partner on field said, “Calm down Cho! You probably shouldn’t have had that sixth shot. You’re way past drunk. Let’s leave?”
Peter agreed, “Yeah, you’re right. Let’s call it a night and get a good night’s sleep. Where’s El?”
Elizabeth walked in from behind with a phone in her hand. “Sorry to ruin the fun guys but party is over! We’ve got a case in Vegas and it’s a big one! It involves some celebrity. I don’t know the details yet, but the arrangements for our flight there are being made as we speak. We leave in two hours.”
All sighed on cue as soon as Elizabeth said this. Just before leaving, Amanda turned to Peter and chuckled, “Looks like your good night’s sleep will have to wait for now.” Peter stuck out his tongue at her and made a face.
It was early morning when they landed in Vegas. The sun din’t even rise yet. The four of them went straight to the crime scene, while their bags were being checked into a hotel.
During the short car ride, they were briefed about the crime scene and the victim by officer Lorenzo who was the one assigned to this case by the local law enforcement.
The victim’s name was Taylor Smith, or more renowned as the ‘The Blue Queen’ in Hollywood. She is known to have some crazy fan who would go to any extent to meet her. She was an award-winning actress and a famous painter.
The four of the agents walked into Taylor’s lavish and fancy apartment in upstate Vegas, as officer Lorenzo guided them. The first thing that they noticed is a chalk outline of the body as it was found by the manager. There were paints lying around, open and used. Portraits and beautiful canvas paintings were hung throughout the walls. A Jeffery Archer novel was lying around too.
Next to the mirror was an open lipstick, and other cosmetics, clearly indicating about her plans for the night.
“Looks like she had all the time in the world. Her place is a mess,” said Amanda. Lorenzo said, “She was supposed to be on a break for two weeks. Last night, her manager came to discuss a new project in Hollywood with her. But since she dint answer her phone and the doorbell, he was forced to use to spare key that she had once given him for emergencies. That’s when he found her lying in a pool of her own blood.
Peter said, “Can we speak to the manager please? And that’s when even Cho asked, “What about the building’s security? We need to speak to the guard too.”
Lorenzo nodded and turned away to make some phone calls to make it happen.
“These paintings are so good. Too bad, there won’t be more of this,” said Cho.
Each of them looked closely through the house to look for clues that would bring them closer to catching the murderer. “There is always one mistake the killer makes, you just need the right sight to find it,” said Elizabeth.
Amanda noticed the blood spatter on the mirror and a picture of the actress stuck on top with a cross over her face. She started, “The medical examiner’s reports are due, but I bet this is Taylor’s blood only”, she said pointing out to the blood marked cross on her face in the picture.
Peter says, “This clearly looks like an act of passion and hatred. It feels like some sort of a revenge, as though he/she was angry with our victim.”
“It does make sense. But what I can’t understand is why he would write ‘Done’ on sheets with blood and keep them lying around. He is ‘done’ with what? It makes me think whether our victim knew the killer or not,” said Elizabeth.
No one knew the answer as they all stood in silence. The large French windows in the celebrity’s apartment allowed a beautiful view of the sunrise outside. The sky changed its colors as the sun slowly came out. The quietness, the beautiful view, the birds chirping, everything about this setting was perfect and looked like the start of a beautiful day, if only it din’t have to start with someone’s death.
Officer Lorenzo introduced the manager as the team came into the conference room of the police station. He mentioned that manager wouldn’t be too cooperative, but as soon as he heard that the FBI was involved in this, he got scared and started telling the truth to them.
Amanda says, “This is the time to speak the truth. Tell us exactly what you know and tell us everything. Every single thing. If you don’t cooperate with us now, we can very well charge you for withholding evidence, and that makes you an accessory to murder. So start speaking.”
The manager hesitated at first, but then gave up the whole truth that he knew. “I came to talk to Taylor about a new project coming up with Tom Cruise. She was really excited for it, but it won’t happen now. “
Cho chuckled from behind. “Clearly, unless she wants to play the role of a ghost.” Elizabeth glared at him from across the room telling him that this is not the time for one of his pathetic jokes. “Keep talking,” Amanda instructed the manager.
The manager continued, “There is something that I din’t tell the police here. But there was this one crazy fan of her’s who sent her letters. I din’t let the letters reach her because I thought she would get disturbed. The letters never came to her apartment, but last night when I went there, by the time I reached, she was already dead. Before I called the police, I found a similar letter next to her front door. This time, that crazy fan found out about where she lives and came there. Taylor was a very private person. She never wanted to let her address be known to her fans and was very careful about it. I don’t know how he managed to stalk her and find out where she lives.”
“Where are those letters? We need to see them,” asked Peter.
The manager replied,” They are in my office; I will send them to you.”
The team studied the letters closely. There was one clear name written in red ink in the end. Every letter was signed off with the name-‘The Red King’.
In these letters, the killer vividly described his and Taylor’s fantasized relationship. It was clear that he was delusional and needed medical help. In the last letter he sent to Taylor, he mentioned that it was his birthday that day, and that he arranged a birthday party where it would be only the two of them present.
Peter walked in with Elizabeth, and spoke to the team. He said, “We spoke to the security guards in her apartment, and also went through the CCTV footage of her hallway and the entrances of the building on the night of her death. Elizabeth continued as she showed the some pictures of the CCTV screen grab, “This is the man we need to look for. He’s our killer. He made friends with one of the guards, and found his way to Taylor’s apartment and broke in. He is wearing a colorful birthday cap as though he came from a birthday party and he wore this over a ski-mask. It’s impossible to see his face.”
Everybody nodded as they processed this new piece of information. Amanda added, “So just before you guys came, we spoke to the medical examiner (M.E). He sent his reports after examining the dead body. He says that the cause of death was slit on her throat with a sharp knife. But we never found our murder weapon in our crime scene, back at Taylor’s house.”
Cho added, “There’s also something else, the blood on the picture, with which the cross was made, it was not Taylor’s blood. It was the killer’s. We tried to look for it, but we can’t find a match in any of our databases.
Peter said, “According to this recording of the building’s camera and the security guard’s statements, he saw a burn on our killer’s right elbow. The guard said the burn was fresh, barely a day old.”
Elizabeth says, “Cho I need you to go with officer Lorenzo to the city’s hospitals around this area and find out the ER records of the most recent burn cases. And look for specifically the ones which has a male who is between his 20s or 30s and a burn on his right elbow.”
Cho nods and leaves with the officer.
The entire team and the officers of Lorenzo’s department are standing outside John Andrew’s house. He was the killer, and they were sure of it by checking the hospital’s records and matching the blood. The hospital records gave them this address.
They knocked on his door twice announcing that they are from FBI and they need to talk to him. When he din’t answer the door and heard a sound of the window opening inside, they broke the door and charged in.
The living room had photos of Taylor everywhere, covering every inch of the wall. Cho entered the room but din’t find John there. He shouted, “Clear!”
Amanda and Peter entered the dining room and saw it decorated. There was a huge banner with ‘Happy Birthday’ written on it. There were ribbons and colorful strips hanging around with colorful party caps. In the middle of the table there was a huge red cake with a knife stuck in between, as though it was punched inside it with lots of anger.
Elizabeth saw a figure of a man trying to escape through the kitchen window. But before he could run away she caught him and tackled him down to the ground.
She stated, “John Andrews, you are under arrest for the murder of Taylor Smith. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, can and will be used against you.”
She cuffed him and brought him out. Cho found the knife and said, “Looks like we found our murder weapon too.”
John was sentenced to life imprisonment. The team again gathered in a club in Vegas to celebrate another victory they achieved together.
How To Save A Life By Shekhani Aishah & Christopher D.
Silence all around me, as I look at her stumped figure. It’s true what they say about life-how everything you’ve ever built up can fall apart in just moments. Nothing makes sense to me. Is this really me? Did I just o this? But I couldn’t have, I loved her with all my being. What just happened? Just a few minutes ago, she was standing here talking o me. Alive, breathing. Why won’t she talk anymore? Why won’t she yell at me anymore? Why won’t she breathe?
I’m sorry, Yatika, I really am. I didn’t want for this to happen. I just wanted to be good sister. I wanted to be a good daughter. How did I end up so wrong? All I wanted was to look after you, raise you well. I didn’t want you to turn out like me, to repeat my mistakes.
Do you know how it feels to have dad constantly reminding you what a failure you are? What it’s like to be blamed for influencing your little sister’s actions, when you know she’s teetering on the brink of failure? You know none of that, you were spared of all of this, while you went around rolling joints, blazing up. Drinking and getting consumed by your newly found social life. You don’t how difficult it was for me to take on mom’s role, constantly hiding your scores, your night outs, your drug stash, all the while trying to bring you up as a decent human being.
I don’t know what stopped me from reaching out to the inhaler and passing it to you. It was within arm’s reach. I saw you struggle. I saw you choke. I saw you fall to the ground .i saw you clutching your throat, as you gasped for air. But I just sat there on my bed transfixed, my limbs frozen.
Life came full circle for both of us, I suppose I watched, as you entered this world, and I watched while you departed it. You choked on save loose powder, staring into the mirror that always looked like your closest companion. It’s ironic, really, a smiling picture of you is taped to the mirror, you always aspired to look that happy. That picture is from a better day that we shared together. I remember it very vividly. It was your sixteenth birthday. You were at school. Dad and I had been planning your birthday since weeks. We made sure to invite most of your friends even arranged for your online friends to come over for this special day. We kept waiting for you to turn up and after six hours of not being able to locate you, dad had to be rushed to the hospital because his stress levels were through the roof. Your friends all went home. The state of the house, with all the streamers and colourful balloons put up was in stark contrast with the grim atmosphere that had engulfed it. I stayed back, waiting.
When the doorbell rang and I saw you standing outside, completely hammered, my first instinct was to slap you hard right across your cheek. The look on your face said you probably deserved it. You broke down crying, fervently muttering apologies in between sobs. I embraced you, there was no need for reasoning tonight. In that moment, you needed me and all I had to do was be there for you.
I called up dad to reassure him, by his words were hauntingly true. He said the doctors said that this might be the last time he did be able to handle this kind of pressure. He was too close to losing it completely. I had a lot on my mind, but I wanted the remainder of your birthday to be good, to have it end on a slightly happier note for you
We stayed up all night, reading to each other, watching rom coms, and painting. How you loved paintings, and how talented you were at it! We took portraits of each other and you taped your favourite one to the mirror by your bedside, the one you did look at each day for strength. Nothing mattered that night except you and me. That night was ours we stole it from a dream.
I sit on my bed, and look at the paintings we created, at your smiling picture on the mirror and your lifeless form reflecting from it. I get up and make a red cross across that photo using your favourite lipstick. You did have liked that.
I’m prepared for any consequences that might follow. I know I deserve it. I tried to be a good sister, Yatika, I tried.
I really did.
SCRIPT YOUR TALES
VIOLATION OF VOLITION BY TANAY KADEL AND DHRUV VERMA
Location: In a lecture (class is going on and a group discussion is taking place between girls)
(Anushka,one girl of the class is talking )
Anushka: “global warming is the cause of majority of the problems……”
Peon enters the class
Peon : “ Madame, may Anushka be excused from the class? Father Jude has requested to see her”
Teacher: Anushka you may go. Please make up all the work you have missed.
Location: outside the chamber of father Jude
Anushka: I wonder why I have been called here. My grades are fine and so is my behaviour.
Father Jude opens the door.
Father: come on Anushka, I have to discuss your annual performance report with you.
(Anushka enters the room and father Jude shuts the door)
Location: outside father Jude’s chamber.
(Anushka runs out, she is crying, the strap of her t-shirt is on her arm and she pulls it up)
Peon: “wait Anushka”.
Anushka: “what do you want? You were probably in on it!”
Peon: “what? I don’t even know what has happened”.
Anushka: “father Jude violated me, he did things to me which…….which……. I just want to die.
Peon: I don’t believe this. Father Jude’s a kind man he wouldn’t do such a thing.
Anushka: wouldn’t he?
Peon: okay then I am calling the police. I will help you.
Location: At the school gate, father Jude s being walked out of the campus by an inspector.
An inspector is in civilian clothing talks to Anushka
Inspecor: Ma’am I understand what you must be going through ,but I need to let you know that we cannot hold the father for more than 24 hours without proof
Anushka: what kind of system is this? What am I going to do in 24 hours. I am alone, I live ane. I have been violated and you are giving me 24 hours to validate myself?
Inspector: without proof the law favours him.
Anushka : but he did this to me! How do I gather proof?
Inspector : I am sorry ma’am. There is nothing I can do.
Location: At the school gates 24 hours later. Father Jude walks in and walks to is chambers. He has been released by the police.
Location: Anushka in an empty classroom she is weeping and crying.
Location: Outside father Jude’s chamber
A girl is waiting at the door.
Father Jude opens it.
Father Jude: come Sabrina; I have to discuss your annual performance report.
(Sabrina enters the room, father Jude closes the door)
MITALI MURALIDHAR AND TANVI CHAMBOOWALA
(it’s a sunny day. Rahul is talking to his group of friends)
Rahul: Guys, I am scared. I can’t do this. She will say no!
Kartik: Can you calm down? You are about to ask Anjali out. I mean …. She is perfect for you. If you won’t ask her out, I will (smirks)
Rahul: shut up, you douche! You can’t handle one chick who was perfect or you and now you are he one talking about perfection. (Rolls eyes)
Ravi: Guys chill! It’s going to be fine okay?! Rahul (holds him by his shoulders) you’ve got this bro.
(Anjali walks in with her friends Omkar and Shivani)
Omkar: Look that idiot is still staring at you. He is so in love with you that his feelings are displayed all over his face.
Anjali: I like him. He is very genuine I mean …. He is sweet to me so I see no harm.
Shivani: he is nice! Don’t listen to this Omkar
(Rahul has asked Shivani to get Anjali behind building no 2 of their college. Rahul is on his way to the given location)
Rahul: (to himself) okay. It’s time. There is no turning back I have chocolates (looks at the chocolates) and this letter (shows the letter) And………. (Rahul gets a call)
Rahul: (picks up the phone) Not now mom! I am busy okay I will…….
(His mother yells from the other side) (Rahul starts panicking)
Rahul: but how? …. WHAT??? Yes yes I am on my way.
(Rahul throws the letter and chocolates and rushes his way back home. Meanwhile, Anjali arrives at their meeting point. Anjali is confused as she is alone. Anjali notices the letter and chocolates laying on the ground. She picks up the letter. Reads it and goes back with a smile on her face)
(Rahul gets back home to see his mother crying hysterically.)
Rahul: how can they arrest dad? What did he do? He has been so loyal and….. (Rahul gets a call from Girish kaka. Girish kaka works along with rahul’s father)
Girish kaka: Rahul listen to me. Boss is doing this purposely I can’t imagine Ajay (Rahul’s dad)
Rahul: But kaka what exactly is going on?
Girish kaka: Beta, the boss wanted to take revenge from your father so he made sure that there is some jewellery found in your father’s bag so that he can accuse him and your father gets arrested.
Rahul: So now what are we supposed to do?
Girish kaka: Beta, I spoke to the lawyer and they said that the whole case is against your dad, as the jewellery was found in his bag so now he can sentenced for up to ten years of jail.
(Rahul realises all the responsibilities that he is going to be bombarded with. Rahul had to drop out of the college and Anjali never gets a closure.)
VIJU’S VENGEANCE BY SUJAY CHOKSEY & NIRANJANI VEREKAR
‘Welcome to the 1980’s as of today, Mumbai suffers from an invasive drug problem. The strears are run by members of the mafia, and there is little the police can do to stop anything’
Viju is the teenage son of a low rank police constable, vishwanath. Though he has only seen poverty in his entire life,the past few months have seen his life change dramatically.
Viju’s house, September, 1982’
Viju: its been a while since you got so much money into the house, papa
Vishwanath: I got a raise this month, that and the bonus I earned for nabbing Dawood’s hitman have paid me handsomely.
Viju: that would explain all the new furniture
(a series of violent knocks is heard at the door)
Vishwanath: I’ll get that, you go ask mother if dinner has been prepared yet. We haven’t eaten a good meal in a very long time.
As vishwanath opens the door, 3 men barge in without an introduction.
Vishwanath: and exactly who would y’all be?
Man 1: we belong to the narcotics department of the Mumbai police you, constable Vishwanath Omkar palaskar, are under arrest
Vishwanath: there must be some mistake officer I belong in your own ranks I was responsible for the death of Ghofoar Ahmedi last month,one of Dawoods top henchmen.
Man 1, now identified as a narcotics officer
We are well aware of that, constable vishwanath, but more than anything, we are a one hundred percent aware that you have used your role in the Mumbai police as a front for your smuggling activities.
Vishwanath: you haven’t a shred of proof, officer and until you can produce any,I am not leaving the sanctity of my own home.
Officer: actually, Mr vishwanath, I do
[the officer produces a series of photographs (as supplied with the script), as evidence. They depict Mr.vishwanath distributing drugs and accepting money for the same]
Vishwanath: where did you get there?!!
(saying this, vishwanath Omkar Palashkar darts for the terrace of his 2 storey building, chased by the officer)
Officer (in pursuit): stop right there, constable this can end peacefully.
Vishwanath: you will never catch me, you saw enforcing scum you belong to an institution that pays us next to nothing and expects us to risk everything.
Officer: stop, I command you, or I will fire.
(vishwanath now meets a dead end, as the officer grabs him in a chokehold he is left stranded by the ledge of his terrace
Vishwanath: I did rather die than be put in a cage of four walls by the likes of you.
(vishwanath, in a last-ditch attempt to escape, wrestles off the officer and jumps over the ledge)
Viju(after having followed the noise) what did you do to my father? How dare you try and seize an innocent and hardworking man!
Officer: your father is no innocent man, he is the newest ring leader of a circus known as the Mumbai underworld.
(the officer shoots at vishwanath who then falls to the floor, nor having yet recovered from his jump)
Viju’s house, the next day
Officer: your father was no ordinary man, Mrs palaskar. He has betrayed the Mumbai police and made a surprisingly successful forcey into the Mumbai underworld.
Mrs palaskar: betrayed? He only did this to provide viju and I with the life we deserved, a life your wretched institution never provided us with.
Officer: I can understand your grief, Mrs palaskar, but I only acted as the law demanded
Mrs palaskar: the law? My husband never killed anyone, he only found us a better livelihood!
Officer: is destroying the lives of Mumbai’s youth a livelihood? I am sorry, mrs palaskar, but I did what I had to but before I leave, I must tell you something
Mrs palaskar: and what is that , you swine?
Officer: all that money did not come from thin air, it is from the drugs he sold and the lives he destroyed. And that Hitman he nabbed? He did it because he belonged to a rival gang.
(the officer leaves)
Mrs palaskar: viju, promise me, one day you will avenge. Your father a man who they killed for doing what he had to, for his own family.
Viju: mother, they will regret this day, till the day they die.
‘Agripada, September 1985’
(viju opens fire at the commissioner of police, as his convoy patrols the area)
Viju: vishwanath omkar palaskar, remember the name.
THE BANYAN TREE BY AKHILESH KUMAR & VAMA GOR
1) HAYAT: YOUNG GIRL
2) SABA: A SCHOOL GIRL
3) AAMIR: FATHER
5) MR DUTTA
6) AZEEZ: SABA’S FRIEND
(A scene in a garden. Banyan tree in the centre stage)
Saba: I am tired Azeez. It is too hot to bear.
Azeez: Saba it’s just five minutes away
Saba: Can’t we rest for some time? Look at me! I am a mess!
Azeez: Only if you promise to give me kebabs.
Saba: Great! Let’s sit and eat Samina aunty will not wake up before 4 pm.
Azeez: (eating the kebabs) these are soo good!
Saba: I wonder which tree this is?
Azeez: I know, I know…. It is …. Cedar!
Saba: no Azeez, look at its roots I think it is
Hayat: A banyan tree
Hayat: Hello, what is your name?
Saba: Saba, and what is yours?
Hayat: hayat. Have you guy’s come here for a holiday?
Azeez: yes, our aunt lives here.
Saba: do you live here too?
Azeez: would you like to have some kebabs?
Hayat: no, thank you… I do not like kebabs.
Saba: you don’t?
Hayat: no, kebabs remind me of someone.
Hayat: I do not have a mother she died when I was born.
Saba: I am so sorry.
Hayat: Don’t be sorry. I have not felt bad. It is my birthday today, and I have promised to be happy.
Azeez: Happy birthday hayat!
Saba: Happy birthday. Would you like coming with us to our aunt’s house?
Hayat: No, I am here to spend my birthday with my best friend.
Saba: Best friend?
Hayat: yes, this banyan tree.
Azeez: Banyan tree? Seriously?
Hayat: yes, whenever I am happy or sad, I come near this tree and all my worries go away. Just like the last time when I came here, all my worries and pain vanished.
Saba: what happened last time?
Hayat: it was an unexceptional day in September. Everything strangely seemed different. I was sitting in my room playing with my doll when I heard a strange noise of someone crying in my hall. I ran outside to see, that my father was sitting on a chair, all alone and crying.
Saba: why was he crying?
Hayat: That was the same thought that came in mind. Why was father crying? I loved him a lot, but I knew that this would happen quite often. Every time I would go to the kitchen, fill in a glass of water and quietly leave it next to him. I would look at his face and all I could see were his beautiful eyes filled with tears
Azeez: what did you do next?
Hayat: I built-up the courage to go to him and ask him, what had happened? He would just tell me one thing-how much he missed mother. Mother, he would say, would take care of him love him and be with him whenever he needed her. Father would regularly need check-ups and mother would stay awake all night and take care of him.
Azeez: had something happened to him?
Hayat: he was suffering from schizophrenia
Saba: what is that?
Hayat: it is a psychological disorder in which one lives in a parallel universe. Hallucinations? Delusions? They are part of schizophrenia.
Saba: oh my god? Your father had to go through so much.
Hayat: yes. whenever father would cry, I would take care of him and late at night, I would sneak out of the house and come here, and talk to this tree, that would not say anything but just listen to me. I would love it at home, but there was always a lot of noise. Noise of father screaming, shouting, crying, talking to himself or breaking things in the house. But here, near the banyan tree, I felt accepted I felt loved and very comfortable. But then something unexpected happened?
Saba: what happened?
Hayat: I was sitting near the banyan tree, and in the silence I forgot that the night had passed, it was morning and that I had to be back at home.
Azeez: what did you do?
Hayat: (scared) I ran home, to see that Mr. Dutta and a lawyer had come to see my father I don’t know what they were talking about but my father looked at me with angry eyes, his face was red and fists were clenched. Mr Dutta came to me and started talking to me that day I knew that I done something wrong that I had betrayed my father’s trust by staying out the entire night.i decided to never do that again. My father came to me that night and showed me pictures of his wedding day.how mother looked beautiful in her pink outfit. I saw all of that and went off to sleep.
Hayat: the next morning I was awoken by the noises of people shouting outside my house. Killer! Killer! They said. I was petrified. A policeman had handcuffed my father and was taking him away. I did not know what he had done I ran out of the house and asked the policeman what he had, but everyone seemed to ignore me. Father was arrested. His hands shivering, his face puzzled. I was screaming on the top of my voice but no one heard me. I was surrounded by darkness all around me. My body feeling cold. I felt like crying. I wanted my father at that point itself.
Saba: But why was your father arrested?
Hayat: I don’t know only… the lawyer and only uncle Dutta knows… and they never tell me. I just want to tell you saba and azeez, please do ask your aunt to help my father out of the jail, it has been 3 years now…. I must go, uncle might be waiting for me.
Saba: okay…. We will also leave….take care…..
Saba: what do you think Azeez?
Azeez: I don’t know but I am sure aunt Samina does.
(Aunt Samina sitting in one corner of the house,knitting)
Samina: I wondered where you children were?
Azeez: we were having kebabas made by Saba’s mother.
Samina: I am sure you haven’t left any for me!
Saba: how can we do that aunt? We have an entire box for you.
Azeez: aunt do you know there was a man who was arrested three years ago?
Samina: yes…. Why are you asking me that?
Azeez: aunt because we want to know why he was arrested?
Samina: no children you will not understand.
Saba: we want to get him freed.
Samina: a criminal like him? Never.
Azeez: what did he do aunt?
Samina: that man was a psychopath…he has a beautiful wife who died while delivering a baby. she used to love her father like no one would have and that cruel, inhumane man, murdered his own daughter in her sleep. He always thought that she was the reason his wife died. Come now, let’s eat the kebabs.
(Centre spot on two children, flabbergasted.)
What Are Words Worth?
Tam Brahms By Vishwambhar Vaidyam
Let me introduce to the tam brahm fam
This holy sanctuary of sanctity that I am from
So you may get some insight as to what caused this masterpiece
The tam brahms are a closed knit community
With the ability to hold on to family values
They respect the odd hierarchy of Hindu gods
And never miss the chance to slip in a prayer
They understand the importance of their cultural practices
And the importance of making their kids follow them too
Whether they agreed with them or not
When my brother and I were children
Our parents kept us on a close leash
No lying, no crying, no defying and be back home by 6:30
They slightly let go at thirteen-
-Years of frustration now we can finally let loose
Parties, girls, booze and of course a big bag of green
You see we live in a generation where getting high
Is getting by a normal day normally
Informally inducting you to this way of living
Where we are killing ourselves and everything around us
And nobody can stop us, (cuz of course, it’s a free country)
The worst part is that we think all of this is okay
Because it is natural after all-
-The cleaning, the crushing, the folding into a perfect W
The rolling, the packing, then lighting it up too
We inhale to leave this earthly plane
Forget all troubles and just have fun
Run from everything that we really should be doing-
You see some of us know when to stop
One shot, two shot, three hits and I’m done
But then there are some who just want something more
A joint a week turns to five a day
Which turns into something more ill
A needle, a pill, a line…. has been crossed
And you don’t even know when
You’re lost and you cannot find your way back
You see I know somebody like that
I confronted him
And he told me he was done with this shit
And he was, he had quit all of it
And perhaps it’s a bad time to mention this
But there is this phase called relapse
This person is none other than my brother
Three years older to me
Yet for some odd reason now he’s my responsibility
He was supposed to be the one to guide me through this world
He was my role model like every older sibling
I imitated everything he did and he hated it
I wore the same kinda clothes…
(And I was the younger siblings so sometimes I wore the same clothes)
I talked the way he did
I walked the same path too
And then the day came when I didn’t want to
Ten years ago I looked up to him
But now when I look at him all I feel is guilt
I can see you – throwing your life away
And I just can’t seem to say the right words
To make you stop this crap
I’m the only one who knows
How deep this goes
Because you confide in me
But I can no longer hide your lies
Because they are disguising your
You’re poisoning yourself as I idly stand by
I cannot give up on you because we have this bond
But how long can this go on
You see, drugs do not make you happy
They mess with your mind
Happiness is not a trance
That takes you away from the world
Happiness is when your soul
Is wholly connected with everything happening around you
Your mind isn’t elsewhere in an unearthly plane
It’s in the moment enjoying every second of being real
I worry that you may be too far gone
But I shall keep calling out
Hoping one day you will hear my screams and shouts
And come back to the ground
Because I’m honestly too tired of being the older brother
It’s your turn again
Where Is It? By Rishabh Jain
See this flood of people;
Like waves they come and go,
A Million drops of colour,
Floating to the Shore.
Now too many colours on pallet;
Make a rather muddy mix.
Like words they taint the silence,
One too vast to miss.
Each drop is drenched in attire,
Of a yearning to be distinct.
No passion, nor desire,
Just a little borrowed instinct.
A sea of no colour,
Is rather hard to dream.
Each drop the sea in itself,
Breaks spectrums from a beam.
Not all drops in the ocean,
Have colours of their own.
The clear ones get trapped,
As pearls they come to shore.
These words that leave my mouth
instantly turn to something else as they move.
on ears they fall, and drip off the faces like drops of sweat.
No sense is made, no essence remains.
only an interpretation of the mosaic looked rather too closely at.
The hand of the creator, looks through;
build countless castles of sand,
but none looks like the one from the dream I had.
everything is a copy, industry made rubber.
or durable plastic.
where’s the flesh and bone?
where’s the mind and soul?
Lady Glaes By Reesha Jhangiani
I see the place I want to reach
And glass stands in my way.
In that place I see Neither forest nor beach
Nor the burning light of day.
My enemy stands before me
To stop me departing
From the hell of time.
Or is it the time of hell?
For familiar to me as sight is she In a form I know all too well.
I see the woman standing in my way,
The woman I want to kill.
She has Pretty hair and
Prettier eyes, Sharp teeth and a Sharper smile.
Shadows darker than falling dark, A face like death, White and stark.
I want her out of my way Yet I know after she’s dead I won’t see the light of day. I look at her and I see a sinner, The sinner who keeps me locked away And then I sigh and say, ‘Not today,’ And I turn away from the mirror.
For Better Or For Verse
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory By Kaajal Ahuja
In a parallel world
For which imagination is key
All greatness achieved
Where happiness is known
Chocolate fountains overflown
All tall tales sold
By the old :
Never quite encapsulate
What we already know
But we smile and nod our heads
No need to ask why
Love is felt, known,
And it answers most of our needs, it’s shown
And very naturally we learn not to cry
To not pull hair, or
To put the dreams of others before ourselves
Very naturally we learn to care
Innocent aliens spoilt rotten by rotten parents
Some who care too much,
Some too little,
Some who taught the world’s unfair
Some who simply never stood a chance
It’s all a talk of fate and chance
It’s funny how we teach all essence of morality
In right and wrong
As only good and bad
To those who know no wrong
The pursuit of excellence
Of awe and wonder
Bubblegums changing flavour
That could blow you away
Of rivers of chocolate
That empty into more chocolate
Reaching the divine
Creatures that did never exist
Stakeworthy of claim
That nothing is the same :
Entering into parallel dimensions
Is this all some game ?
And those older as clueless
With their folk tales
That make no sense
Nothing envelops greatness
Not even greatness
And so this love that is felt
Is felt by all
Short and tall
And these tales of love, happiness and care
Can only be felt, tasted and held
But we smile and nod our heads
Biting happily into the chocolate
No need to ask why
Breakfast At Tiffany’s By Maulik Dhabolkar
Fifth Avenue, where the lights are as fickle as escort rates,
Holly Golightly makes her living off of first dates.
Fifty dollars a date, she makes from gentlemen young or old,
A hundred dollars a week, from prison visits to Sally Tomato,
She’s a madcap, desperately after money, desperately after fame,
She hopes one day they’ll all know her face, they’ll all know her name.
Nothing else matters, nothing else will,
Holly Golightly, go lightly, rough landing up ahead.
One fateful day, she knocked on my bedroom window,
There she stood, my beautiful angel kissed by fire,
I’ve been on the low, not making much dough,
Struggling to make ends meet, struggling to pay rent
They don’t care much for my words, they leave me unheard.
I stay with an old lady, they call her 2E,
In exchange for shelter, I look after her for free.
The words, they don’t come as easy as they once did,
But with Holly around, my writer fears stop still.
Holly Golightly, go lightly on my heart,
Rough landing up ahead, tread lightly on my heart.
The days pass, we get close,
We get breakfast at Tiffany’s, and her eyes are full of glee,
With all the diamonds she sees,
I know she has a habit of entertaining men,
I don’t care, I need to see her, I need my daily dose,
One day I happen to run into her ex,
A Texan named Doc Golightly,
Turns out she married him when she was only fifteen.
There’s a new guy in town she frequents as much as Sally,
His name is José, he’s a bigshot they say,
Holly Golightly, go lightly,
I can see you’re after money, it’s a slippery slope up ahead.
Then one day the cops arrest us both,
Turns out she didn’t just go to lay with Sally,
He had her innocently carry info to his narcotic buddies,
José finds out that she was arrested for being a drug lord’s pigeon,
Enraged, he flies off to his native region,
Holly wants to marry him, so follow she will to Brazil,
On hearing of her arrest, I find his letter, telling her to stay away,
Holly’s hell-bent on getting to him, she doesn’t listen to a word I say,
It’s raining heavily, I tell her that I love her,
I tell her that she’s stupid for chasing after men like José,
Men that don’t know her like I do,
Men that she cares for, only for their money,
I give her the cheap Cracker Jack ring
that I got engraved with my words at Tiffany’s,
I pray that she’ll see that I can provide a life of luxury and comfort for her,
I pray that she’ll see that I can keep her happy and keep her pleased,
In tears, she throws her cat out of the taxicab window,
she drives off into the rain,
Holly Golightly, go lightly, drive slowly,
slippery slope up ahead, I want to see you again.
As the rain pours, this stricken city
has left me broken, has left me defeated,
I go off into the alley to find her petrified cat,
Holly suddenly skids back into the rain,
My heart is racing, my sweat covered by this sad rain,
Her cat in our arms,
She looks into my eyes, we share a kiss,
A moment of pure bliss, that bloody kiss,
Maybe this city ain’t so bad,
Maybe those flickering lights are a prayer for a better tomorrow for us both,
I have her in my arms, not a care or fear on my mind,
She has my words enveloped around her finger,
Her presence has enriched the meaning behind the words that I write,
To Tiffany & Co., thank you I say,
I’ll be grateful forever and a day,
Holly Golightly, go lightly, soar freely,
I’ll be beside you all the way.
Munna Bhai Mbbs By Misbah Ansari
His parents wanted him to become a “DOCTOR”.
But when he failed and couldn’t study medicals, he became an “ACTOR”.
An ACTOR who acted like a DOCTOR !
Because, his parents wanted him to become a DOCTOR.
A Light won’t be able to work without a “CIRCUIT”.
Same applies to Munna who was incomplete without his friend named, “SERCET”.
When a beautiful girl used to pass from their side, Munna used to say,
“When a girl smiles, it feels delight !”
Once he saw a patient standing in a queue, screaming in pain,
Then Munna said, “If someone outside in casuality is about to die… then do they have to fill the form, are you insane ?”
“O Doctor,” a patient called Dr. Munna Bhai,
The patient said, “Damn, you seem to be confused. Am I being misused ?”
One of his stories, I should tell you, of a dying man,
He got the ailing man to smile in merely one NIGHT.
The man in pain said, “One night therapy is what I am hoping Doctor,”
“I have very less time left with me, but I wish to live a little more like others.”
Certainly does Munna, he has his own TONICS to cure !
Medicines full of laughter and with lots of fun.
What left then, the patient got cured for sure !
Being a Doctor is not enough…
Dealing with other aspects of patients is TOUGH !
So a doctor should know a technique to keep their patients healthy enough.
Munna Bhai was not an MBBS Doctor,
But he used to cure his patients of all the factors (mental, physical…)
Do not forget what Munna Bhai said,
“In life when you have less time… Live Double.”
Ram Leela By Ameya Bhat
There began a story
A story of love
Where the only sign of peace
Was a blood-covered dove.
From the ashes of the feud
Rose up a typical charming hero
Sees across the field a simple girl
And decides to take things from zero.
Two families at war for generations
And a boy decides just for fun
To waltz into the rivals’ house and steal the girl
Very typical way for peace to be done.
The boy fell for the girl
And the girl fell for the boy
And began playing with the families’ rivalries
Like it was a toy.
They tried to run away
They tried to be wed
But the families said to them
Kill each other, it’s better if they are dead.
And they flirted with death
Whenever they tried to meet
‘Cause in both of their hearts
Love had already found a seat.
The rumours spread amongst the crowd
That the families wanted them dead
And the crowd went around telling all
The price for each one’s head.
So the boy and girl in secret they met.
To seal their love forever
The shot each other till they died.
They thought the plan was clever.
But from the dust the two families had joined.
They made peace to become sisters and brothers.
It all came all but too late
As they found the bodies of the lovers.
The boy and the girl found out hard
That healing with love can be done
Unfortunately for them both
Love doesn’t heal wounds made by a gun.
So in the moment of peace as they were buried
Everyone said to each other
Yes, they did get peace and all
But maybe they should have checked around before shooting one another.
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