Short story: The age-old pujari near the secluded beach

Being all of just 22, the idea of going on a pilgrimage to Dwarka didn’t sound exciting to Vikram. It is believed that holy places are only for the old. A young person venturing to such trips is considered weird, especially in India. But after a lot of emotional force applied by his parents, Vikram finally agreed.

Vikram wasn’t an atheist though, which didn’t make it that difficult for his parents. The end of monsoon was zeroed in as the right time to take a tour. Vikram’s Diwali vacations had also commenced, so he wasn’t required to miss college. He was studying his Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication in a reputed college in his hometown, Mumbai.

The journey from Jamnagar airport to Dwarka was smooth. After doing the rounds of the Dwarkadhish Temple, Vikram and his parents took a tour of the neighboring places like the Rukmini temple, Sudama Setu, Nageshkar temple, etc. Vikram was pleasantly surprised to realize that he was enjoying the trip. Despite him not being too religious, he had stopped regretting coming here.


On the second last day of the trip, the trio decided to visit an unnamed beach near the Momai Mata Temple. Vikram was interested in seeing the beach but not excited. Having experienced a lot of beautiful beaches in Goa and other Konkan areas, he thought this would be just another beach.

But a single glance at the beach was enough to convince Vikram how wrong he was. They were standing atop a hill-like structure while the beach was further down. This vantage point provided the perfect view. The Momai Mata temple stood just from where they were.

Vikram was feasting his eyes on the view instead of the temple. His parents decided to take darshan inside the temple whereas he impatiently went down to the sea.

Dwarka beach

The beach was in a pristine condition to say the least. It looked virgin. It appeared that the sand was untouched as there was not a single person or even an animal visible till the far end. While wondering how the beach was so secluded, Vikram forgot to admire its beauty. What he saw appeared surreal to him.

The eerie silence of the place was broken by the chatter of his parents who had slowly descended the steps. As the sun was just about to set, they urged Vikram to visit the temple before it gets darker. He did so hesitatingly. Although he was praying in front of the idol, his mind was at the beach.

Momai Mata temple

As soon as he turned around after the darshan, he heard someone jump towards him out of nowhere. Shaken, he looked to the right from where an old man clad in orange lay bended. Vikram was shocked to see a snake in his hand as he slowly stood up. He just saved his life. It was easy for him to make out that he was the pujari (priest).


But he didn’t look like a normal pujari. Going by his facial appearance, it seemed to him that the man might be centuries old. However, his physique and agility made him look extremely fit and strong. Without saying a word, he went towards the left of the temple where stood a hut-like structure made out of cement. The pujari went inside and started sweeping it.

Pujari inside the hut with a statue

Vikram peered inside. He could see a statue of a pujari in similar clothes. The darkness didn’t allow him to have a look at its face and he wasn’t even interested in the same. Going by what was written on a board outside, it was the statue of the founder of the place and the first pujari. As the old man turned, Vikram thanked him from saving his life.

Without showing any sort of feeling, the pujari said, “This temple is under my control. I won’t let anyone get into trouble over here.” He merely walked off.

Vikram kept on looking at the direction where he went for some time and then joined his family downstairs at the beach.

He couldn’t get the secluded beach and the age-old pujari out of his mind while being on his bed in the hotel room. Brooding over the place, he slowly drifted into sleep. Even before opening his eyes the next morning, he could hear his mom asking him to hurry up as they had to leave for Mumbai that day.

But a couple of hours before they checked out, she felt a mild shock when she realized that she forgot one of her bags near the steps of the Momai Mata temple. As the place was on their way to Jamnagar, they decided to visit and see if it is still there. They were quite sure the bag would be there considering how secluded the place was.

When their car reached the vicinity of the temple, Vikram was ordered to hurry and get the bag. He did so and luckily found it at the same spot. He took the bag and out of curiosity peered inside the hut where the statue of the founder resided. In the bright daylight he could clearly see the face of the statue and what he saw froze him.

He didn’t know how to react when the face told him that it was the statue of the same pujari who saved him from the snake last evening. Just then, he recalled the only thing the pujari had said.

This temple is under my control. I won’t let anyone get into trouble over here.”

By: Keyur Seta

Note: The place and the temple are real. The pictures were clicked during the author’s visit to the place. But the story is fictional.


Book Review: The Sixth – The Legend Of Karna Part 1

The biggest challenge while writing the first part of a trilogy or a series is that the book should generate enough interest for the subsequent parts. In other words, if the first part doesn’t impress you, why would you bother reading the remaining parts?

Thankfully nothing of that sort happens with Karan Vir’s The Sixth – The Legend Of Karna Part 1. The book passes the biggest challenge successfully through an interesting detailed insight into the life of Karna, Mahabharata’s unsung hero.

The Sixth is so called since Karna is considered the sixth Pandava since he was born to Kunti. He was born under most unusual circumstances. After being impressed with the qualities of Kunti, Sage Durvasa granted her a boon in the form of a mantra to summon the devas. Out of utter curiosity, she summons Surya (Sun God) and ends up being a mother. Fearing the wrath of the society for bearing a child without getting married, she abandons the infant.

Revised  cover -The Sixth-5-12-2016The child is found by the royal charioteer Adhiratha and his wife, Radha. The couple considers the kid as God’s gift. They adopt him and name him Vasusena (he is later named Karna). He grows up to be a fearless teenager with a Godly gift of archery skills. Hence, his only aim in life is to become a warrior, the profession exclusive for Kshatriyas. But will the son of a charioteer be allowed to be a warrior?

The book simultaneously tells the present day story of Karan, a rich business tycoon living in New York. Out of nowhere he sees flashes and dreams about Karna. This brings him back to his roots in India. But who exactly is Karan and what is his connection with Karna?

The Sixth gets going on the enjoyable path only once it plunges fully into the life of Karna. The starting few chapters on the present day story, although not bad, don’t generate as much excitement.

However, once the story of Karna starts from scratch, there is just no looking behind. Incidents like the back story of Kunti, Karna’s birth, his abandonment, growing up with his foster parents and the consequences after he grows up are narrated with utmost sincerity and detailing.

We have read various accounts of the early years of Pandavas, Kauravas and important characters like Krishna, Bheeshma, Draupadi and Kunti. But it is rare and refreshing to get a proper understanding of the early and adolescent years of Karna as well as his psyche and inner conflicts.

Vir’s writing, especially after the initial few chapters, is creative as well as simple. He has gone into details but at the same time kept the length short. Few problem areas, however, are punctuation errors here and there.

Overall: The Sixth – The Legend Of Karna Part 1 gives an interesting insight into the life of Karna and generates interest in the two remaining series of the trilogy.

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewed by: Keyur Seta

Additional feature: A number of creative sketches that aid in storytelling

Author: Karan Vir

Pages: 218

Price: Rs 299

Publishers: Leadstart Publishing

Cover: Attractive and colourful image of the event of Karna’s abandonment

Yugpurush (Gujarati) Play Review

There are some striking similarities between Swami Vivekananda and Shrimad Rajchandra. Both are regarded as Spiritual Gurus. Both passed away in their 30s. This is not all. There is not much gap between the birth years of both. The former was born in 1867 and the latter in 1863.

But for some reason, Shrimad Rajchandra’s life story isn’t as well-known as Vivekananda’s. Director Rajesh Joshi’s Gujarati play, ‘Yugpurush – Mahatma Na Mahatma’ takes on the task of making his enlightening story known. It succeeds in giving a layman an introduction to the spiritual giant.

yugpurush-gujarati-play‘Yugpurush – Mahatma Na Mahatma’ tells the life story of Shrimad Rajchandra. The play also dwells upon his relationship with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and his teachings helped the latter gain the title of Mahatma.

The play scores the most in creating realistic and visually stunning scenarios on stage throughout its duration. Considering how some incidents are completely different from the other, it is laudable to see such favorable results gained so effortlessly. The scene where Rajchandra carries out too many tasks simultaneously stands out. But the credit should also go to the director for handling such difficult scenes and to the lighting as well.

Coming to the writing, the play has impactful lines after regular intervals, something so important in biographies of great heroes. Sachin-Jigar’s music too adds to the effect.

But the play lags behind when it comes to balancing the script. Shrimad Rajchandra’s life story and message aren’t explained in a way a layman, who has no knowledge about him, would get a proper insight. We are told through songs that he was great, but not exactly explained why and how.

The scene where Shrimad Rajchandra is multitasking.

There is also some confusion about the central character. If Gandhi is as much important as Shrimad Rajchandra, why they didn’t include the important incident about the former being thrown out of the train in South Africa? Gandhi’s non-violent struggle is credited to Rajchandra, so the incident that triggered the struggle has to be there.

The performance of the actor playing Shrimad Rajchandra plays a vital role here. Parthsarthi Vaidya smartly balances confidence and humility, which was so important here. His confidence is also seen in the dialogue delivery. As the older Gandhi, Nikhil Modak does what was required. Gandhi was a lot different as a young barrister. Pulkit Solanki makes him believable.

Overall: ‘Yugpurush – Mahatma Na Mahatma’ is worth watching to get an introduction into Shrimad Rajchandra.

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Rajesh Joshi

Producers: Shrimad Rajchandra Misison, Dharampur

Writer: Uttam Gada

Cast: Parthsarthi Vaidya, Nikhil Modak, Pulkit Solanki

Music: Sachin-Jigar

The Mahabharata Code: Book Review

Author: Karthik K B Rao

Ancient Indian literature like Mahabharata and Ramayana has become one of the favourite genres of Indian authors since last few years. This is because young readers have gained interest in such epics, mostly due to the advent of the internet.

Few modern authors have also experimented by giving a modern touch or twist to these mythological epics. Author Karthik K B Rao has given a most modern or whacky twist to Mahabharata in his debut novel, The Mahabharata Code and has achieved decent amount of success.

the-mahabharata-codeThe story follows Narayan Rao who hails from Bengaluru, India. As a child, he used to love listening to tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana from his grandmother. Later on, he became an avid watcher of the serial Mahabharat on Doordarshan. It is during his time that Narayan’s father migrates to the United States of America. The kid moves to the US with a heavy heart.

After growing up, Narayan becomes an astronomer in NASA. He and his colleagues once realize that people from a distant and mysterious planet have been sending signals of friendship to them. Narayan is sent on a mission to visit the planet. Circumstances ensure that he becomes an integral part of the restaging of the Mahabharata over there. The mission also brings a young techie Srishti into his life.

The Mahabharata Code has an interesting plot. It is truly an out-of-the-box idea to restage Mahabharata in another planet. Rao has been smart in giving a sci-fi touch to the epic. The gadgets and the use of modern language don’t appear silly or out-of-sync. It adds onto the interest and at the same time keeps the flavour of the epic intact.

The book is an easy read. Rao’s language is simple and the narration fast-paced. There isn’t a single sentence that is unnecessary. In other words, you are hooked. On few occasions though, the sentences could have been framed better. But this is not the biggest negative point here.

What harms The Mahabharata Code the most is the pre-climax portion where the big revelation and confrontation takes place. This part is just too lengthy, complicated and, most importantly, difficult to read. There comes a time where you are tempted to skip few pages. The big twist at the end might also leave you unsatisfied, although it takes you by surprise.

Overall: The Mahabharata Code is an interesting experiment.

Rating: 3/5 

Review by: Keyur Seta


Pages: 214

Publisher: Notion Press

Price: Rs 250/-

Cover: A good mixture of sci-fi and Mahabharata

Book Review: Ramayana – Stolen Hope

Author: Shubha Vilas

Stolen Hope is the third book in Ramayana: The Game Of Life series after The Rise Of The Sun King and Shattered Dreams. Authored by Shubha Vilas, the story continues during Rama, Sita and Lakshmana’s exile period in the Dandakaranya forests. Despite living a life of ascetics, the trio is happy in their own world amid sessions of storytelling. However, they are forced to encounter demons a couple of times but Rama defeats them comprehensively.

But a bigger misadventure awaits them when the demoness, Supranakha falls madly for Rama and, later, Lakshmana. Infuriated by her evil antics, Lakshmana chops off her ears and nose. When she narrates her sorry tale to her brother Ravana, the king of Lanka, she also mentions about Sita’s exquisite beauty. Being a lustful womanizer to the core, Ravana decides to ‘enjoy’ Sita at any cost.

Ramayana-Shubha-VilasShubha Vilas has continued with his delightful writing this time around too and this is hardly a surprise. Almost every sentence of his is rich, free-flowing and gripping. Like his previous two attempts, it will appeal to those who love reading rich literature as well as someone from vernacular medium.

The story takes some time to develop properly though. But once it gets into the action mode, there is no looking behind. The most important sequence of Sita’s kidnapping is handled with a lot of creativity and maturity. Going by the theme of the series, the author has provided important and positive messages even during tragic sequences.

This book lives up to the tagline – Seek courage when everything, including hope, is stolen – with some handy messages of wisdom woven throughout the narrative. There are short wisdom snippets at the bottom of each page again. It’s just that on few occasions, they are quite lengthy this time around.

Apart from the slow pace early on, the book suffers from some sexism, like the previous one. In order to point Rama’s weakness, Sita taunts him for being a woman disguised as man. To consider any type of weakness as a byproduct of being a woman is downright sexist. Since the book is written for today’s generation and the fact that we don’t exactly know what Sita must have said to Rama, the author could have easily given any other analogy.

Coming to the appearance, the cover picture is a beautiful work of art. It forces you to glance at it again and again. The quality of pages is smooth and the font is eye-friendly. This book also has a flip book feature, which is a pleasant surprise.

Rating: * * * ½

Pages: 307

Publishers: Jaico

Additional feature: Preview of the fourth book in the series

Price: Rs 299 (discounted rates available online)

Review by: Keyur Seta

Fark Padta Hai (Hindi play on environment for children)

Written By: Keyur Seta (Copyright protected)

The following is a short Hindi play (natak) for children, which throws light on the topic of environmental degradation in a light-hearted and, at times, funny manner. It has been staged by the students of Navarachana International School in Baroda. One of the actors of this play also bagged the award for Best Actor.

If you wish to perform this play, do send in a request on


Fark Padta Hai


Vihaan: 5th standard

Nidhi: 6th standard

Trisha: 7th standard

Teacher: 25-30 years

Vihaan’s father

Nidhi’s mother

Trisha’s mother

A teacher is standing in front of a class at the extreme right of the stage. The words ‘Environment Awareness Program’ are written on the board. A group of students is sitting in front of her.

Teacher: So students, this is the end of our Environment Awareness Program, jisme humne yeh samja ki humari prakriti, humare nature ko bachana humare liye aur aane wale generations ke liye bohat zaroori hai. Khaas karke hawa, pani aur dharti ko agar humne aur zyada barbaad hone se nahin bachaya toh apni dharti ka future bilkul andhere mein hoga. (Pause) Aap sabhi ne is program mein hissa liya is se mujhe aur humare school ke har teaching staff ko bohat khushi hui, kyunki is se yeh pata chalta hai ki aap ko humare nature ki kitni fikar hai. So a big round of applause for yourself.

(Children clap.)

So before we round up, I would like to know from some of you ki is program ko attend karne ke baad aap nature ke liye kya kya precautions loge. So who will answer? (Teacher scans the faces of the students.) Haan Vihaan, tum batao.

(Vihaan slowly stands up.)

Vihaan: Mam, ab main kabhi bhi aisa koi kaam nahin karoonga jis se air pollution ho. (He sits down.)

Teacher: And you Nidhi?

(Nidhi stands up.)

Nidhi: Main kabhi pani ko waste nahin karungi aur na hone doongi. (She sits down.)

Teacher: Trisha?

(Trisha stands up)

Trisha: Main road ke kabhi kachra nahin fekungi. (She sits down.)

Enviromental pollution

Teacher: Very good students. We are proud of you. Aap sabhi ko apne participatory certificates mil jayenge very soon. Now you all can leave lekin please (smiles) shaanti se baahar jana, don’t run.

(The students leave quietly.)

(Black out)

(The narrator says – ‘Kuchh Dino Ke Baad’ or ‘After Some days’. This is followed by stage slowly lighting up.)

The scene is taking place inside some area in the school. Vihaan, Nidhi and Trisha are sitting on a bench and talking among themselves in a serious manner, as if trying to plan something. They appear visibly worried and dejected. The teacher arrives and notices their state. She goes towards them.

Teacher: Bachchon, what happened? Peon ne bataya ki aap log mujhse milna chahte ho.

Trisha: Haan mam.

Teacher: Aap sab itne serious hoke kya discuss kar rahe ho?

Trisha: Mam aap ke us Environment Awareness Program mein humne seekha ki nature ki raksha karna kitna important hai hum sab ke liye.

Teacher: Haan, toh?

Vihaan: Lekin humare ghar ke log hi yeh nahin samaj rahe hain.

Teacher: Matlab?

Nidhi: Matlab, meri mom, Trisha ke dad aur Vihaan ke dad kuchh aisa karte hain jis se nature pe bura asar padta hai.

Teacher: Oh! Matlab exactly kya?

Nidhi: Okay. Listen mam.

(Black out.)

(Flashback scene.)

Inside Nidhi’s house. Her father is shaving in front of a wash basin and mirror. The falling of the water can be described through some sound. An irritated Nidhi gets up and goes towards her father.

Nidhi: Dad, maine kitni baar aapko kaha hai ki shaving karte waqt please water tap ko continuously on mat rakho!

Dad: (Imitating Nidhi.) Aur maine bhi tumhe kitni baar kaha hai ki mere kaamo mein taang na adaya karo.

Nidhi: Kya aapko pata bhi hai ki continuously tap on rakhne se kitne liters paani waste hota hai?

Dad: Aur kya tumhe pata hai ki agar main baar baar tap on aur off karoon toh isme mera kitna time waste hota hai?

Nidhi: Dad, this is not a joke. Future mein logon ke liye paani nahin bachega agar hum aise hi use waste karte rahe toh.

Dad: Hahaha! Arre main akela agar 10-15 minute shaving karte waqt tap on rakhunga toh usme kaunsa future ko nuksaan pohochega?

Nidhi: Agar desh ke karodon log aisa karen ek saath toh zaroor future mein water scarcity hogi.

Dad: (A bit irritated.) Theek hai. Ek baar main ameer ho jaaun uske baad main tap continuously on nahin rakhunga.

Nidhi: Kaise?

Dad: Naukar rakh loonga tap ko on aur off karne ke liye.

(He laughs out loud while Nidhi gives up.)

(Black out.)

(Back to present scene.)

Teacher: Ohh! Aisa toh nahin karna chahiye tumhare dad ko.

Trisha: (Comes forward.) Meri mom bhi aisa hi kuchh karti hai, let me tell you.

(Black out.)

(Flashback scene.)

A normal road. Trisha is walking with her mom. They are returning home from school. Trisha’s mom is holding a packet of chips. Both are are eating from it. At the same time, Trisha’s mom is also talking loudly over the phone.

Garbage on road

Mom: (On phone) Achha… Oh, kya baat kar rahi ho? … Hahahaha! Arre Trisha ke papa bhi aise hi hain. Har khane ki cheez mein galtiyan nikalte rehte hain lekin khud ko ek cup chai banane nahin aati. Hahaha!

(The chips are over now. Her mom carelessly throws the wrapper on the road while talking. Trisha looks on with disgust.)

Trisha: Mom, please aise raste pe kachra mat pheko.

Mom: (While talking) Arre kya hua?

Trisha: Mom, aapne raste pe kachra kyun pheka? Aise nahin karte.

Mom: (Irritated) Oye tu shanti rakh yaar!

(She continues talking over the phone. Now she takes out a wrapper containing chocolate. She gives one chocolate to Trisha while she eats the other one. She again throws the wrapper on the road unapologetically.)

Trisha: (Annoyed) Mom, not again!

Mom: (Abruptly hangs up the phone) Oye sun main baad mein karti hoon. (To Trisha.) Kya laga ke rakha hai kab se?

Trisha: Mom aap raaste pe litter kar rahi ho!

Mom: Liter? Kaunsi cheez kitna liter? Kya bol rahi hai?

Trisha: (Frustrated) I mean, aap raaste pe kachra phek rahi ho kab se. This is bad. Please raaste ko ganda mat karo.

Mom: Oye chup kar yaar. India ke raaste toh kachre se bhare pade hain. Us mein maine ek aad cheez aur phek di toh kya farak padega? Aur agar maine ek aad cheez nahin pheki toh us se bhi kya farak padega?

Trisha: Farak padta hai mom. Agar sabhi log fekna bandh karenge toh zaroor farak…

(She is cut short by her mom’s phone ring.)

Mom: (On phone) Hello… Haan Manju bol… Arre haan main bhi tumhe kehti hoon ki vacuum cleaner zaroor khareed lo. Tumhe toh pata hi hai main saaf safai ke maamle mein kitni particular hoon.

(Black out)

(Back to the present day.)

Teacher: Oh ho! Tumhari mom bhi?

Vihaan: Sirf Nidhi ke dad aur Trisha ki mom hi nahin, mere dad bhi kuchh aisa hi karte hain.

Teacher: Kya?

(Black out)

(Flashback scene. Vihaan is sitting in his car with his dad driving. They stop at a signal. A song is being played in the car. His dad is totally involved in the song. But he has kept the engine going. Vihaan notices it but is hesitant to point it out to his father as the latter is engrossed in the song. Finally, he gathers courage.)

Vihaan: Dad

(His father doesn’t listen due to his involvement in the song.)

Vihaan: (A bit louder) Dad

Dad: (Shaken a bit and irritated.) Kya hai?

Vihaan: Yeh signal bohat lamba hai. Aur apna engine on hai?

Dad: Kaunsi train ka engine?

Vihaan: Arre dad yeh lamba signal hai isliye apni car yahan bohat der tak rukegi. Toh aap engine bandh kar dijiye kyunki is se air pollution hota hai.

Dad: Kya?? Arre 2 minute on rakhne se kuchh fark nahin padta.

Vihaan: Fark padta hai dad. It adds up to the pollution. In fact, chhote signals pe bhi off kar dena chahiye.

Dad: Oye yeh baar baar on aur off karne mein mujhe bore hota hai.

(He increases the volume of the song.)

Vihaan: Dad, please…

Dad: (Again engrossed with the song.) Sssshhh! Yeh mast gana hai. Sun ne de.

(Vihaan gives up.)

(Black out)

(Present scene)

Teacher: Hey bhagwan! Aajkal ke parents bhi. Agar woh hi aisa karenge toh kaise chalega?

Nidhi: Toh mam, hum log wohi discuss kar rahe hain ki apne parents ko kaise understand karaye ki woh jo kar rahe hain woh galat hai.

Trisha: Haan hum chahte hain ki woh pollution failana bandh karen.

Vihaan: Lekin kaise?

Teacher: Hmmm. Kuchh na kuchh toh sochna padega iske bare mein.

(There is black out 3 times and in between, we can see the four of them thinking hard. After that, there is light again.)

Teacher: Hey bachchon, ek tarkeeb mili hai mujhe jis se tum apne parents ko realize karwa sakte ho yeh baat.

All 3 kids together: Kya???

Teacher: (Waves them towards her.) Yahan aao (She starts saying something to them. The audience is able to hear some music instead of their talk.)

(Black out)

(Inside Nidhi’s house. Her father is shaving in front of the wash basin and mirror with the tap open continuously. All of a sudden, the water stops. Her father gets irritated. Goes away from the wash basin.)

Change the world

Dad: (He is facing sideways so only his unshaven side with the foam is seen to the audience.) Arre paani chala gaya kya?

(Nidhi arrives from inside.)

Nidhi: Kya hua dad?

Dad: Arre mera shaving adhoora hai aur paani chala gaya.

Nidhi: Koi baat nahin dad. Aa jayega.

Dad: (Turning his face towards the audience.) Toh kya tab tak aise rahoon main? (The audience can now see that his face is only half shaven and the remaining half is filled with foam.)

Nidhi: (Laughs a little.) Toh pochh lijiye napkin se.

Dad: Arre kya pochh lijiye? (Shows his face.) Yeh dekho, moochhen bhi aadhi kati hai.

Nidhi: (Laughs out loud) Wow! Aap naya trend shuru kar sakte hain dad.

Dad: (Gets angry) You…

Nidhi: Okay okay dad, sorry. Just wait. (She goes inside and returns in a jiffy.) Ab tap shuru ho gaya hai wapas. (The sound of water falling from the tap is again heard by the audience.)

Dad: (Confused) Kaise? (Angry) Kya tumne…?

Nidhi: Haan dad maine paani ki main line bandh ki thi.

Dad: (Angrily) What rubbish is this?

Nidhi: Dad, please listen. I am sorry. Mujhe bas aapko realize karwana tha ki agar aap paani waste karte rahen toh is tarah se paani ka aana-jana bohat regular baat ho jayegi apne liye.

(Black out.)

(Inside Vihaan’s house. The scene is at the extreme right of the stage. Vihaan opens the door for his father to enter. Vihaan goes inside the room after opening the door. His father has just returned from office. He keeps his bag at a side and plays a song on a music player. He sits in a relaxing position on a chair or sofa and gets engrossed in the song. Soon, Vihaan enters the room from behind and secretly keeps a tin box hidden somewhere behind him. After a few seconds, some smoke and a terrible odor starts emerging from it. Vihaan’s father’s reaction changes from enjoyment to irritation.)

Dad: (Sniffing) Yeh kya smell aa rahi hai? (After a pause.) Arre yahan toh dhuaan bhi hai! Aur yeh gandi baas! (Shouts) Vihaan!!! Kya jal raha hai ghar mein? (Vihaan enters) What’s happening? Yeh gandi baas!

Vihaan: Takleef ho rahi hai na dad?

Dad: Nahin nahin. Mazaa aa raha hai. Wah! Kya khushboo hai! Idiot!

Vihaan: Road pe lambe signal pe rukne ke time bhi jab aap engine on rakhte ho, tab logon ko bhi aisa hi feel hota hai.

(Black out)

(Inside Trisha’s house. Her mom is talking loudly on phone. She is standing at the left side of the stage and facing her right.)

Mom: Haan Manju maine kaha that na, vacuum cleaner ke aane se bohat raahat ho jaati hai hai. Kone kone mein chhipa kachra bhi ab saaf ho jata hai. Aur tum toh jaanti hi ho main saaf-safai ke maamle mein kitni particular…

(She abruptly stops as she turns towards the right side of the stage and notices biscuit and chocolate wrappers littered on the floor [Purposely used only simple garbage]. She is annoyed.)

Mom: Ruk main tujhe baad mein phone karti hoon. (She hangs up and keeps the phone aside.) Arre yeh kachra yahan kaise aaya? (Shouts) Trisha!!! Yeh kisne kiya??

(Trisha comes running from inside.)

Trisha: Kya hua mom?

Mom: Arre yeh sab kya hai? Ghar ke drawing room mein itna kachra kahan se aaya? Chhee!

Trisha: (Acting innocent) Ohh! Hmm. Bohat ganda lag raha hai na yeh dekh ke?

Mom: Yeh kya pooch rahi hai? Bilkul kitna ganda lagta hai.

Trisha: Raste pe chalne wale logon ko bhi aisa hi lagta hai jab doosre log is tarah raaste pe kachra phekte hain. Hum apne ghar ko saaf rakhte hain toh is city ko kyun nahin? Yeh city bhi apna ghar hi hua na?

(Scene freeze and then Black out)

(Slowly light emerges. The stage is divided in three parts with each having the scene of the house of one kid. While continuing from the last scene of all three incidents, Nidhi is standing with her father at the left, Vihaan is standing with her father in the center and Trisha is standing with her mother at the right side.)

The three kids say together: Sirf ek insaan ki effort se bhi farak padta hai. (All three parents slowly go near their respective kids and put their hand on their head or cheek with affection.)

(Black out)


The End


May evil be finally destroyed this Dussehra!

The festival  of Dussehra or Dasara marks the end of the nine day Navaratri festival. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. Its story originates from the Indian epic Ramayana, where Lord Ram defeated the demon Ravan, who had snatched away the former’s wife. The word Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit term dasha hara, which means ‘defeat of the ten’. Over here, ten signifies the ten heads of Ravan. His ten heads symbolize ten evils – Kama Vasana (lust), Krodh (anger), Moha (attachment), Lobha (greed), Mada (over pride), Matsara (jealousy), Swartha (selfishness), Anyay (injustice), Amanavta (cruelty) and Ahankara (ego).

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When we look at today’s scenario, we realize that the story of Ramayana is so relevant even today. May all of us strive to destroy the various evils from our society. Unfortunately, there are not limited to just 10. However, strong will power and sheer determination by the masses would surely yield fruitful results.

Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the barks of puppies frighten you — no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven — but stand up and work! – Swami Vivekananda

Destroying of Ravan during a Ram Leela function in India. (Picture source -
Destroying of Ravan during a Ram Leela function in India. (Picture source –
Picture source -
Picture source –