A Blank Brown Page

Scene: Apprentice in a doctor's chamber.

Action: Discussion about a strange patient.

Apprentice : A strange patient has come in Sir!
Doctor : Tell me…
Apprentice : He thinks his eyes are made of wood and his throat, of butter!
Doctor : Ha!
Apprentice : And that if you left him in the open his throat would melt, his eyes would burn
Doctor : Interesting!
Apprentice : And one more thing…
Doctor : What? You and your one more thing…tell me!
Apprentice : The moment you meet him, he will shake hands with you, warmly congratulate you. He does this because he thinks wars have ended and borders have been erased. All countries have unanimously decided to put all arms and weapons into a museum, also he will narrate to you as though he is seeing visitors in those museums eagerly seeing the please-do-not-touch labeled arms!

Doctor : So what is your observation?
Apprentice : It is a case of fear psychosis sir..that’s why throat is made of butter
Doctor : Okay! But why his eyes have to be wooden!
Apprentice : No clue…that’s why we need your expert help.
Doctor : The burning part is understandable…he might be having some issues with heat, or the Sun
Apprentice : Could it also be some heated discussion or some cruel acts
Doctor : Ha! Can’t be ruled out!
Apprentice : In the room where he’s kept temporarily, he has written a whole lot of rubbish
Doctor : Like what? Is he violent?
Apprentice : No! But he shouts saying….

butter gutter hitting list
wooden notes of ruling king
killingkilling only killing
little bird little bird
do as I command you
so many such beautiful things
killingkilling only killing
dancing dancing everyone sings

…and then he says… Goblgoblgoblgobl…dingdongrings…and goes on dancing, laughing aloud, spits a little as if to cleanse his mouth and then with folded hands as if to seek pardon, starts kissing everything in the room, like the table, the chair, the floor…while doing so keeps on murmuring…no nono, you cannot do that, I know you didn’t do this…this becomes dangerous after a while because the other day he was trying to kiss the table fan…

Doctor : Is he violent?
Apprentice : No!
Doctor : Let’s go!

They look and start reading slowly…

Narrator : [on the wall, they see] reads

NASA is now concerned only with this earth, they are developing a robust Peace technology, ISRO is busy developing Peacetenics, and all universities are developing programmes like Peace++, Lovetonics, Trustmetrics… … in all countries there are institutions of love, each better than the other where there are researches going on to see how love can be applied in all subjects without appearing silly …like love in history, love in mathematics, love in technology, love in law, in sports, in literature, etc. love in medicine, love in politics…people have suddenly realized that it is an en-ending field… and intelligent people from all walks of life have started taking real interest in it…there’s also another subject called understanding, which has become more important than solution providing, like understanding people, process, product, etc…

Patient : [pointing at the doctor] Congratulations… you have cracked it Sir!!! We made it!!!

[Doctor gives a dead fish handshake and goes off the screen holding onto Apprentice’s hand]

[they come back to their chamber]

Doctor : If his eyes are of wood, how can he write?
Apprentice : He says he doesn’t write Sir…sorry sir…forgot to tell you that…
Doctor : Then?
Apprentice : He says he’s not writing anything, but wall readers are seeing those because of what is running in their minds!
Doctor : Holy crap! Get me his details.
Apprentice : Spouse. Child. Pet.
Doctor : Has anyone come to look for him?
Apprentice : No.
Doctor : Anyone died in war?
Apprentice : No.
Doctor : Qualification? Age?
Apprentice : 40+ Was a research scholar, but discontinued. Judged misfit. Thrown out of previous office. As a child was thrown out of school, fled from home.
Doctor : Is he like this all the time?

Apprentice : No sir, he’s very normal…but his eyes are always away. He keeps talking about his childhood days…it seems he has got stuck somewhere. Through hypnosis, we found out that he was dragged out of his school by a durwan named Ramu, who took him out of the school and brought him home…he was 13 years old. Later teachers of that school told his father that he has done something to be ashamed of…that other children will get wrongly influenced in his company…he broke the partition of his school, and he had asked a girl of his class whether she was virgin. This was his crime. Back in his time, these types of frankness people did not have. I think there was nothing wrong with the school; they have to take care of other children too!

Doctor : [looks at him…thinks…hangs his head down, as if in shame, and very softly looks up] Any tragic / sudden death in family?
Apprentice : No.
Doctor : Attempted suicide?
Apprentice : Do not know
Doctor : [excited…shouts] then know!
Apprentice : Okay Sir…sure…
Doctor : How can this person, who has the potential to be a criminal, talk about love and peace and all that…
Apprentice : Potential criminal! I don’t think so Sir!
Doctor : Who is asking you to think? did you find anything in his wallet?
Apprentice : Lots of debit cards, family photo, some money, and…
Doctor : And?
Apprentice : A brown blank page

Screen falls half on stage.. exposing only the lower portion of the actors on stage. They stand still. Only the narrator moves, and reads,

“Notes by the doctor: Patient found alone. No family care. Un-resolved childhood issues. Deeply shocked by war, however, it is a case of fear psychosis and schizophrenia. Ruling out social concern, Therapy Shock”

[completely dark…screen rises, lights only on the patient]

Patient, in chains, shifted from the temporary chamber.

Lights on

Doctor : Peace technology! Peace++!

[The doctor murmurs what is written on the wall and takes photos of the scribble. He could not see the scribbles quite clearly, it was almost blank. However, he thought he’d take the last picture.]


Curtain falls.


More by :  Supratik Sen

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