Ignis Shattered - 2

Continued from Previous Page   

Rama : (Unperturbed)

You are forgetting
Your body
came in contact with Ravana's.
You had not willingly on your own
Jumped into his chariot, did you ?

Laksmana : (Surprised)

What ?

(Looks around. All are looking down)

Sita : (with self-confidence, restraining her exasperation)

This is just my argument too, Rama
I did not jump into Ravana's chariot
Of my free will.
But, I am unable to understand
Anything at all.
How cruel are these active expressions
of yours,
Bewildering me
Into a strange jungle of unfamiliar meanings
Was not made by the body
It was forced.
Do not sting me
With these barbs of language.
Do not spin a web of words
Between us.
For me
What always was the meaning
Why is it getting restricted
To mere words ?

Rama : (Unperturbed)

Sita try
And understand Rama.

Hanuman : (Polite but indignant)

Pardon, O Lord ! Pardon !
Not anymore can I bear suffocation inside.
If I remain silent anymore
Devotion will turn into flattery.
It is you who need to understand
Have you understood Sita at all !
Do you really not remember
The account that I had given
Returning from Asoka Vatika
The first time.
Mother Sita had turned down
Even my proposal
Who is like her son.

(after a pause)

Only because
She was not willing to accept
Even the touch of a man
Other than Rama
Understand Sita if you can my Lord !
Moreover, You are the redeemer of Ahalya
Even of Ahalya
Who despite having recognised Indra
Did not have any reservation
In enjoying the pleasure of union
With a man other than her husband.
I admired the largeness of your heart
And even more.
The greatness of the sage Gautama.
Do not at least, belittle thus
The sage Oh Lord !


I am a man
I have performed my duty
Cleared the blemish on the family
By winning back Sita.

(Looking at Sita)

Who were living in someone else's house.

Sita : (with sadness)

Again the same
The same barbs of language
The cruel attack of active expressions.
Have fear Rama !
Fear of the abuse of language.
Was not living in someone else's house,
Was kept there
Was a captive.

Rama : (without looking at Sita, a bit annoyed)

But now you are free Sita
I have won you back
With my prowess,
fulfilled my obligation.

Laksmana : (satirically)

'Won' '..
This stale word has begun to stink.
How despicable has this word been made
By abuse.
Not won
You have rescued Sita


Your Sita, my sister in law


I am unable to understand
Understand anything at all.

(Rama ignores)

Rama : (Without seeing eye to eye ' almost looking at the sky)

Understand Sita
Rama is obligated, helpless to forsake you
Helpless, as you were
To stay in some other person's house.

(looking hither and thither)

You are free
To wed anyone you like.
Rama, the king cannot accept you.

Laksmana : (exasperated ) Ugh !

Sugriva : (With surprise and grief)

Oh Lord! what are you saying ?
What is it that you are saying ?
No, You can't be so self-centered, can you ?
At least
You should have had some consideration
For me !
Incinerating they are
This Sugriva's house too
The flames
Of your incendiary words
Are you not humiliating
Ruma, the victim of Bali ?


Insulting my wife Ruma
Who was redeemed through your grace ?
Did I not accept her ?
You did not have even the least reservation
Did you ?
Kindly think over your statement my Lord !
This humiliation is not of Sita only
It is humiliation of every woman
Victim of the beast in man.
My Lord,
It is an insult to every such man,
Who has recognised the existence
of woman
Who has accorded respect
To the soul of woman.
You are the ideal
The standard for this universe.
We may be apes
Still, even we cannot be so mean.

Rama : (After a brief pause)

No Sugriva
The entire universe will have to but
understand '
Common is neither Sita
Nor the manhood of Rama.
I have but to forsake Sita.


What system of ethics is this my Lord ?
What manhood is being talked about ?
Could it be the influence of this land Lanka ?
Isn't the demoniac spell
Getting denser over the sky of Lanka


Let us run away from here Rama
Leave alone this land of Lanka.

(Rama remains unruffled)

Sita : (composed)

Forsake me you can
Perhaps you have the right to
But where,
With whom should Sita go,
Is my right.
I agree
Sita is free
Free she was
Even when she chose Rama
Free she was
Even when she turned down Ravana's


Why ?
Why is it the right of a man only
To set a woman free ?
Wife, I am Rama
Attached as much to you
As you are to me.


There must be some sacred tree
To which get tied
Two free beings
The moment they get married !
I am not a woman without ties
Responsibility I am Rama !

Rama : (suddenly)

Responsibility ?

Sita : (Resolutely)

Yes, responsibility Rama, responsibility I am
Set free this inert distinguished gathering
If you can, that is
Not for long can it remain muted
With its lips sealed
This imposed silence.
Ask them !

(Looks at each one. Guilt, helplessness and relief together on all faces including Laksmana's . Rama is composed - at least apparently. People exchange glances of agreement.)

Social or individual
Cannot be meaningful
And beautiful
Without responsibility
Whether it was Sita's father's house
Or Pancavati or Asoka Vatika
Or the journey hitherto
Sita has always kept it close to her heart.
Rama! Sita has never forsaken responsibility.
If Sita had ever desired
Some other person
Then she would have done so
With full responsibility

(getting more resolute)

Sita cannot be a dilemma
Do not oppress her
With inculpable crime
Sita shall enter
Vanish into mother Earth.

Sita cannot forsake responsibility
Sita is related to Earth *
Which provides the form and content
How can Sita ever be
Without responsibility ?
This is the very point
Where Sita could differ
Even from Rama

(Silence prevails all around. From one side a new character 'Responsibility'  enters, stands in one corner. Faces the audience)

Responsibility : (in semi-hushed tone; wonderstruck)

Me, Responsibility
For me,
Could Sita be independent
Of Rama even.
I was left lying alone, neglected
Like a patient with some incurable disease
Where was any hope that
Even I would be found out ever
Would be able to return to the center
ever again ?
From war to the post war mentality
I have seen
Myself being

*Sita means land which is used, ploughed, attended to. Sita is also considered to be the daughter of Earth.

Trampled and kicked

(looking towards Sita)

I bow to you Sita
I am grateful
I bless you from the core of my heart.

(goes away)

Sita : (In sad tone)

Don't Rama !
Do not make Sita's relationship
Devoid of responsibility
If you are infatuated with someone else
Be it so
Sita shall not be a hindrance
Rama is Sita's faith.
Rama will remain Sita's only
Close to Sita, I know.
Rama! you may fulfill any responsibility
Towards anyone - be it individual
Or the kingdom,
But do not make
My relationship
Devoid of responsibility

(getting over the pitiable feeling)

It is not compassion
It is the right of Sita
And understanding too.
Why only Sita's
But of every such person
Who's conscious of his self
Knows his self
An individual is boundless Rama
Understand that
He is capable of
Providing completeness to every part
That is why he is complete.
Relationship be it of a father
Mother, wife or a beloved
A son or a friend
Is provided stability
More by responsibility than by laws.

Rama : (shaking his head in disagreement)

Don't bind Rama in a circle
Let him remain on lines
Rather in usages
Even different from lines

(a bit annoyed)

Where was the need to mention
This understanding?
There are other responsibilities of Rama too.
There is this society and my family too
Yes, my dynasty too.
Rama just cannot be the mere present
He is the past
Or the future
More the future.

Laksmana : (hurt)

'My family'
This word 'My'
Shouldn't it be given some thought O King!
'Me' though implied
How devoid it is of relationship!
Think (excited), my brother
Was it proper to say this
In Sita's context ?


Is my sister-in-law out of our family?
Can a mother be out of the family?
Is the family created by the father alone ?
Is woman only a laborer
To be forsaken and scorned
Soon after completion of the building?

(Sita is silent, Rama pensive)

People : (Chorus of voices from the backstage, representing words from their hearts seeking help from the Heavens with both arms raised)

Think Rama, O, Rama!
How strange is this?
The reality which even
We comprehend.
Rama is unable to comprehend ?
He appears today
Even more ordinary than us,
Even more common.
It is our nature
To appear large-hearted in the context of
And become narrow-minded
When it comes to our own affairs.
Consider Rama, consider
Rama is not common, is he?
After all
What is it that Rama desires ?
Think Rama! Do ponder!
Only whatever Rama desires
Shall that happen?
How strange?
That which is not just an attack on Sita
But attack on us too.
Consider Rama! consider!

Rama : (Looks towards Sita)

The point is not
That I have to think and understand,
The point is
That I have to live
As being the society itself.
The day
This obligation of Rama is understood
The worthlessness of all this thinking
Will be understood automatically?

Laksmana : (a bit excited)

But, which society king Rama?
Do acceptance and agreeability only
Define a society ?
Is society merely that in which we live in the
Is society a stagnant pool ?
Society is an ocean also
Which scares us,
Prevents us from fathoming its depth,
To constrict with violent waves
Merely at the inkling of someone
Getting down to fathom its depth,

(A pause)

And society is also that individual
Who enters
And conquering the waves
Crosses to the other side,
Creates with the discordant strings
In harmony
A new music.

Rama : (Feeling of annoyance on his face)

Don't get me tangled up in these questions
Mere philosophy is not Rama's ambition
Let me live in action
Ram is not a closed circle
Just lines, open.
And Rama is not devoid of responsibility
He has the responsibility
Of the entire creation.
Of Vibhisana and Ravana too.

(after a pause in firm words)

My persona
Is not seeking Rama
But Ramahood,
Which I have to attain
At any cost.
Do not look for contradictions, Sita,
In this simple straightforward Rama !
Comprehend if you can
The meaninglessness of your thinking.

Sita : (To herself, voice from backstage)

Meaninglessness ?
Of thinking ?

(openly - challenging)

Yes Rama!
Sita does know
The meaninglessness of thinking.
Wants to be special
By remaining common only
That is
What is not acceptable
To the Ramahood of Rama, isn't it ?
Sita ought to know that
Rama is merely a man.
She has to live being special
Which is in conformity with Ramahood.
It is not the right of Sita
To be unique
In her own way
In Rama's society ?
No one has given the right to Sita
To challenge the Ramahood
Of Rama that you are.
It is not the right of Sita
To create
Any Sitahood ? Or is it ?


I do not even want, O Rama
To create
Nor do I want
To create a history
Around my name.
But, look upon Sita
As a responsibility
Do not just throw her
Making her worthless
Into the winds.
Not just Ramahood
But Sitahood too
Is what Rama ought to be
Do not bare Sita's being any more.
Sita is a woman too.

(Becomes silent.)

(Responsibility comes in a corner)

Responsibility: Uff !
How much more trampled I have to be today?
The meaning that Sita has given me ---
Me Responsibility,
How great it is
How honored I am today !
The beautification of relationship
And meaning too
Is possible today through me only.
But Rama !
May you also understand
May you also understand me at the moment.
May you understand
Sita's meaning too
Unsought after is not Sita
Like a barren land*
Responsibility she is of someone.

(Sits down)

*'Sita' means a land which is cultivated

Rama : (Helplessness on his face)

Rama is not a mystery !
Perhaps that is the greatest tragedy of Rama
Rama is the same
He is an unaffected word.
Do not look for any hidden meaning
In Rama.
Rama's foundation is bonds
Nothing of Rama is free.
Apart from a collective
Accepted idea
What but is the existence of Ram.
Rama is not experimentation for the sake of experimentation
He is the norm of conduct.
Even being yours
He is not yours only.
Sita !
Try and understand your Rama .

Responsibility: (with hopelessness -standing in the front part of the stage)

I must but leave.
So unwanted
Perhaps I have never been.
In such a large gathering
I am the only one
And insulted too.
Where the answer to an argument
Is not logical,
Who cares about me.
Sita is blazing away
Having become an argument
But for how long ?
For how long ?
Sita is helpless
Has been abandoned to burn alone
In the fire of arguments.
I must move
I must leave this land.

(moving his arm around)

But may it be remembered
May it be remembered by space and time
Desertion of responsibility
Is never simple and inconsequential.
Much more shocking than
The greatest earthquake
can be my uncivil departure.
The consequence
Can engender a great penance.
May it be remembered !
May it be remembered !

(Responsibility goes away ' disheartened with his head hanging as if helpless. Enter Profundis with the same feeling )

Profundis: (Looking towards the sky)

Go away
You are not Sita
That you would stay on even after being
Why should you remain ignored like Sita.
Let lonesome Sita
Get even more lonesome today.


Even if someone makes Sita lonesome
The same cannot be done
To a woman.
Even if Sita cannot live
As Sita
Who can prevent
A woman.
Awakened if the womanhood is in Sita
Then the foundation will be shaken
of Ramahood even.


But that is a matter of far off times
Very far off.

(Taking a deep breath)

Time still has to stutter
For God knows how long
In this tavern of victory.
Will have but to wait
Will have to.

(Enter Faith, almost in a state of insanity)


Pardon! O Earth !
Pardon! O Heaven !
What shall I do
A mere feeling
Action I am not
A mere plaything
Whoever, whenever wanted
Has played with me

(sits down, focus on Rama)

Rama : (In anger but with feeling of guilt)

Force me not Sita !
Does Rama has to say '
Even if he trusts you
How can he trust
Ravana ?

Laksmana : (Grinding his teeth in anger, puts his hands his ears in disgust)

Enough! Enough!
Proceed no further King Rama!
That should be all, O champion of

(in exasperation)

I should leave this place

(turns his face to one side)

Sita : (with regret and exasperation)

Oh! Trust ! Trust!
Not anyone else
Please learn to have trust in yourself, Rama!
Only then can be resolved
Tensions of relationships
Please learn to have trust in yourself Rama!
As Sita does.
If physical was Ravana
Then so is Rama. (regret)
Try as she might
How can Sita comprehend ?
How can Rama think so low
Please have trust in yourself !
Wasn't so cruel even
The proposition of Ravana
Wasn't so cruel even
The treats of Raksasis
Withdraw it Rama
The blow on my soul
Which is always with you.
If you have to
You shake a tree from its branches
cruelly rip its bark off
But pour not caustic in its roots.
Please have trust in yourself


Do not make Sita a beggar
Do not throw Sita on the streets:

Sita is a wife.

Rama : (In disagreement)

No Sita!
The question is not
Whether I trust myself or not.
The question is not
Whether I can accept you or not.
But I
Who is a 'male'
understand the 'male'
Every 'I'
Who is a male
Is subservient to the 'male' in him
Sita ! try and understand this
Never is a man's self
Independent of his manhood.
I do not wish
To explain any more
And make you feel embarrassed.

(after a pause-in an imperative tone)

You are free
To choose any man
It is a decision
Not a test.

Sita : (ironically)

Bravo ! My dear male Rama bravo !
It is you who is telling me to
To choose just anyone
How natural is this sentence
In favor of a male !

(with anger)

Sita is not leftover food
thrown to dogs.

(with ironical laugh)

Dear Rama!
Had you no faith in Sita
Then truly
Could you ever utter such a sentence
Just ponder
If on this petty order of yours
Like a lowly person
I do choose just anyone
Wouldn't then
Be shaken this dynasty of yours
And wouldn't you yourself
Be shaken !
Rama! try and understand this
It is just your faith in Sita
That has let you utter such a sentence.
You shall never be forgiven Rama
By woman like Sita
In any age.
Shall never be forgiven
For such a mean
An Arya, you are Rama !
Perhaps, even Rakshasa
Would never have uttered thus

Faith : (Takes a sigh of relief, on bended knees)

Blessed I am
Blessed I am Sita
This servant FAITH
Is blessed.
Not only a notion
I can be an adjective also
I have been rescued today
From a wild river

(sits down)

Rama : (with exasperation and annoyance on his face)

Sita ! don't be adamant
Rama is not logic
Rama is faith -
Faith of the people.
Let people sleep
With the lullaby of faith.
Don't spread the spark of logic.
Rama is not redemption
Rama is a bond.
Do not be shameless Sita
silent fingers of suspicion
Being raised against you
From all directions.
Rama cannot wave them off.
Even if he makes a single attempt
Rama himself will be under suspicion.
Rama's supreme authority will be shaken
Rama is the symbol
Rama's foundation is
Consonance with masses.
Understand this Sita !
Politics can never
Be the personal property
Of anyone.
There is nothing like truth in politics
Yet it isn't masquerade either.
Just conjectures.
Don't waste your words
Conjectures have sharp cutting edges.

Laksmana : (Mockingly)

Then what is the difference
Between you and Ravana ?
In both the situations
Sita's honor has been strangulated.
Only Sita has been made helpless.
But Sita
Will have to fight herself
Her battle alone.
Sita will also fight
The spell of Ravana over you.

(All are stunned. Enter Profundis and a lady Curiosity from one side )

Profundis : (Alarmed)

What has been stated by Laksmana
Comparing Rama with Ravana?
God! O God!
Save us ! Save us !
Should the supporters of Rama get
All arguments would be left abandoned
Would be crushed
Like reeds.

(Looks towards Curiosity)

Curiosity! did you hear
What has been stated by Laksmana
There may be strength
In the arguments
But would the supporters of Rama
Be able to digest them?

Curiosity : (Sh!) Proundis !

Keep quiet for now
And get deeper.
Let us see
Let us see what happens next.
Look there
Another expression has emerged
On Sita's face.
Sita : (Taking a deep breath)
Its O.K. dear Rama !
Perhaps you don't know.
Not just yourself
You have degraded Sita also
Far too much !
You have forgotten
The extraordinary in Sita.

Faith : (Raises his arms while sitting)

Pardon O! Earth!
Pardon O! Heavens!
Oh! the conflagration in Sita's heart
The burning in Rama's eyes.
I can very well see
Laksmana burning
His entire self.
What kind of conflagration is this and
Will even clouds sufficient to deluge and
drown mankind
Be able to put out this fire in eons to come.

Sita : (Looking towards heaven)

God! O Ignis!
Do not burn me just from inside,
Reduce me to ashes
This helpless body of mine touched by Ravana
O God!
Incinerate it
Sita cannot live
Cannot live anymore.
Please take me in your lap, O God Ignis!
Sita cannot suffer the indignity of women.
Sita is not at war
But struggle she must for honor
Dedication is the aim of Sita's age
Accept Sita, O Ignis!
O Mother! O Earth!
You are watching, are you not
This child of yours?
One more abduction
There is no more patience
In Sita
To endure any captivity whatsoever
Bring forth fire, O Mother!
Do make it manifest.

(Disturbed burying her face between her knees. Silence everywhere )

(Another character 'SUSPICION' enters, stumbling)

Suspicion : (Powerless, in philosophical tone)

Who knows his self
Better than me.
Suspicion I am
What does not exist
I am (that)
And also, I am not.
Cursed I am to remain mute
I am not my resolution myself
I cannot climb up the gallows
Of my own accord.
I know the truth
But cannot disclose it.
My death is the only redemption for me
I know Sita's reality
But resolution I am not, I cannot be
Merely a question or acceptance I am
Keeping the sun shrouded
Darkness I am of those dense clouds.
A frightful wilderness I am
Of lost tracks.
Cut me down
Burn me up
O God Ignis !
Not just Sita's
It is my prayer too.
Become manifest O God Ignis!
Get lighted
Finish my existence itself.

(as if deranged, goes out)

(Complete darkness. Then, slowly light of fire spreads and a panorama of flames spreads on the whole stage. IGNIS appears)

Ignis : (Helpless- looking towards the audience)

Fire I am,
Not the anchorman.
Reduced to just a character I am.
I have had to come
Do not know
If the time is appropriate at all.
Anyone ever be able to understand
Would any age be able to understand
That whenever someone got burnt by me
I got burnt myself
I too suffered
The same, exactly the same agony.
Why can't we change the scheme of things entire
My form has appeared to me, at times
Like a curse too.
What kind of test for me it is?
Reduced to a mere character.
No role for me, Really
No role, Really !

(Stops. Looks around. Then addresses Sita)

Come Sita!
In presence of the people
Come into my lap.

(With a feeling of utmost helplessness)

Where have I got entangled
Stuck in which quagmire
No one today will be able to understand .
Perhaps some age will come
Dominated by terrorism
Blazing away
Will be the faith of
Even the nearest one.
There will be a complete search
Even to meet ones own people.
Will have to pass through
Some instrument of test.
Perhaps then and then only
Will be understood
The utter powerlessness of faith.
For today, come Sita
In presence of the people
Come into my lap.

Faith : (Trembling with fear)

No! No!
Don't say so O! God Ignis
Not just a statement
It will be a curse on faith.
Could have at least spared the future
Of this Faith, who is a loser in the present
Could have spared the future at least
From being put on the stake.
It would have been better
If I were thrown in the folds of the great
If I were food for the sea creatures
I wouldn't have become so worthless
At least I would have felt my present too
I have seen O! God Ignis
Seen those
Who have neither present nor future
Don't abandon me God Ignis
Don't leave me in any age
To become a target
Of the arrows of suspicion.
I do not wish
Now I do not wish to watch
My self being wrecked any more

(goes away)

Ignis : ( In despair)

Come Sita! Come!
Now I am merely an instrument of test.
This intervention of mine
How artificial and unwanted it is
I know.
How so ever automatic an instrument it may
Controlled but it is from somewhere or the
From some chamber or the other.
Come Sita ! Come !
Come into this chamber
I will have but to investigate
This allegation
Which has neither substance nor form

(Ignis leads Sita into the enclosure holding her hand. All are standing dumb-founded looking towards the enclosure. Silence every where. Focus on Profundis and Curiosity)

Curiosity : (As if pushing away Proundis)

No Profundis No
This is not the role for you
It is mine, for me Curiosity.
Silence is not only yours
But my companion too.

(She pushes Profundis out of the stage)

At some time Sita was my look-alike
Remember Asoka Vatika
Today Rama is my image

(mischievous smile)

(Look at faces of the people. Focus shifts from Curiosity. Ignis comes out of the chamber with Sita. Sita's head is down and she is silent. All are waiting with curiosity. Rama is also staring. Announcement and Information enter from one side talking).


Speak up Announcement !
Has your chirping and twisting
Been stunned ?


Speak up! Speak!
Come on give up this coyness and shame

(getting serious)

But is there any value at all of these words
In this shameless stage of time ?


You only speak Information
How tired have I got, don't you see?
Perhaps both of us.
Is there any role left for us?
Come Information, let us leave.
At least let us not become participants
Like vultures.
Wherever it is
Let the carcass of Faith lie.,
Those who want to devour, let them eat.
Those who want to claw let them claw.
Let us at least leave
Why should we become part of the gory

(They go away dejected, sombre)

Curiosity : (serious)

But my role is there still
Even with everything being clear
My role is there still.
Curiosity I am.
Even in a familiar story
Every coming turn

(Is the wait for me only.)

Those who have to go may go
My role is there still.

(Dancing jumping Joy enters the stage. Finding Curiosity grim, addresses her)

Joy : (Surprised)

Curiosity ?
You are still serious
What is it that has happened to you?
Where is Ms. Information
And also Ms. Announcement?
Have all of them forgotten their roles?
No one is accepting any bonds of relationship
Why am I feeling
Why are all appearing
To be free
On their own separate axes ?
What kind of times is it portending, where
Even on searching
No centers can be found
Why are the circles
Appearing to change into centers
And centers into circles?
What kind of chaos
I am seeing.
Could it be just a confusion of my sight?

(Puts his hands as blinkers)

I must shut my eyes from that side
Why should I look
Why look in that direction
Which is not in this age
Nor my concern even.

(Keeps quiet for sometime. Looks around)

Why is every one silent?

(Looking hither and thither)

I can't find
Even Profundis anywhere
Remain silent, those who want to
Why have I been able to remain silent?
It is not in my character
To hide in the caves of mystery
(wayward) I am
When have I been able to hide
Any information?
Oh! Oh!
Look how my stomach is aching

(Looking at his tummy and rubbing it)

How bloated this damn thing has got.
Is there anyone
Who can disclose the secret
And redeem my
Tummy of this pain?


(Faith also comes on the stage Looking aged)


There is some life still in me
Don't be alarmed
I am the same Faith
You must have seen people
Getting aged without age.
Faith I am
At least believe me.
You may not believe others
At least believe me.

(Looking at JOY)

Dance Joy
Dance as much as you like.
I also have the news
Infact had known it all along
But can not be
I am not merely the present
Nor merely the past;
My role extends in the future
Even to the future of the future
Even if
There is no future for me
As far as it can be seen
But today I have been murdered
Not just insulted
But murdered
I cannot dance.

You may dance.
I am not an innocent child

(Goes away. Joy follows too)

Ignis : (with head down, looking towards Sita firmly)

Not yours my child
History wants to see
Someone else's head down,
Of all those
Who could not even raise
The voice of protest.
I wish these stone-like creatures
had become stones really
And blocked the path
That led you to the test enclosure.
Hold your head high Sita
Hold your head high.
I am the absolute, the judge
The standard of purity
Hold your head high
Did, really, these people not know
And even Rama himself,
That you were pure
As much as you are.

(Sound of music. Relief on every face. Rama too a bit less tense)

The crowd : Hail !

Victory be to Ignis

Ignis : (Annoyed)

Were the decision adverse
Would there still have been praise?
And if
Only a favorable decision was requisite -
Not just desired
Is there any meaning
Of this
Hailing of victory?

(Comes to the front edge of the stage and stops. Looking at the audience)

Latent in all
Somewhere or the other
Is victory and defeat
Somewhere or the other
Is latent
The touchstone too
Of recognition.
Who himself is not Ignis?
Is'nt Rama himself?
Each and every person Ignis?
Or is'nt Sita
Herself Sita ?
Then why hail this victory?
Why this system of fire test
Wish I could shatter it to bits
To bits
To bits

(Becomes silent. People are also silent. Ignis again addresses Sita. Sita's head is still down as if she is sinking into the ground)

Ignis : (In sharp tones)

I know
Injustice it is.
It is favoritism.
Testing only you
Is the system of absolute authority
I know


And will but say it today
It is my challenge
Even Rama himself cannot stop me today.

(Softening a bit)

But I know, Sita
You cannot demand
The test of Rama.
Cannot demand
The universe itself will be shaken,
Resting on the shoulders of manhood
This Universe.
The tradition
Not just of a person
But of the entire age
Is strong as steel.
You will not be able to break it
In this age.
You only have to climb on the scale
My child
I do not know till what day.

(Keeps silent for sometime)

But how-so-ever vast be the ocean
How much it may limit the vision
This vastness of the ocean
There is always the other coast too.
Wait Sita!
Wait for the time
When not yours
But lowered shall be
The heads of the people
And of the king too

(Firmly looking towards Rama)

It is my order to Rama
May he accept you
This very moment.
And accept a punishment too
Rama shall not be able to
Even atone
He will only get suffocated within himself '
Get suffocated.
Will not be able to express his mind
The fire blazing in his psyche.

(Rama with an expression of accepting everything)

I too will be suffocated
I too, at this episode of dead justice.

(departs at a broken pace)

(Sita lifts her head slightly and looks at Rama.  Rama with a posture of acceptance of Sita. But Sita gets immersed in her thoughts)


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More by :  Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, AVM (Retd)

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