Written by Monica Mody 
Art by Kino 

Published 3/31/2013


(Act No. # of Existing Time)

An Act to get shot, raped, beaten up, killed, spat upon, locked down, fucked up, remaindered, forgotten, lied to, humiliated, mocked, rejected, broken, bent, bloodied, squalored, trumped, thumped, assaulted, silenced, fired at, butchered, shattered, burnt, blinded, made ill, slapped around, scuffed, thwacked, knuckled, gassed, gutted, weeded, wounded, winded, debilitated, mangled, mulched, forced, violated, abused, abased, debased, papered over, hounded, pummelled, lathed, abandoned, marauded, threatened, harassed, bellicosed, hosed, bagged, grinded, pussed, funked, hashed, smacked, whacked, bombed, ruined, crippled, wrecked, husked, blubbered, isolated, impoverished, demoralized, pushed around, insulted, sleazed, muddled, whitened out, driven out, expelled, excommunicated, ripped apart, razed, censured, censored, spied on, raided, dispossessed, intimidated, murdered, tortured, brutalized, starved, pissed on, humbled, paraded naked, blown up, gunned down, tear-gassed, encountered, shamed, suspected, interrogated, villanized, demonized, intolerated, ganged up on, defrauded, deceived, passed up, passed over, destituted, voided, shortchanged, stunted, pulped, taken advantage of, misrepresented, confused, forsaken, blamed, condemned, punished.

Whereas it is expedient to be this.

Be it enacted.

PRELIMINARY

       Cast of Characters

       One Eyebrow Blonde
       Donor
       Sonia Gandhi
       Two deputies
       Reclaimants
       Farceur
       Reporter
       Tuba players
       Technophile

CHAPTERS

FADE IN:

1.    ONE EYEBROW BLONDE
       (like mother)

       Meanwhile, a soundtrack of CLAPS
       Untold MONSOONS later

2.    Int. Cubicle Nation ‒ 8 x 5
       Or phone booth

       One Eyebrow Blonde looks back nervously at the rear-view mirror & PATS his blonde
       eyebrow

                                                                      Note: Since his accident, its veins have been chipping.

3.    THE DONOR looks at the cubicle nation
       or phone booth
       with MOUNTING RANGE

4.    Ext. Mountain Stream ‒ Previously

       He skips to & fro the mountain stream dozens of times.

5.    He TAPS impatiently.

                                                                      Note: His hair's turned white trying to persuade, or perhaps
                                                                      from malnutrition & poverty, or perhaps from worrying and
                                                                      old age.

6.    SONIA GANDHI'S impassive face.

7.    Ext. Proscenium ‒ 8 x 5

       Safdar Hashmi's plays are being staged 24 x 7.

8.    Tempers are so high they jump right past the checkpost.

9.    Ext. The checkpost in burqas ‒ on alert

       Fever RAGES like terror on their tongues.

Too sensible.
TWO DEPUTIES
(as they body frisk an unnamed)

       The RECLAIMANTS beat their bodies into willful tears. Hot gas bubbles from objects strewn
       across the graveyard.

TIME OUT.

FADE OUT.

 Oo-too! Loo-too! Loo-too!
(sounds)
POLICE ALARM

11.   One Eyebrow Blonde listens

        A beat or two

12.   The FARCEUR protests. The REPORTER is surprised to hear the boy say that.

BOY
(forced laughter)
Oh, we just pretend her jokes are all outdated.
She doesn't live here anymore.

                                                                      Note: We pretend her jokes are unfunny.

13.   The example she gives fumbles. Is forced to laugh. FORCED LAUGHTER track.

               Viewfinder camera

        Forced laughter is tracked, and backed against the wall.

                                                                      Note: The scenery.

        Long shadows. Forced to backtrack, the laughter turns blonde.

        (like milk frothing)

               On soundtrack, TUBA PLAYERS

14.   Ext. Her house ‒ Below
        A whisle

        The phone booth trembles, sighs, then turns over.

15.   The stone pendant leaches blood. Grows heaver & heavier. She impatiently rubs against it.

SHE
O, phone of shadows!

        She stops the technology at shadows

                                                                      Note: Track with a long shot.

        And infers

                                                                      Note: It was a long shot.

        The news story's halo carries it fleeting

16.   The halo's edge skirmish
        w/ chewing gum wrappers, foil, empty chip bags

                                                                      Note: It was only a corner, though.

17.   Succession of studios projected on to the screen.

        The old school TECHNOPHILE lounges in the best seat, third row from the front, wearing
        his safari suit.

18.   Final Chapter: Offences

        An elephant elegantly leans against the pillar.
        An elephant flirtatiously leans against the pillar.
        An elephant waves prettily from a passing autorickshaw, serving up your order of
        elephants & heatwaves.

        I suggest you GOBBLE your oriental feast with the help of your tour guide only

        who is laconically brushing his Amitabh Bachchan hair in the rear-view mirror

TOUR GUIDE
Kya ishtyle hai.
Strike a pose.

19.   The farceur misregards the bare request and becomes a stone in her hand.

        Quick to the bone, the dog with the bone-caller catches the bone and adds it to his bone-
        collar of respect, of limelight.

        The neighborhood heaves a sigh of relief. The desire to do something thankfully passes
        over her like a cloud.

 

 Photo by Heidi Fraser (Detail)

Photo by Heidi Fraser (Detail)

Monica Mody is the author of Kala Pani (forthcoming from 1913 Press) and three chapbooks of poetry. Her work has also appeared in Boston ReviewUpstairs at DurocThe The PoetryPyrtaNortheast Review, and in The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry, among others. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Laws from the National Law School of India University, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology in San Francisco.
(Updated May 2013)

Kino is a designer with a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Notre Dame. He has done layout for various published works with SENSEable City Lab . He is a jack-of-all-trades, with a knack for illustration, photography, and graphic design.
(Updated May 2013)