Never Coming Back

A short play Starring

1) Protagonist

2) Friend

3) Waiter

Protagonist (P) (addressing the audience)–  I have been waiting for the past thirty minutes for my friend. He is late. Of course he is late which is why I have been waiting. This waiting is driving me nuts.

My friend is always late. Since 20 years ago when I have known him in engineering college. Some people never change.

Friend (F) (enters)- Hallo P. How are you doing.

P- I am doing just fine my friend. Did age a little waiting for you.

F- Haha. Sorry yaar. Traffic was heavy and parking took time.

P– It always does . (pauses). How have you been

F- Hmm, Same old, same old. Did you buy the tickets to the movie.

P- No I waited for you. In any case, the movie has started 10 minutes ago.

F– Oh dear. I really dont like to miss the beginning of the movie.

P- So what next dude? See movie or proceed to bar.

F- Lets proceed to the bar. We can watch the movie next time also.

P- Well it is good that I am a writer and you are working from home. We can watch movies and drink in pubs even on a weekday.

F- Hehe. Yes God is great.

P and F walk to a nearby pub in the mall.

F- What will you have? Kingfisher or Fosters

P- Orange Juice, my friend

F- Why? What happened?

P- Nothing much! I have decided to give up drinking

F- Ha. I think I have heard that half a dozen times. Did you go on a binge and guilt trip again.

P- Well, (pauses), you really know me well (laughs). I am just sick of abusing my body and want to be fit

F– Okay then. I will have Kingfisher beer if you dont mind.

P– Ok

F- Lets order some chicken . If you are still okay with it

P- I am okay with it. probably the poor chicken isnt.

F- well the chicken is not my friend. you are. (gestures to waiter). Can we have one orange juice, one beer (Kingfisher) and one plate chicken tikka please

Waiter – Yes sir. Tikka will take 15 minutes though.

P- That’s ok. Also please send some peanut masala.

F- Hmm. So what else.

P- Nothing much. Just finished my book. My ex wife is still giving me trouble with visiting my son. I have decided to get married again but the scene is bad. Rest all is fine.

F- Hmm. Btw what do you think of the recent politics.

P- Politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel and we are a dog country anyways.

F- I resent that. Politics may be ugly but it is ugly everywhere. The country may be in bad shape but its getting better

P- I am just getting tired my friend. (Sighs). Tired of the corruption, the shabby policemen, the dirt and the throngs of wretches begging outside malls and metro stations. I have given up. This country is bad. I need to get out. Probably to a country that gives joint custody to both dad and mom.

F- Where will you go?

P- I used to think I will either go to Canada or China. But with my loud voice, I will probably end up in Jail or getting shot in China. So maybe to Canada.

F- Why Canada?

P– Because thats where my family is. Thats where good punjabis go to experience heaven. Because it speaks English, but does not have the racism of UK or the crime and guns of USA.

F- Because the girls are pretty and the money is green?

P- yes. that as well.

F- Ah- here comes our food.

P and F eat. As they pay the bill and walk out, P looks around to the luxurious mall and the poor beggars outside.

Never, he says, I am never going to come back.

Author: Ajay Ohri

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