INTO THE PASTWITH PAIN…277
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
(Gandhi, Patel and Nehru are standing at bus stand near Residency in Hyderabad. They are waiting for a bus.)
Patel. What is the plan for today? We decided that we should go to Salarjung Museum today. Is there any change now?
Gandhi. I have to think.
Nehru. What is there to think? If we have to go there we jolly-well go there. If we decide that we should not go there we will not go there. Going or not going anywhere is in our hands. Going to places is not much problem now. But problem is that Patel does not like the place where I want to go. I do not like to go to the place where Patel wants to go. Then you may not like to go where we want to go and then we may go or we may not go to place where you like to go.
Gandhi. Eee..eee..eee.. What is this Go.. go.. go…? Eee…eeee.. Please save me. I am out. Save me.
( Gandhi faints on the road and kicks around his hands and legs violently. People gather around them)
Laxman ( On looker) Bhai. What happened? Why he fainted? Poor guys. He is aged.
Patel. He suddenly developed some problem.
( Some one brings a bottle of water and sprinkles on Gandhi’s face. He opens his eyes and stares.)
Gandhi. Where I am? Am I alive? Am I OK .Please lift me up.
( Soon he is lifted up and he holds his stick and looks at Nehru)
Gandhi. Eee..eee…eee, Save me. Save me..
( Gandhi sprints seeing Nehru and runs through the traffic)
Patel. Oh Bapu. Please hold on. Please stop. Why are you running?
Laxman. Bhai. Is the old man scared of this man ( points towards Nehru)
Patel. Why should he? We are all friends. We have to catch him at any cost.
( Gandhi while running through traffic stumbles on a scooterist and the vehicle falls down taking the rider and Bapu. Bapu gets up quickly and runs again through traffic. A police constable arrives soon and blows wqhizzle. He is after Bapu while the scooterist is carried away to a hospital.)
Patel, Look Jawaharlal we must catch Bapu. Otherwise it will become a problem for us.
Nehru. True, But my legs are aching. I can not walk.
Patel. OK. Then sit down at the bus stand and do not go any where. I shall catch Bapu and bring him here.
( Patel now runs after Bapu shouting Bapu..Bapu. Seeing this some police men also run after them. Entire traffic comes to an halt. Gandhi dodging patel hides behind a large truck that has special folded boom with a bucket at the end. It is used to life people safely to repair high mast lights on the road. Bapu sits in the bucket and hides. Patel keeps searching hear and there. In the mean time the operator of the truck arrives and starts the truck and operates the boom and lifts it up. The bucket goes into sky with Bapu inside. After some time Bapu realizes. )
Gandhi. Oh.. Save me. Save me. I will die here..eee..eee..eee
Patel. Bapu, why are you there? Didn’t you find a better place to hide?
Gandhi. Please save me. I can not even jump from this height. I shall break my legs.
Patel. We shall save you provided you promise that you shall not run again.
Gandhi. Sure. Sure
( Patel speaks to the operator and he tries to lowers the boom. But it does not work. The boom is stuck in high position)
Patel. What happened mechanic sahib?
Operator. Some trouble. This has been giving problem since a week. I told in the electricity office also. But they sent me for work.
Patel. Now what will happen?
Operator. He has to stay there till it comes down.
Patel. But he is an old man. He might die there. Please try something.
( In the meantime some monkeys playing on a tree jump near the bucket and one of the monkey seeing Bapu snarls at him )
Gandhi. Shh..Shh. Please save me.. This monkey might attack me.ee..eee
Patel. Bapu. Please do not say any thing to that monkey. He is not human. He is better than us. It will not do anything to you unless you do something to him. It is not like our leaders who can harm others for their self elevation. It happened to me in 1947. I was to become the PM, but Jawaharlal played cards and became PM.
Gandhi. Hanumanji. Please excuse me. I shall bow to you ( Sings Ramdhun)
( Monkey nods it’s head and goes away. In the mean time the boom is repaired and it is brought down.
Gandhi gets out of bucket. Patel immediately catches Gandhi and he is pleased. In the mean time, the constables arrive. )
Constable. Is this the man running around in traffic?
Gandhi. Yes that is me. Can’t I run?
Constable. Yes , You can. But not on public roads where you can be nuisance. You look elderly. Are you playing here?
Patel. No. No. Sepoy sahib. He was scared of some thing. Please excuse him.
Constable. OK. Please take care of him. We have many other important things to do than this. If he does this again we shall take him to Erragadda hospital where such men are lodged for life. By the by what is his name?
Gandhi. I am Gandhi, the Mahatma, father of this country.
Constable. ( looks at Patel) What you said is true. He is not OK. He thinks he is Mahatma Gandhi. I feel sorry for him.
Patel. Please leave him. I shall take care of him.
(Constables go away cursing the guys)
Patel. Bapu. What was the necessity to run like this? They would never believe that you are MKGandhi.
Gandhi. But I am MK Gandhi. I can not tell a lie. What to do? Jawaharlal was telling me something and I could not take his phrases. I had no other go than except to run.
Patel. Ok .Ok. Now let us go back. At times we have to tell lies too.
Gandhi. OK. But tell him not to talk like that.
( Patel and Gandhi walk back to bus stand while people around melt away laughing. At bus stand, Nehru sees them)
Nehru. Bapu, why did you run like that?
Patel. No questions now please. Now tell me where we should go today?
Gandhi. I think we had enough today. I am also tired of running. We shall go some other day.
Patel. OK. Again please do not run. We are also tired.
( The trio walk away singing Ramdhun)