Round and around

What goes around comes around



Scene 1

Mr. Software man is working on his computer. His phone at the table rings. Boss is on the other line.

Mr. Software man: Hello

Boss: Did I not ask you to sign off on the release yesterday? Why haven’t you signed off yet?

Mr. Software man: There were a few bugs that needed fixing. There were also few code fixes that would improve the software performance, sir. I thought I might as well include them.

Boss: Screw performance! The off shore team will chew my head off.

Mr. Software man: But sir, we could do a really great job here. The off shore team will be definitely impressed and pleased with these changes.

Boss: Look, we’re not trying to write award winning code here. Our job is to make more money for the company. That’s how we can make more money.

Mr. Software man: But, sir….

Boss: Enough buts. Don’t worry about perfection. A somewhat working software is there. Sign off on the release. Quickly!

Boss slams the receiver down. Mr. Software man is frustrated and disappointed. He packs up and goes home for the day.

Scene 2

Mr. Software man enters living room. Wife is reading a magazine in the living room.

Wife: Hi honey!

Mr. Software man: (tiredly) Haaaaiiii

Wife: You seem exhausted. Rough day at work?

Mr. Software man: I don’t wanna talk about it.

Wife: Ok, I just had my coffee. Shall I make you some?

Mr. Software man: Okay.

His cell phone rings. His mom is on the other line (voice over).

Mr. Software man: Hello

Mom: How are you, son?

Mr. Software man: I’m fine, ma

Mom: Did you just get back from work? Why no energy in your voice?

Mr. Software man: Leave it be, that’s a long story

Mom: Is your wife taking care of you? Poor thing, if you come back tired, she should know how to take care. Women these days dont know anything!

Mr. Software man: (uncomfortably) Mmmmm….

Mom: Next week when you guys visit, ask your wife to bring many saris. Last time she just brought salwars. You guys come once in a blue moon, why can’t she just adjust? Also, why this habit of removing thali*? It’s all days of doom.

[*the supposedly sacred thread Indian women wear to denote they are married]

Mr. Software man: Ok, ok, I’ll talk later. I’m exhausted.

Wife: (hands over coffee cup) Who called?

Mr. Software man: Amma

Wife: Oh! What did she say?

Mr. Software man: She wants you to wear sari this time when we visit

Wife: And?

Mr. Software man: And what?

Wife: What did you tell her?

Mr. Software man: What could I tell her?

Wife: What do you mean what could I tell her? (angrily) You should tell her that your wife will wear what she wants.

Mr. Software man: C’mon, don’t be like that.

Wife: Like what?

Mr. Software man: It’s just for a few days. Can’t you just adjust for my parents’ sake and wear sari when we are there?

Wife: Adjust?

Mr. Software man: She is old. There is nothing more in her life. She just wants to see us and be happy.

Wife: No. She does not want to see “us”. She wants to see you. She wants to torture me.

Mr. Software man: Why are you making this into a big deal? What’s wrong with listening to elders? Can’t you adjust? Even if not for their sake, at least for my sake? Please? (begs her, holding her hand)

Wife: Adjust. That is such a bull shit, biased, meaningless word! (shrugs his hand and walks away with anger and frustration)

Scene 3

Kitchen – the Housekeeper is busy washing dishes and cleaning.

Wife enters kitchen. She is mumbling to herself as she puts away the dishes.

“Am I such a worthless piece of shit? (angrily) How do I repeatedly let myself be abused this way? If she wants sari, let her wear it, or better yet ask her son to wear it. (chuckles at that thought). My spineless man! Oh how cute will he look in a sari! (resigned tone) What can I do if no one stands up for me? Not even my husband? How can he possibly know the abuses that wretched woman throws at me? Is wearing a sari going to stop that? No! She’ll find something else to crib about. (angrily) Why can’t my husband understand this is injustice!”

Housekeeper: I’m done with my work, I’ll get going.

Wife notices a pan that is unclean.

Wife: (yells at the maid) What work have you done? See, this pan is unclean

Housekeeper: Sorry, I must have forgotten

Wife: (still engry) How could you forget this? (hands over vessel angrily) Isn’t this your job? (sarcastically) You don’t seem to forget to ask for a raise when you need it.

Housekeeper washes pan.

Wife: (angrily mumbling with irritation) Everything falls on my head. I have to pay yet do all the work myself. My fate!

Housekeeper walks away with sadness.

Scene 4

Housekeeper walks away from the kitchen and goes to her house. As she approaches the house, her kid runs to her eagerly.

Kid: Amma, I made a drawing in school, will you see?

Housekeeper: School? School! That’s a big deal for us. We are the fools! No need for any drawing. Go away! Kid walks away very disappointed.

Scene 5

Kid walks to the road. He is upset. He is frustrated about his mom’s reaction. He see a dog in the street, hits the dog with a stone and relieves his frustration. Dog yelps and runs away in fear.

Boss is walking on the street talking on the phone. “Hello, Mike. Yes, the software got delayed a bit because of my team lead. I have taken care of it though. It has now been signed off for release. Yes. Thank you”

He disconnects the call and accidentally steps on the dog lying on the street. The same dog that the kid hit with a stone. The dog is angry, barks angrily at him and starts chasing him.

Final scene

Two men (M1, M2) and two women (W1, W2) are standing in a circle. M1 slaps W1. W1 slaps M2. M2 slaps W2. W2 slaps M1.


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