a kid’s play by Gautam

A gentle breeze is blowing for some time. It has been cloudy. Soon after, it starts drizzling. Now it’s more breezy, kind of cross winds. Rain starts pouring in. Now the thunder storm starts with lightning. THE TREE is shaking heavily. Few branches fall apart, leaves are flown away.

After a time lapse……. Slowly thunder storm and rain stops. The tree is completely drenched. Few branches and leaves are lying here and there. One or two birds are flying about. They sit on the branches.

And the entire formation – the tree, branches, birds are all created by small children. They enact and produce the entire sound effects.

(Now conversation starts among detached branches, leaves, bird and the tree.)

Broken branch 1– (Telling the tree) We have been detached like this, and you couldn’t save us..?

The tree– What can one do… such a thunder storm? I tried a lot but failed to save you my sons.

Broken branch 2– Oh! You did nothing. Instead your elder son has thrashed me so brutally, I broke into pieces and snapped from you.

Broken branch 1– Absolutely true. Big brother has got the privilege. He gets better sun rays and air by sitting on the top and during this type of catastrophe he always bumps on us.

Bird– Don’t say so, dear brother. I used to jump from your branch to big branch. That’s my regular pass time. I love both of you.

Big brother– See, our twitty can understand this. But…..hmm! Who else, rather than you should say so!?….And when in this mid-summer I tend to absorb the scorching sun rays and you enjoy my shadow? And when the storm starts, I take on the sudden gust. Don’t you see how many leaves have been blown away from my branch?

Broken branches(1,2,3 together)– See….! He doesn’t have any feeling. We have been broken for ever… [start crying]

Broken branch 3– And look….(crying) She is speakty not/quiet…. OUR MOTHER! Big brother is accusing us with all these harsh words and she keeps her silence all through.

Bird– Please don’t say that. I used to tweet all day sitting in your laps. I had my share of fruits from you only. We birds, butterflies, crows and to all the creatures, you are one. The Tree…..Our source of sustenance.

Broken branch 1– Twitty is right…. Sister don’t say so. Look, she has been traumatised by losing us. And look, she is so morose now. She isn’t talking anymore.

Broken branch 2– Yes, you are right brother. Look at her closely….. Tears are rolling down her cheeks.

Broken branch 3– Ma, pleaaaaase don’t cry. We will be here only. After this rain, this soil will be tender and fertile. We will be able to graft our root and slowly we will become full grown trees. It’s our promise.

All broken branches together– Yes…… it’s our promise.

Bird– [she tweets and claps and jumps] What fun! Now we shall have more trees here. Full of green leaves……..fruits and all the shadows in the sun.

[Now she goes to the main tree and wipes her tears] Please don’t cry Maa.

Everybody– Please don’t cry….Please Maa.

Big brother– That’s like my brothers and sisters. And I will always be there for you. I will spread my branches and provide all the necessary shelter from every catastrophe and calamity in your growing days.

They all look happy, start bouncing and laughing

The tree– You all remember. A disaster……a misfortune is not the end of life. This kind of crisis situations tests our life force- our longing to live. Grow in stature.

[During this dialogue, they all break the formation and gather down stage. Big brother lifts up one broken branch in his lap. The bird climbs up on another broken branch’s back. And so on….]

The bird– [From branch’s back] To sing a beautiful song…Tweet….Tweet…Tweet…

(Now, one after another)

To dance like an angel.

To love to live.

To breathe to grow/love

[All together] And to live to dream.


Photographs – Gautam

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