Thursday, April 1, 2010

...and there wasn't everafter... SCRIPT...

…and there wasn’t everafter…


Concept, Screenplay & Direction – Arin Paul
Story & Script – Arin Paul and Deepanjana Sarkar
Dialogues: Rajorshi Dey

Scene 1
Location: Kolkata
Time: Evening
Montage on Kolkata.
Voice Over : LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

Scene 2
Location: P. A. Shah Road Connector
Time: Late Evening
An empty road is seen. A lady is seen standing. Maria turns with a small little suitcase in her hand. A Taxi was passing by.
Maria VO : Taxi...
Taxi Driver : Kahan jana hain memsahab?
Maria did not respond as if she didn’t hear the driver.
Scene 3
Location: On the Road, Inside a Taxi
Time: Late Evening

Maria, slowly shut the door of the taxi with tearful eyes.
Taxi Driver : Arre, kahan jayenge aap? Batake baitna chahiye na … (With a bit raised voice).

Maria VO : I have places to go! Some places speak distinctly. Certain dank gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwrecks.
Suddenly back in her senses, she replied quietly to herself.
Voice Over : Maria indeed has several places to visit before she …
The driver, a middle aged man, was somewhat baffled at Maria’s answer, and was saying something on his own with an evident awe and irritation in his tone.
Taxi Driver : Kuch samaj mein nahin aya… Kaise kaise log chale ate hain, kya musibat palle par gayi… oh madam ji... aapki baat kuch hazam nahin huyi … (laughs )
The Driver has started the taxi and its moving now… Various visuals are seen.
Manoj : Aaj bees saal ho gaya main taxi chala raha hoon madam, bohot jagah dekhi hain, bohot kisam ke logon ko dekha hain, kisiko haste hue dekha, kisi ko rote hue; koi pyar me duba hua to koi aankh me ansoo liye; har kisi ki koi na koi story… Agar jindagi dekhna hain to andhere me nikalna chahiye; yeh sala main nahin koi bada admi bol ke gaya tha... ujale mein sab kuch chhup jaata hain…
Maria VO : Hmmm… (Late reaction with a fainted sarcasm on face).
Her attention starts shifting to Manoj, when she turns her face inside the taxi to answer, the reflection of her eyes on the rear view mirror is seen, she looks at the person sharing the heavy philosophy, though she can only see as much that can be seen normally & off course doesn’t have the interest to see beyond that, yet.
Voice Over : And why not? Manoj has seen empty canvases filling up with a pallet of shades, painting a new world in each new journey through the small dimension of his rear view mirror. Lovers have united, lamenters have departed, deals have been struck, all has been given up in the back seat of his taxi. Indeed Manoj has fascinating stories to say of places visited and people discovered and Maria drifts away with them for a while…
Maria VO : It’s indeed a colorful story (whispering to herself) Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
The traffic was reasonably thin and the Taxi ran down the Lower Circular Road, before it took to Lands Down road… (In a much lowered voice Maria speaks as she is lost in nostalgia. Ballygunge Place reminds her of her childhood, her house, her parents, everything)…
Maria VO : Ballygunge Place
Manoj : Kuch kaha aapne?
Maria VO : Mujhe Ballygunge Place jana hai (somewhat restless)
Manoj : Thik hain memsahib… Jaisa aap kahe… shaam ke time … rangeen mizaj... Mujhe is time mein sab kuch lal dikhta hain... lal rang... yeh lal rang kab mujhe chodega (sings)…
Maria VO : Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back again.
Manoj : aap pagal hain kya ? (Laughs)
Voice Over : And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking off a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
Maria wipes her tears…
Scene 4
Location: Ballygunge Place, Inside / Outside a Taxi
Time: Night
Maria VO : Yahan se right lijiye… Idhar rokiye…
The Taxi stops in front of a house.
Maria VO : My house, my childhood, my dreams, all are lost (with a deep gasp) We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
Maria, looking at the house, somewhat lost in bundle of nostalgia.
Voice Over : Nothing but memories remain for ever and Maria has too many of them crammed up within the walls of this house. Her childhood, her growing up her dreams, her love… What beautiful memories have blossomed here... Her meaningless childish jabbering, her unbridled laughter, her wishful thinking, her dreams of a happy ever after… It is this very house that has witnessed Maria… The happy chirpy girl to the dreamer of sorts.
Scene 5 [Flashback]
Location: In front of the same house of Scene 3, Ballygunge Place
Time: Day
Young Maria is jumping around with her friend all alone in front of the house, picking up flowers, running behind her pet, imitating the birds’ sound.
Young Maria : Who are you? (Asking inquisitively with a childish smile on her face)… Are you searching for anyone? (Asking innocently)
Old Maria : I am searching for you; I am searching for myself…
Young Maria : Have you lost yourself? (Again innocently)
Old Maria : Yes, I have… (very faintly with a smile)
It was an illusion. Maria is once again confronting her long lost innocent self.
Back to Scene 4
Location: Ballygunge Place, Inside / Outside a Taxi
Time: Night
Voice Over : Maria’s dream house is now empty; no thoughts are sheltered here, no stories are made, no one lives, no one loves, no one stays.
The driver was still amazed and could not understand what Maria was searching for and where was she destined to go. He is full of awe and completely baffled.
Manoj : Yahan se kahan jayenge?
The driver got no answer and starts driving.
Scene 6 [Flashback]
Location: In front of Carmel High School
Time: Day
The School is seen. Maria and Aditi are seen. Maria’s features are shown.
Scene 7
Location: Inside the Taxi
Time: Night
Taxi is moving as various visuals are seen.
Maria : Selimpur…
Scene 8 [Flashback]
Location: Bus Stand / Any other location
Time: Day
Maria, Anasua and Aditi [Maria’s Best Friend] were seen gossiping, laughing and enjoying.
Aditi : Let’s walk down the Rashbehari lane today and we will sit for a while at the Deshapriya Park and have Phuchka.
Maria : Phuchka??? (Excitedly) Wow!!!!!!! I love phuchka.
Anusua : Hey you know, yesterday I saw Malabika Madam having phuchka with a man near Gariahat in the evening; she was smiling at him and the man was also somewhat lost in her.
Aditi : May be that is why she ended her class a bit early yesterday; she had her date.
All three laughing at this conversation….
Voice Over : Tender years, crispy days, blooming friends, needless worries, amazing discoveries… unbelievably wonderful days… and Maria… what an adorable way of nature to celebrate them…
Scene 9
Location: Inside the Taxi
Time: Night
The taxi is seen standing in front of Carmel High School. It leaves again and various visuals of the city are seen as also Manoj is seen.
Voice Over : As years strolled by and a downpour of emotions drenched maria, her two loves grew. One for the rains… that exited her, made her heart dance with joy and filled her senses with the tempest of romance. The other that gave her dreams of cream colored walls, the solace of love, meaning to her life, definition to love, her destiny… Sharfaraz, her man.
Scene 10 [Flashback]
Location: Ballygunge Place
Time: Day
Sharfaraz is seen waiting for someone.
Voice Over : Sharfaraz, handsome, young and willing to take on the struggle of loving Maria… So what if they were from different religions… They were in love and nothing could stop them… There was no guilt, no shame, no fear… Only a firm determination…
Sharfaraz and Maria were seen walking together; enjoying them.
Sharfaraz : Maria, I wonder at times, why the world is so beautiful!
Maria : You know why the world is so beautiful Sharfaraz? Because we are together and we have made it beautiful with our lovely thoughts.
Sharfaraz : Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrap in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?
What is that sound high in the air
Maria : What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London … Calcutta…
Maria is lost in the eyes of her love with awe, with submission.
Voice Over : That night Maria felt a strange restlessness deep inside, something which, she could not define to anybody, not even Aditi, her best friend since childhood.
Scene 11
Location: Inside the Taxi
Time: Night
The taxi moving on.
Voice Over : Maria stepped into womanhood, even before she could realize. The world around her seemed more colorful and vibrant; the breeze blew in the fragrance of love and she took it all inside her with every breath.
Scene 12 [Flashback]
Location: Coffee Pai Mélange
Time: Day
Maria and Aditi sitting and chatting about the matter. Maria seemed very restless.
Maria : Aditi I want to say you something.
Aditi : Anything serious? Why are you looking so tensed Maria? Are you OK? Speak up for God’s sake.
Maria : Aditi, I mean, you know… How do I tell you? (Maria is fumbling)
Aditi : What has happened Maria? Tell me…
Maria : I love Sharfaraz
(Maria said this in a haste even before Aditi could complete her sentence)
Aditi : What??? (Looking at Maria with a big question on her face)… But he is a Muslim and you…
Scene 13
Location: Inside the Taxi
Time: Night
Manoj seemed puzzled as to where to go but he drives on.
Voice Over : Maria was in love with poetry, with words, their magic and romance. This brought her closer to Sharfaraz. They started meeting each other more often. She would spend hours mesmerized in the elocution of Sharfaraz. Robert Frost, Tennyson, Dickinson and Tagore, Jibanananda Das filled their long hours. Under the open blue sky, lost into each other’s eyes the lovers intricately weaved their dreams and lives.
Maria : Vivekananda Park [suddenly]

Scene 14 [Flashback] - MONTAGE
Location: Vivekananda Park
Time: Day
Maria and Sharfaraz sitting and enjoying their moments. Sharfaraz reading a poem. Other montage of togetherness.
Scene 15
Location: Vivekananda Park
Time: Night
Various visuals in and around Vivekananda Park are seen. Maria is seen wondering when she hears Sharfaraz’s voice.
Sharfaraz VO : The years roll by from girl to woman,
The years roll by from boy to man,
Sharfaraz is seen coming towards Maria as Maria moves towards him.
Sharfaraz : Then one of them will find the other,
A 'fusion' part of God's great plan.
Sharfaraz and Maria meet.
Maria : “Togetherness”

Sharfaraz : (nodding yes) Ernestine Northover …
Sharfaraz and Maria start walking together.

Sharfaraz : For this Bride and Groom are on an adventure,
Which will sometimes give a bumpy ride,

Maria is seen standing alone with a deserted look.

Sharfaraz VO : But they will travel well the journey,
As long as they stay, side by side…

Slowly the voice fades away as Maria is baffled… It was an illusion…

Scene 16
Location: Inside Taxi
Time: Night

Taxi is moving.

Voice Over : Maria’s life was flowing like a river, which knew no obstacles, no ups and downs, but she was not destined to be like this. She had to face the moment of truth now and divulge her relationship with Sharfaraz to her family.

Maria Dad’s VO : Have you gone out of your senses Maria? (Angry).

Maria : I love Sharfaraz Mom, I can’t think of my life without him.

Maria’s Mom VO : This is not possible Maria.

Scene 17 [Flashback]
Location: Old Ballygunge Place
Time: Day

Maria and Sharfaraz seen going ahead with a few luggages. Both seemed very happy and enjoyed their moments.

Voice Over : It was a hot April morning, when Maria had silently walked out of her house. Her father had abandoned her for marrying a Muslim. Sharfaraz had always empathized with Maria’s grief, rubbed her tears whenever they flew, and loved her always.

Voice Over : APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

Scene 18 [Flashback]
Location: Vivekananda Park
Time: Day

Maria and Sharfaraz sitting somewhere.
Sharfaraz : I am forever with you Maria. Everything will be fine one, I am sure.

Maria : Sharfaraz, I have not done any wrong in loving you! Will they never understand my pain?

Sharfaraz : They will, I am sure, I will make them understand, I will bring them to you.

Scene 19
Location: Inside Taxi
Time: Night

Taxi is moving ahead.
Voice Over : Life has to go on in its own pace. 3 years had passed after they had married and meanwhile Shahid was born. Maria was happy in her small little household, with a caring and loving husband and the new bundle of joy in their life.

Scene 20 [Flashback]
Location: New Ballygunge Place
Time: Day

Maria and Shahid seen going around.
Shahid : Mamma, can I have a chocolate?

Maria : Shahid, I gave you one only yesterday (Scolding slightly)

Shahid : Please mamma, only one….

Voice Over : She would remain busy throughout the day taking care of Shahid, feeding him, and playing with him, while Sharfaraz was busy settling down his auction house. His shop in Park Street had furniture, some of which were more than hundred years old.

Scene 21
Location: Inside Taxi
Time: Night

Taxi moving ahead.
Voice Over : Sharfaraz never imposed his religious beliefs on Maria and has always appreciated the idea of Maria practicing her religion and he his own. For all these reasons Sharfaraz has earned countless respects from Maria. He has showered endless love on her, which perhaps had even been successful to a considerable extent to forget her grief of loosing her family forever.

Scene 22
Location: Graveyard / Inside Taxi
Time: Night

A graveyard is seen from the taxi.

Scene 23
Location: Outside Graveyard / Inside Taxi [P. A. Shah Road Connector]
Time: Night

Maria seen from behind sitting at a bench. Taxi is seen standing at a distance.
Voice Over : Maria wanted everyone around her to be free from any bias. She was thinking all these sitting in the graveyard where her husband and son were sleeping the longest sleep of their life. Yes, she had lost both in an accident, and that day she became alone forever. Shahid had passed away a few days before his marriage.

Shahid’s VO : Mom, I don’t want to die, I want to live my life…
Voice Over : Those were his last words in the hospital bed, his last request to his mom. But, Maria could do nothing to keep the last appeal of her son other than feeling the most helpless person in this big world.
Suddenly Maria could feel that someone was standing behind her. She turned around to see that Manoj stood silently behind her, from when she does not know. He was speechless and did not know what to say.
Maria turned around slowly with a quiet smile on her face and asked (This is first time we see Maria):
Maria : Who is there?

Manoj : Main hoon memsahib. Ab chale?
Maria just nods her head slowly. Perhaps he does not really know what he is thinking. He was calm and sat beside Maria and asked:

Manoj : Ab kaha jayenge aap?
It was 10:30 PM. Maria hardly has any strength to get up and get inside the taxi. The driver lends her a helping hand to get up and she sits inside the taxi with a sense of deep emptiness. Maria closes her eyes and faintly tells the driver:

Maria : Tender Old Age Home, Lake Town…
Manoj looks once just to see tears flowing down her eyes incessantly. Manoj also has tears in his eyes. He wipes it off.

Voice Over : Maria’s house... Dare not I have, heart not I carry to yet say it a home to Maria… Maria! Where would you go now? Here? Where it begins to end? Maria! Perhaps one more taxi ride ...”

Manoj gets in and starts the taxi.

Scene 24
Location: P. A. Shah Road Connector
Time: Night

The taxi was running down the Eastern Bypass speedily…

Voice Over : I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


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