This is a political satire – if you are offended by Satire – please don’t read any further!!
THE MAN WITHOUT PROPERTIES
(A Play in Three Acts)
(The action takes place in a fictitious country somewhere in Asia. All the characters and events are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real characters is purely coincidental. )
Cast of Characters
President: An unkempt man of 70 with a mop of hair brushed so it falls on the sides. He is wearing a closed-collar jacket and trousers.
Lady Maindhi: A severe looking woman in her 60’s wearing a white saree.
Mumble Singh: A wispy old man with a blue turban, scraggly beard, and large spectacles. Owlish looking. Wearing a white kurta and pajama.
Plumberji: A short, balding, blunt looking man in his late 70’s. Wearing a closed-collared jacket and trousers. Thick glasses.
Lady President: An unpleasant looking woman in her 70’s. Wears a coloured saree with palloo on her head.
Monty Spudseller: A strong looking man in his late 60’s wearing a blue turban, a suit with a tie.
(Sometime in the year 2004)
A hall in the President’s office
Enter Lady Maindhi accompanied by Mumble Singh and Plumberji.
President greets the three and invites them to sit.
President: Ah, welcome, Lady Maindhi. I see you have Mumble Singh and Plumberji with you. How is the mood of the party now that you have won a majority in the Parliament?
Lady Maindhi: Thank you Mr. President. With the blessings of the Holy God, our forces today have vanquished the armies of Satan with the help of our brethren who believe in the Holy Book. People have been falling over one another in their attempts to cajole me to lead them in this hour of triumph, and to make this nation as great as The Holy Roman Empire. I have come, Mr. President, with the list of the members who have expressed complete faith in my leadership and who are urging me to form the next government at the centre.
President: That is very good Lady Maindhi. I am sure the list must be authentic and I really do not have to look at it. So who is going to be the Prime Minister?
Lady Maindhi: (looking a bit surprised): But Mr. President, I thought you understood that the people want me to take up this post.
(Aside: “what a duffer this Bhajan Party has selected”)
Mumble Singh and Plumberji together: Yes, yes, Mr. President, Madam is the only choice of the country and we have come to seek your blessings before we make a formal announcement to the people.
President: Ah, yes! But before you came, this busybody Submarine Sammy had come here. He was sure that you would soon be coming to me with such a demand, and he told me that I should not accede to it as it would be illegal and liable to be challenged and struck down by the Supreme Court.
Lady Maindhi (looking very cross): Why, that good-for-nothing dark rascal has the temerity to suggest that my appointment would be illegal? How dare he?
Plumberji (ingratiatingly and then angrily): Yes, yes madam, the first thing we have to do is to throw that man into the darkest cell of our dungeons and lose the key. What brazenness, what blasphemy! The man is a horrible conspirator and should be quickly taught a lesson.
Mumble Singh (wringing his hands and looking sheepish): He thinks that just because he is a Harvard professor he can claim to know everything. He has forgotten what a long list of degrees I have acquired and how much more scholarly I am.
Lady Maindhi: (rather authoritatively): Well Mr. President, please let me have your letter immediately. Cannot keep the people waiting any longer!
President: Madam, I would be very happy to give you the letter, but I am afraid this Sammy has shown me the clause of reciprocity under which our citizens cannot hold the office of Prime Minister in the country of your birth, and accordingly you, not having been born in this country cannot become the Prime Minister here. Now if you have someone else in your party, I would be glad to issue the letter to him or her. And, by the way, there is no bar to your becoming a minister, but the objection is only to the office of the Prime Minister.
Lady Maindhi: (turning to Plumberji): Hey, Plumber, you are a lawyer, aren’t you? Come on and read the law to the President.
Plumberji (looking downcast): Madam I have been so busy running the party affairs, first with your mother-in-law, and then with your late husband that I have not practised law for a long time. I do not know if Sammy has got his onions right?
Lady Maindhi: Never mind his onions, or garlic. Call that Kapti Sybil immediately and ask him where we stand.
Plumberji: Yes, yes, ma’am. (Goes aside and makes a call from his cell phone).
(Loud) Madam, Kapti Sybil says that Sammy has zero understanding of the law, but he is not sure himself. You know what a windbag he is. Madam what shall we do now???
Lady Maindhi (getting up): Well Mr. President, we have to go and discuss this development with my family and other pets. We will be back soon.
President: Any time Lady, any time.
***********************Act II Follows****************************