Satyavama's Perfect Husband

This is a play based on a story by Sri Chinmoy, performed for Sri Chinmoy and his students on a recent trip to China. The original storyline is from part two of "Great Indian Meals," a collection of short stories written by Sri Chinmoy (SriChinmoyLibrary.com).

Cast
Krishna
Satyavama
Satrajit (a Yadava chief, father of Satyavama)
Satyavama’s Mother
A Suitor

Krishna:
Of luminaries, I am the radiant sun.
Of constellations, I am the moon.
Of reservoirs, I am the ocean.
Of trees, I am the banyan.
Of measurements, I am time.
Of animals, I am the lion.
The glory of the glorious, victory, enterprise.
I am the wisdom of the wise.

[Exit Krishna, enter Satrajit]

 

Satrajit:
My daughter is of the marrying age -
For her it’s a rather awkward stage.
She’ll only accept one who’ll do as she asks.
She will set him all kinds of impossible tasks!
He must obey her…or risk being killed -
She really is frightfully strong willed.
Oh God!  Here comes my…er…charming wife,
“Hello my little ladoo…er…love of my life!”

[Enter Mother, flustered]

 

Mother:
Who will marry a girl so obstinate?
She is now seventeen – it is getting too late!
It is all your fault – you wanted a boy!
Will a warrior wife bring any man joy?
All those hours in the sun with a sword or a mace
Have darkened and hardened her delicate face!
She will not wear jewellery; she can’t even cook!
Who will even give her a second look?

Satrajit:
Don’t be so hard on our only child,
It is quite the trend to be wilful and wild.
Still yet we may find her a suitor who dares,
But if we don’t find him, so be it, who cares?

[Satrajit opens a newspaper dismissively, but Mother pulls it away]

 

Mother:
An unmarried daughter?!  How inauspicious!
The neighbours will think it highly suspicious!
There is one more young man who will possibly cope;
He is our darling’s only hope.
Let us meet him in person – that fine army fellow.
At least come and see him and say hello.

[Enter Suitor - giving a showy marching display]

 

Suitor:
I hope she does not have an enquiring mind;
The modest type is so very refined.
She should be attentive, reflective, poetic;
A lady should never be too energetic.
Can she cook aloo gobi?  Is her channa dhal nice?
I like al dente pilau rice.
She must never wear purple.  I hope she’s artistic.
May I enquire as to her vital statistics?

Father:
Excuse us; we have a few things to do.
Don’t call us; we’ll call you!

 

[Satrajit bundles Suitor firmly off stage.  Enter Satyavama practising sword fighting]

 

Satyavama:
Pitaaaah!  Where have you been?

Satrajit:
There was one young man whom we hadn’t yet seen.

Mother:
He is learned, charming, well groomed, polite.

Satyavama:
Obedient?  Subservient?  Would he be compliant
To my very slightest fleeting whim?

Satrajit:
No.

Satyavama:
Then let’s not consider him.

Mother [jumping up and down]:
Oh hell!

 

Satrajit [shrugging shoulders]:
Oh well.

 

Mother:
You are impossible, Satyavama!
The only men left are the priest and a farmer!
You will be the death of your poor mother!

[Mother swoons and is caught by Satrajit]

 

Satyavama:
Think about it…there is one other.

[Exit Mother and Satyavama.  Door bell rings, Satrajit answers.  Enter Krishna]

 

Satrajit:
Krishna!  To what do we owe this visit?
[Krishna hands over a jewel]
My long lost Syamantaka jewel is it!?
My precioussss!  How did you come across it?
Some say you stole it, or my brother just lost it.

Krishna:
The latter more like, but it’s a long story;
Most of it actually is quite gory.
Let’s save it for a more swashbuckling play;
We haven’t got time for it all today.
So now in exchange for your jewel’s return,
You may be fairly surprised to learn
That your daughter is destined to be my wife.

Satrajit:
What?!  She’ll make you a slave for life!
You will have to be at her beck and call;
There’ll be no room for your own wishes at all!
Trust me, I’ve been married for twenty years
To someone who speaks but rarely hears!

[Mother sneaks on stage straining to eavesdrop]

 

Krishna:
It is my fate, and it is hers too,
And so there is nothing I’d rather do.

MOTHER [hysterical]:
Do my ears deceive me?  O happy day!
Call the priest, the florist, photographer, HURRAY!

 

[Wedding procession.  Krishna and Satyavama sedate and soulful, followed by the hysterical family.  Exit family]

 

Satyavama:
Krishna, sit!  Krishna, stand!
Catch the moon for me in one hand!

Krishna:
I will bring you your every heart’s desire,
But there is one thing that I require:
Simply that you look at me
Every time you make your plea.

[Satyavama glances at Krishna]

 

Satyavama:
I know where you are, now you sit down,
And make me a funny face like a clown.

Krishna:
Alright, agreed, your eyes can see,
But do you really look at me?

[Satyavama looks properly while trying to speak]

 

Satyavama:
Krishna…sss…sss…

Krishna:
Satyavama, what?

Satyavama:
Oh…I…forgot.
[angrily looking away]
Oh, it’s not a fair condition!
Yours is an advantageous position!
If I were to ask and properly look,
I’d be caught by some invisible hook!
Then I’d be trapped with rapt surprise,
As where there would be human eyes
A storm of galaxies is raging;
Ever changing, never ageing.
Then, for a smile instead I see
A panoramic rhapsody,
And there I lose my tiny will;
Desire’s torrent frozen still.
Krishna!  Who are you?

Krishna:
Who am I not?
Has your very heart forgot?
The One who knows your every breath,
To love beyond the veil of death.
Who else would follow you that far?
Have you remembered who you are?

[Satyavama looks at Krishna in stillness and silence, then mimics Krishna’s movements]

 

Satyavama:
One who is lost in the fields of your joys,
One who needs no more outer toys.
I fight when you fight; I dream what you dream.
I am the life-partner of the Supreme.

Sumangali Morhall
December 2004