August 19, 2006

The Lost Strangers

Scene 1

Characters- Young Lady, a middle-aged woman in a cotton salwar

Ext. Road-Noon

The young lady lost in a new place looking for some help.

Lady: Excuse me! Which bus will take me to Ashok Nagar?
Woman: 5E.
Lady: (in Hindi) Kitne der mein aayega?
Woman: Next stop (Tamil accent)
Lady: Oh! you mean, bus yahan nahin aayega?
Woman: Nods her head to say no.
Lady: Kitna dur hai yahan se woh next stop?
Woman: Little hai. (The lady gives a smile trying to hide her amusement)
Lady: Thank you.


Characters- The young lady, an old man (other people pouring in at the bus-stop)

Ext. Road-Noon

Adyar bus-stop down the bridge, quite busy at noon. An old man in white khadi clothes is standing under the sun eagerly waiting for a bus.

Lady: (I guess, this old man could be of some help- should understand some English) Excuse me!
Man : Yes? (In heavy Tamil accent)
Lady: When will the next 5E come?
Man: It left just now.
Lady: Oh, is it? (She damns her bad timing. She already had had a lot since morning) How long will it take to come back?
Man: Not long. You wait.
Lady: Yeah, thank you.


Characters- The young Lady, another young lady and a young chap

Int. Bus-Half past noon

The young lady finally gets into 5E after waiting for 20 minutes for it to arrive at the bus-stop. She manages to push herself through the crowd and gets a seat beside a 'typical Tamilian' woman.

Lady: (I hope I find someone who speaks either English or Hindi. This isn't going to take me anywhere)

The woman gets down at the nest next stop and a young working woman occupies her seat.

Lady: (Now confident that the woman next to her would definitely speak English) Excuse me! Could you please inform me when the bus nears Ashok Nagar? Actually, I am new to Chennai and I do not know any place here.
YWoman: Well, I am sorry. I myself don't know much about the places here.
Lady: Oh! At least, will you please tell the woman in the front seat in Tamil to do the favour? I can't speak Tamil.
YWoman: Actually, I too don't know Tamil (She smiles at her)

('Two strangers lost in a similar way sitting beside each other') Both have a hearty laugh.

YWoman: Ok, wait. I will try to help you out of it.

She bends over the front seat and says something to a woman in faltering Tamil. The woman nods her head in confusion.

Lady: (Sees a young chap standing next to their seat) Well, I guess, he should be of some help to us.
YWoman: Who, he? Okay.
Lady: Excuse me, will this bus go to Ashok Nagar?
Chap: Ashok Nagar? I don't know, but it will go to Udayam Theater.
Lady: (More confused and lost now. 'Where's this Udayam Theater? i want to go to Ashok Nagar')

Meanwhile, the woman in the front seat waves her hand to confirm that she would help us

YWoman: Yeah, don't worry. She will help you find the place.
Lady: Hopefully

The young lady spends the rest of the time trying to read the names of the places from the hoardings above shops, unable to trust anyone anymore. After sometime, she finds 'Ashok Nagar' written everywhere at the shops in a particular street and pats herself for having thought of a good idea.

Lady: Listen, I think I need to get down here.
YWoman: Are you sure?
Lady: Yeah. I remember the street there, the place where I have to go.
YWoman: Okay. You sure?
Lady: Yeah. Two hundred percent. Does the bus stop here? Ok, I will ask them to stop.
YWoman: Yeah, do that.

The lady tries to make her way out of the heavy crowd of women trying to grab her seat. She suddenly stops and turns back as if to complete something and smiles at the young stranger who helped her a lot even without doing anything for her.

Lady: Bye!
YWoman: (Smiling) Bye.

The lady gets down as the bus stops at the corner of the street.

(The two strangers get lost again, now far from their unknown friend)

The Lost Strangers' Last Meet.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of my early days here ... when I was totally new and was hunting down for apartments to rent in...

    Man...good that there was no language problem for me :)