Fatal Hunt script

THE FATAL HUNT
(KALMRIGAYA)

By Kobi Guru Robindranath Tagore
Translated from the Bengali by Ash Mukherjee for FIPA.

SCENE 1

Enter Rishi Kumar.

The day draws to a close. The sun now sets.
The dense forest is cast in shadows.
Where is Leela, where has she gone?
Leela, Leela, I wish to play with you!

Enter Leela.
Leela:

Hello Brother! Come and see how many flowers I have picked.

Rishi:

Come close to me!
Let me adorn you with mrinal flowers for bracelets,
Jasmines for earrings,
A crown of bele flowers,
A chignon with bokul flowers!

Leela:

(O DEKHBI RE BHAI)

Hey come and look brother!
Run to me and look at our bokul trees … like a row of smiles, How many flowers have blossomed !
The flowers rolling under these trees,
Come to me, run to me … but do take care not to bruise them under your feet.

Leela:

(KAAL SHOKALE UTHBO MORA)

Tomorrow morning we shall awake,
And go to the river bank,
To sculpt the Lord Shiva and worship him with blossoms.

Rishi:

(MORA BHORER BELA GANTHBO MALA)

We shall weave a garland, at the twilight hour
Swinging to a musical lilt,
We shall play the flute and sing a song,
Under the blossoms of the bokul tree!

Leela:

(NA BHAI, KAAL SHOKALE MAAYER KAACHE)

No brother! Tomorrow morning I shall take you to my mother.
Mother says that she will dress you as a sage.

Rishi:

( SHONDHA HOYE ELO JE BHAI)

The evening now draws close, I must go back to my lonely blind father in his dark hut.

Both exit.

SCENE 2

Enter Forest Goddesses.
1st Goddess:

Yonder flows the river.
Two stars in the sky have blossomed.

2nd Goddess:

The air flows, stealing into a light breeze

3rd Goddess:

The evening draws to an end.
The pale smile breaks down.

4th Goddess:

The day wants to wish goodbye,
The river Saraju sings its end, on the myriad footsteps of the twilight hour, weeping, swooning.

ALL:

Come everyone, come sisters, let us all sit and wait now …

1st Goddess:

… and gaze at the sky and watch the play of the birds

ALL:

For in front of our very eyes stars will blossom one by one.

ALL:

(PHOOLE PHOOLE DHOLE DHOLE, BOHE KI BA MRIDU BAYE)

The flowers! The flowers! They slumber, they sway in the flow of the slow, gentle breeze.
The river, she raises gentle ripples, flowing towards the sea.
In every garden, the Cuckoo cries Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
And yet I do not know why my very soul weeps, hai hai!

1st Goddess:

Here walks the shadow that darkens the garden, look, there the deep night approaches!

2nd Goddess:

All over the horizon, row after row of clouds come floating,

3rd Goddess:

Come sister, at this moment, an abundance of madhavi and malati flowers we shall bloom in rows and illuminate the garden.

4th Goddess:

Oh look! The young blossoms are so shy and smile so gently.

ALL:

Rishi Kumar will come face to face with the flowers which we must fashion for him with great care.

On the lowest branches must the blossoms bloom for his young hands must reach them and draw them close.

SCENE 3

Vedic chant:

(ANTARISKSHO … SREETAM)

Oh Almighty from the cosmic spheres, protect my young son from all dangers and obstacles and bless this world!!

Blind Sage:

(JOL ENE DE RE BAACHA … SHE TO PRAANE SHOBE NAA)

Bring me water my child,
I am weak with thirst.
Dry is my throat and words do not come.

(thunder)

No, no, but there is no need, don’t go my child,
Dark is the night, with intense thunder –
You are for this blinded man, a star in his eyes.
Who is there for me?
No one – nobody –
Only you remain all through my heart.
Am I to lose you as well? My child,
My heart will not be able to bear it.

Rishi:

(AMAA TORE AKARONE OGO PITA BOLONA)

For me, needlessly, dear father, do not worry.
Not far flows the river Saraju, I will not travel far,
The path is simple enough,
Goddess Chapala lights up the way –
So why, father, do not worry in vain,
Not far flows the river Saraju, I will not travel far.

SCENE 4

Forest.

Forest Gods:

(GAHANO GHONO CHAILO)

Heavy set clouds cover and darken the sky
Still are the ten directions,
Shocked is the garden,
All that move are anxious –
Who knows what will happen.
Dark is the night and the goddess of the night is fearful.
Flashes suddenly light up the way,
Strikes of lightening keep running
The creatures tremble in the quick flashes,
The dark night covers the sky.
The clouds roar and the silent darkness sleeps.
Suddenly there wakes an intense wind
And the thunder strikes again.

Exit.
Enter Forest Goddesses.
All:

( JHAM JHAM GHONO GHONO RE)

Jham jham falls the rain, relentless and without end!

2nd Goddess:

The clouds gather and the vines shiver.

3rd Goddess:

The peacocks are out dancing in an ecstasy.

All:

In all directions there is fear, the lightening flashes on

1st Goddess:

Fearful are the does in their hearts.

All:

(AAYE LO SHOJONI SHOBE MILE)

Come, all of us together now –
The drip drip drop of the raindrops,
The faint rumblings of the grave thunder –
On this monsoon day
Hands hold on to each other
Chanting and swinging on the vines

1st Goddess:

I shall blossom with great care countless buds of ketaki and kadamba.

2nd Goddess:

I shall smear the pollen on each flower

3rd Goddess:

I shall pour the new rains on the parched and thirsty leaves –

4th Goddess:

I shall lift the vines and tie them to the trees.

1st Goddess:

We’ll adorn the forest, we will weave a garland of pearl-like flowers and green leaves.

2nd Goddess:

And we shall dance, sister, in this new dark festival, amidst the anxious flowering trees.

Enter Rishi Kumar.
Rishi:

(KI GHORO NISHITHO)

Dark is the night, the world seems still
Where is the path? Not to be seen,
The vines twine around my feet.
I must move in haste,
To her banks, the Saraju River –
But where is the path?
The sound of her ripples,
Oh, thirsty is this father of mine,
I must move, must move in haste

Forest Goddesses:

In this darkness, where do you go?!
Go back, for the soul trembles in fear.
You are like a doll much loved,
Where will you go alone in this night –
Who knows what may happen,
Why, You may lose your way in this forest.

Rishi Kumar:

No, no do not admonish me, for I must go in haste.
My father, he is but weak with thirst,
And that is why I must go to the banks of the Saraju River.

Forest Goddesses:

(MANA NA MANILI)

You do not heed our advice, you still head on –
Who knows now what may happen.
Oh why does this unholy sense awaken in our soul? –
And from time to time the soul cries out.
Keep your words, keep them, go fetch your water –
And then go run to your home.
O God of Direction, keep him in your care,
And grant him your shadow of affection.
O Goddess of Night, hold him to your breast,
Paralysed he is with fear, so hold this one.
He is a little gem, and the forest is deep –
And he is but alone and helpless.

SCENE 5

Enter group of hunters.
Hunters:

In the forest, we will gather and move as one!
In the forest, we will gather and move as one!
Let’s go! Hurry!
Who will come to this hunt?
Come, come, come, come hither.
The time is passing.
Carry your arrows, bows and spears
Blow the horn again –
Make the forest shudder,
The sky will burst forth,
Shocked will be the fauna,
They will run from garden to garden,
We will surround and gather them,
Ho ho ho.
In the forest, we will gather and move as one!

Enter Dasharath.
Hunters:

Victory to the joyous king, we are pledged to your allegiance –
You remain unequalled.
The three worlds tremble at your glory,
We salute you.

Dasharath:
(to the hunters)

Deeper deeper deeper must you go –
The night flows away so swiftly.
Comb the forest,
And hunt for the wild boar!
For the night is nearly gone.
The prowlers of the night
Will emerge now –
Take your bows and arrows, and move in haste!
Light the torches
Now is the time.

Exit Dasharath.
1st hunter:

Come, come brother,
Let us go in speed and get there first.

2nd hunter:

Search with all your might, these woods and the next!

3rd hunter:

Come, let some of us go the other way.

1st hunter:

No no brother, there is no need –
There is nothing there – nothing at all-
We might find something in that hedge.

3rd Hunter:

Boar! Boar!

1st hunter:

But, wait! wait!
If we get so frantic, we will lose the hunt.
Come in stealth, tread quietly
Under the banyan tree.
Now remain ready and alert –
Prepare your bows –
Prepare, now, release the arrow.

2 or 3 hunters together:

There! There! There it goes!
Move move –
Run after it, go go go go go!

Exit
Enter Bidushak (very fearfully)
Bidushak:

With my life in my hands, have I managed to get away, but what is he to do?
You poor wild boar, what are you to do?!
Dear me!
Quiet will I remain now under these mango trees.
Did not you see the mood of these men,
And even after seeing them, why were you not fearful?
Bravo! Bravo to you –
Bravo for trusting them.
The son of a poor scholar
Who left his poor wife at home,
Where on earth have I come in this deep forest?
In my mind, I had grand hopes
That the south side would go swimmingly,
Oh my cursed destiny,
Even that duped me.

Enter Hunters.
Hunters:

Priest, we cannot stand the delay,
We all wait here in hope,
We must go to the hunt,
So tie your slender waist tight.
We comb the forest and jungle
We die of hard work
And all you do is come and loot the results of our good effort
And stuff your own portly belly!

Bidushak:

I do not need to eat, I am grand,
As long as no one eats me!
You go to hunt and you go to die,
The boars and the buffalos will impale you
The chase alone will not feed your stomachs
And your pampered stomachs will collapse.

Hunters Exit with laughter.
Bidushak:

Ah, I am fine.
Now I must not go down that route again,
I just managed to get away amidst the ruckus.
When I saw the fangs of the wild boar I nearly had a fit.
I dropped my walking stick in the madness, who nows when.
The hair on the back of my neck stands on end,
My eyes are ablaze like torches –
When the boar chased me head to the ground
I could not see the path with my own eyes,
My hands and feet shrunk into my stomach
My poor rounded belly retracted, in pure fright.

Exit

Hunters return with the hunt on their shoulders.

Hunters:

We bring, we bring, spoils of the immense hunt,
We have torn up this forest,
Torn it right up,
The woods have been messed up
We have made them barren.

Hunters exit, singing.
Enter Forest Goddesses.
Forest Goddesses:

(KE ELO AAJI E GHORO NISHITHE)

Who came in this dark night
And broke the peace in our much loved gardens.
Mad elephants have trampled on the lotus woodlands
Churning them out of the tranquil lakes,
Why have the birds been killed in their sleep?
The stags and the does start and flee in terror in the gardens
And stare with sad, terror struck eyes,
The desperate couples of cranes cry out all over the forest,
The shadows fill the dark night,
Danger looms everywhere
Who knows what will happen tonight,
And our souls tremble in terror.

Exit
Enter Dasharath:
Dasharath:

I do not know where I have wandered, in this deep forest.
Where is that baby elephant, where did it hide!
It’s a complex jungle and on top of that it is dark,
Let it go as far as it wishes to go, how far can it go –
I will follow him –
No, no no no, for what is that I hear!
The sound of him drinking water at the banks of the river Saraju –
Now that I know where the sound comes from, I shall release my arrow.

The forest goddesses wail in the background.

Alas what happened?! Alas what happened?!
Dasharath approaches the wounded Rishi Kumar

Dasharath:

(KI KORINU HAAYE)

Alas! What have I done!!
This is not the baby elephant. This is the boy of a sage!
My cruel sharp arrow has pierced his little heart,
Which poor soul’s child now lies in the dust!
At which ill fated moment did I hold this bow,
In what great sinner’s time did I take this life!
Gods, give him the nectar of immortality, so his lost life can return, so I can return this poor child to his mother’s lap.

Pours water over his mouth
Rishi:

(KI DOSH KORECHI TOMAR)

What have I ever done to you,
Why did you shoot your arrow!
With one arrow you have ended the wretched lives of two people.
I am a child who roams the forest.
I do not know anything
I pick fruits and flowers
and sing holy chants from the Sama Veda.
My father who is blind since birth,
Is weak from thirst,
And remains waiting –
for when I will take this water to him,
Now that my life ebbs away, please carry me to him,
Put my body on his lap,
And please, please see to it that you do not forget to give him some water.
He will forgive you, my father –
For he has a soul that is filled with Mercy.

DEATH.

KALMRIGAYA (THE FATAL HUNT)

SCENE 6

The hut.

Blind sage:

(AMAR PRAN JE BAKULO HOYECHE)

My soul is now desperate,
Oh son, do come back once.
You are all alone in this dark night,
Where have you been all this time!
My soul starts at the roaring of the clouds,
Who knows what will happen.

Enter Leela
Leela:

(BOLO BOLO PITA KOTHA SHEY GIYECHE)

Tell me, tell me, father, where has he gone.
Where is the brother of mine, in which garden does he play, Why can I not see him?
He promised to me that he would play with me, so why has he still not arrived.
I roam from forest to forest calling brother? Brother?
Why do I not get an answer?

Blind sage:

(KE JAANE KOTHA SHEY)

Who knows where he is!
I count the hours in vain, and I wait for him,
Alone here, at the door of the hut –
Child of mine, you did not come.
Come in haste, come swiftly, just come,
There is no need to bring water –
You are the water of my thirst.
Why does fear awaken in my mind.
Why do I feel that I will lose you
Who knows why it crosses my mind.

Exit Leela.
Dasharath enters with the dead body
Blind Sage:

(ETO KHONE BUJHI ELI RE)

So you have come here at last!
Come to my heart, child of mine!
Where were you in the forest in this dark night?
On this ill fated day, you forgot your blind father,
I remain all night long, waiting,
Weak with thirst,
Give me water! Come to me.

Dasharath:

(OGYANE KORO HE KHOMA)

Forgive the ignorant, father, I am at your feet,
How do I say this, I tremble with fear.
Searching for my hunt in the darkness,
By mistake I killed your son.
It is the fault of my stars that have led me to ally with sin.

Dasharath puts down the body of Rishi Kumar near the Sage.
Blind Sage:

(KI BOLILE, KI SHUNILAAM)

What did you say? What did I hear? Can this happen?!
He just went to fetch some water from the banks of the Saraju –
Who has the ability to kill him, for he is the son of a sage.
A beautiful child is he, a child of affection –
Is there anyone cruel enough to kill him
No, no no, where is he, bring him to me –
I have been awake all night and I cannot stand waiting,
You still have no answer,
Do you have no fear in your soul? You lost soul, what have you done? –

CURSE

(PUTRA BYASANAJANG, DUKHAM)

“Just as you have given me the shock and sorrow of the tragic end of my only son, may you also experience the same agony and sadness and embrace death after an untimely parting with your own son.”

Dasharath:

(KHOMA KORO MOREY TATO)

Forgive me O father – I am a grave sinner.
Without knowing, I am at fault – Is there no pardon for me!
I cannot bear this pain any longer – oh where will I find peace!
If you do not show me mercy – there is no way other way for me
I am a beggar with nothing – grant forgiveness to the weak,
My Lord, free me of this guilt, show mercy to this sinner.

Blind sage:

(AHA KEMONE BODHILO TOREY)

Oh how could he kill you?
You are a doll of affection, my beautiful child.
Did the arrow hurt your heart a lot, my child?!
Come to my lap, let me cradle you once more –
Why do you lie in the dust! I will keep you in my heart.

He stays completely silent for a while and then he stands up to address Dasharath.

Sorrow and anger go far,
I forgive you.

Then he addresses his son

(JAO RE ONONTODHAME MOHO MAYA PASHORI)

Go to the eternal world, the world without illusion and attachment –
Where sorrow and darkness do not enter.
Where there is no illness, no death, no sadness –
Just a stream of pure happiness that flows eternally
Go to that eternal world, in an abode of nectar –
And be immortal in your vast soul.
The sages of the gods, kings and the Universe reside in that plane, meditating and chanting in solitude –
Go to that eternal world of light,
White is the everlasting light, its rays bringing salvation –
Where kind, true and delivered souls go,
Go child, go to that palace of God.

Curtain down.
Curtain up.
Forest Goddesses surround the dead body of Rishi Kumar.

(SHOKOLI PHURALO SHOPONO PRAYE)

All has ended like a dream!
Where did he hide, where is he alas?!
The blossomed garden has gone bleak,
The bird song has ceased –
We see the world has nothing – where is he, alas!
Who will the flowers bloom for,
Madhavi, malati cry desperately.
The little one that used to come for water,
The one that used to come for fruit,
Oh he will come no more – alas where is he?

CURTAIN DOWN