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SocialWork, INDIA

SocialWork, India <First Draft>

Written by

rahulme

                  FADE IN:

MUSIC CUE: “SAARE JAHAN SE ACHCHHA HINDUSTAN HUMARA” < Better than the entire world, is our Hindustan, We are its nightingales, and it (is) our garden abode> a piano tune plays.

 

INT. HEADQUARTERS OF IPP, AN INDIAN POLITICAL PARTY, – DAY

(IPP is the parliamentary-party alliance of India) 

We pan across a room – the side walls studded with medium sized Indian flags and huge mahogany-framed photos of the legends of Indian freedom struggle. People walking around dressed in white pajama-kurta, reminiscently pretending to be busy.

We see a receptionist busy over the phone, her desk located at one corner of the room.

We close in on a door adjacent to the desk, hosting a NAMEPLATE that reads: “PRESIDENT, IPP”.

The door opens up. A bald-pated old man in his late 60s, dressed in a white shirt and a black trouser, wearing thick rimmed glasses, comes out of the inner room and approaches the receptionist.

MUSIC CUE: The music fades out.

                  RECEPTIONIST

Ah Yes… Hajareji?

                  OLD MAN

(nodding his head)

Yes BEAT Yes.

The receptionist removes an envelope from the drawer of her desk.

We close in on the envelope. Her hand hammers a rubber stamp on the envelope. The stamped letters read: “SocialWork, India”.

She hands over the envelope to Hajareji.

                                                CUT TO:

 

INT. IPP PRESIDENT’S ROOM – DAY

TIGHT SHOT on the IPP PRESIDENT seated at her desk. She looks straight ahead with a somber expression. The camera pulls back to reveal she has three gentlemen seated opposite to her.

The IPP PRESIDENT is a woman in her late 50s. Dressed in a Handloom silk sari, she radiates the evocative Indian fashion. Simple pearl strands and earrings serve as her accessories. Her looks project her as a very well composed lady, with mastery on deceitful display of emotions.

                  IPP PRESIDENT

            This could have rather serious political

            implications. Also, we cannot afford to

            ignore the media attention it would get.

                  BEAT.

            Now, will you excuse me for a moment please?

The IPP President springs up from her chair and walks toward the lavatory in a hurry. The three gentlemen placid in their seats and imbrued with a mundane wonder of unimagined kind, stare at the autocratic lady on her way.  

Diverting his attention, one of the three gentlemen, Mr. KAL, in his 50s, brown-faced, bearded, and dressed in a safari suit, grabs the glass in front of, Mr. SINGH, a turban-headed gentleman seated alongside, sniffs it with suspicion and keeps it back on the table.

                MR. KAL

            (squeezing his nostrils)

            What is this? Smells awful.

MR. SINGH is in his late 70s, soft spoken, intelligent eyes that squint from years of intense study. INNOCENT SMILE.

                  MR. SINGH

            It’s the bitter melon juice.

            BEAT.

            Good for me. Keeps me calm and

            silent.

            BEAT.

            Silence is good.       

                  MR. KAL

               (scoffingly)

            Silence is good. BEAT. It is good for you.

            But, it’s prickly and vindictive

            especially when a billion inquisitive countrymen are expecting answers.

                MR. SINGH

               (sedately)

             It is evident that way.

             But, it does portray me as a good listener.

               (smiles)

The third gentleman, MR. NILEKANI, curiously listens to the conversation between MR. KAL and MR. SINGH.

MR. NILEKANI is a plump personage, trendy, dressed in an Armani suit and sports a proud moustache. His indigenous expressionless countenance makes an intelligent, diligent and evidently a non-political man out of him.

  

                  MR. NILEKANI

             (changing his posture on the chair)

            Last night I went through a Wikileaks cable.

            The report reveals some sad facts about the

           Cash-for-Votes fiasco over India approaching

           the IAEA for Indo-US nuclear deal.

                  BEAT.

            Did you have a look at it MR. SINGH?      

MR. SINGH picks up the juice glass in front and gulps down the bitter melon juice in a jiffy.

                                                CUT TO:

  

INT. IPP PRESIDENT’S LAVATORY – DAY

We see a soft feminine hand push the flush button of the toilet.

A GURGLE SOUND.

The President emerges in front of a large mirror, runs some water in the basin and splashes it on her face. She picks up a hand towel, wipes her face dry and stares at the mirror for a moment. The avowed wrinkles on her white face are a testimony to her coming of age in Indian politics. What Age does to a good wine, Age has miraculously done it to her. From the puerile young spouse of a de-facto political prince to a sanguine widow. And then to an influential authoritarian. Senescent in the art of politics. MATURE.  

Staring at the mirror, it strikes her that her sari has unsettled at the pleats near the waist. She removes the tucked pleats and tries to pleat the sari. She fails. She tries repeatedly. Fails.

 

                  IPP PRESIDENT

            (rattled and exploding)

            God damn it, why do I have to wear this

            fucking sari? Stupid Fuck.

Becalming herself, the President gives another shot to the sari pleating act. She succeeds this time. She looks in the mirror one last time and confirming her attire to be proper, she exits the loo, closing the door firmly behind her.

 

INT. IPP PRESIDENT’S ROOM – DAY

The President walks to her table and settles on her chair.

                  MR. SINGH        

                (worried)

              Is everything alright, madamji?

                  IPP PRESIDENT

               (wearing her glasses)

               Yes. BEAT

               Yes it is.

Silence. The three gentlemen stare at each other.

                  IPP PRESIDENT (CONT’D)

               MR. NILEKANI, shall we continue with

               our talk?

                  MR. NILEKANI

               Only if you all are interested in it. 

 

 More Silence.

                 

                  IPP PRESIDENT

               So what is it that you wish to accomplish

               with this SocialWorkIndia.com ?

                  MR. NILEKANI

                A Social Networking website in true sense

                of the words.

                  MR. KAL

                  Oh. BEAT

               Yes. MR. Nilekani here wants to be like

               that Zuc-ber. That Facebook boy.

                  (looking toward MR. Nilekani)

               I have a nice Facebook account I must tell you.

               Lots of friends. Networking you know!

                  MR. NILEKANI

               Facebook is a good example, an addendum to

               my proposal. BEAT

               In January 2008, shortly before the

               New Hampshire primary elections in the U.S,

               Facebook, as a platform, allowed users

               to give live feedback about the Republican

               and Democratic debates. Over 1,000,000 people

               interacted and voiced opinions through Facebook.

               This facebook effect resulted in high youth

               voting rates in the elections.

                 IPP PRESIDENT

               In that case, we can form a special

               Facebook-For-IPP committee that would

               roll out our party campaigns on Facebook

               as well. BEAT

               Why do you propose to have a new

               social networking service altogether?

                  MR. NILEKANI

               I propose a “social networking service

               for social service”. BEAT

               On Facebook, users create a personal profile,

               add other users as friends, exchange messages,

               join common interest user groups. We adopt most

               of these features on SocialWorkIndia.com as well.

               However, the users will also be encouraged to

               raise agendas like rampant Corruption,

               soaring commodity prices, communal riots, nuclear

               deals and much more.

MR. Nilekani halts to drink a glass of water.

                  MR. NILEKANI (CONT’D)

               People are exuberantly high on networking these

               days that they do something just so they can post

               their doings on Facebook. Photos are snapped in

               abundance on a vacation trip just so they could

               be shared with online friends. BEAT

               My point is that these facts bespeak a syndrome, a

               networking syndrome which could be employed to

               benefit a developing nation like India.

               Let me bring up the preliminary basics of my

               proposal. The social networking service, amongst

               many things, would act as a platform for users to

               post corruption incidents they encounter. Users may

               also post any social work done by them. For

               each activity they post, they will be credited

               with reward points. These reward points would be

               entitled to cashability at any SocialWorkIndia.com

               offices throughout the country.

               What do you all think?

                  MR. KAL

               It is an interesting proposal certainly.

               But, it makes me wonder where the initial cash

               inflows would come from?

                 MR. NILEKANI

               Government funds.

                  MR. KAL

                 (addressing to the President

                  seated in front)

               May I take this opportunity madamji, to let you

               know that post-CWG, I am out of work. I can very

               well lead this activity if MR. Nilekani’s proposal

               is thought upon.

                  MR. SINGH

            MR. Kal, the least we need now is another

            corruptive scam in the

            initiative-against-corruption itself.

            Nonetheless, MR. Kal, you do have some serious

            work to wipe-out the negative tags given by our

            fellow countrymen in response to the CWG fiasco.

                  MR. NILEKANI

                  (mockingly)

            Sports Mafia. I heard this tag on television

            recently. Sounds really good!

                  MR. KAL

            Let our madamji speak up her decision.

                  IPP PRESIDENT

            As I already said, this could have rather serious

            political implications.

            This SocialWorkIndian.com would definitely garner

            media hype from day one. What if our own party

            members fall prey to this fight against corruption?

            All I can say is that we will consider this proposal

            in our next party meeting.

                                                      CUT TO:          

EXT. IPP PRESIDENT’S HOME AT 10 JANPAT DELHI – NIGHT

 On the balcony of the house, the President is seen – very serious.

She is accompanied by her only son.

                  PRESIDENT’S SON

            Mum, what’s the matter?

            You seem disturbed.

                  IPP PRESIDENT

            After almost a decade in Indian

            politics, I must not get disturbed

            by some acrid remarks of my fellow

            politicians. Yet, here I am.

                  BEAT

            I am an Indian at heart. And I am unable to

            figure out a way to prove it somehow.

Silence.

                  PRESIDENT’S SON

            Mum, do you know that song?

                 IPP PRESIDENT

                  (smiles)

            Which one?

                 PRESIDENT’S SON

            Goes like this…  

                  (sings)

            “Better than the entire world,

            is our Hindustan,
            We are its nightingales,

            and it (is) our garden abode

            If we are in an alien place,

            the heart remains in the homeland,
            Know us to be only there where our heart is.”

The IPP President joins in. They sing together.

            “That tallest mountain,

            that shade-sharer of the sky,
            It (is) our sentry, it (is) our watchman

            In its lap frolic those thousands of rivers,
            Whose vitality makes our garden

            the envy of Paradise.

            O the flowing waters of the Ganges,

            do you remember that day
            When our caravan first disembarked on your waterfront?

            Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will among  ourselves
            We are of Hind, our homeland is Hindustan.

            In a world in which ancient Greece, Egypt, and 

            Rome have all vanished without trace
            Our own attributes (name and sign) live on today.

            Such is our existence that it cannot be erased
            Even though, for centuries, the cycle of time has been  our enemy.

            Iqbal! We have no confidence in this world
            What does any one know of our hidden pain?”

  THE END

 

                  

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