Characters. A poet, Nakusha*: Mr. Raman and Mrs. Raman – Illiterate parents of Nakusha. Lily and Jolly – Elder sisters of Nakusha: Vagabond, Teacher, Father Joseph - only name: Equality - Local NGO.
A poet enters on the stage and starts singing:
Why do you follow me, my gloominess?
When, I am left alone to grow fainter,
I am afraid to live my life with darkness and despair.
Days have gone to search my name on the earth;
Salty water strolls down from my eyes,
How shall I live my life in the earth’s wildness?
Teardrops fill up heaven before Christmas,
Santa’s gift to “Nakusha,” she’ll be known as ash.
The poet leaves the stage.
A parish is known as Sitara on the earth. Parish dwellers are not conversant with metropolis life. They are from ethnic backward* groups. Their mainland India’s fortune is locked to the reserve of swiss bank. Girls are from the second class citizens. The savage concept of the self-governing parish, Sitara is,” If you have many boys, they will earn more and you will be a rich person”. Kak- kak- Kakra- kak, hen is chirping to incite the world, wake up. Night is over. It is time to leave your bed to start crusade for your living. Thak – thak - thak. Someone is knocking on the wooden doors of a half furnished room.
Mrs. Raman. Nakusha (calling in a high tone), Why are you sleeping till now? Don’t you know it is already 5’O clock in the morning? - Wake up quickly. Your dad will go in the field to pluck vegetables. He’ll sell it to the local market - Get ready to wash the Kitchen utensils. I’ll bake chapatti for all of you.
Nakusha. (Complete silence for few seconds. Wooden doors are shaking by high intense pressure.). Yes, Mom. Just give me 5 minutes. I need to wear a pullover. It’s frosty outside.
Mrs. Raman. You are always late Nakusha. She is lamenting, I don’t know what to do with this girl? God has betrayed us to send her to my family. I'm already overburdening with two more girls”. Hey, Lily and Jolly, why don’t you counsel Nakusha? She is a girl. She’ll get married within three years after this December when both of you are already got married.
Lily and Jolly. (They are fortunate as they have names. Lily is sixteen and Jolly is seventeen. They have completed their studies till 10th standard by free funded missionary school. Father Joseph is the chief of Holy Cross organization; that arranges group marriages for girls from poor families. He has given a hope to take care Lily and Jolly’s marriage expenses. Lily and Jolly are replacing her mother’s tune to advise Nakusha).
Hey Nakusha,do whatever mom is asking you to do? We are girls. We’ll have to live our life with our husband’s expectation. We are born to cook food, feeding our families and taking care of our Kids. Otherwise, no one will marry us. So, don’t try to ignore her.
Nakusha. Sure, I’ll listen to her, my big sisters.
Scene- III rd
(Weather is playing with freezing cold and dull sunlight. Temperature of water is above zero but every single drop of it can clot the blood runs through the human tissues. Nakusha’s hands’ are shivering. She wants some hot water to clean the kitchen utensils)
Nakusha. Mom, water is freezing my hands. Give me some hot water to clean the kitchen utensils.
Mrs. Raman. Why do you need hot water, Nakusha? You are a girl. I haven’t used hot water to clean kitchen utensils before I got married. Make your self stronger than others.
Nakusha. Yes, mom, you are right. I need to be very strong. (She realizes Mrs. Raman is true because she is her mom. Mrs. Raman is the one who knows much better than her. Nakusha is ignorant to the fact that the world is not same as it was be 200 years back. Knowledge is passed on to the next generation after experimenting it. Knowledge is no longer an obligation in any form or shape. Nakusha cleans the kitchen utensils and takes bath after having her chapatti.)
Scene- IV th
(Nakusha is on her way to school. A vagabond is searching for girls like a wolf looks at a piece of meat. He waits on the way when the girls go to school. From few days, his eyes are on Nakusha. Nakusha is twelve. She is inured to hear taunting from the middle aged vagabond)
Vagabond. He is smiling and reciting few lines to win the heart of Nakusha.
You are my love, my life, Sitara’s Marilyn Monroe,
I’m dying to love you looking at your eyes and brow.
Your face is fairer than anyone who has a brown skin,
Come to my life, love me, I’ll give you a wedding ring.
Nakusha. Hey Vagabond, don’t you see ? I’m going to my school. Get away from here. Otherwise, I’ll seek to call my dad to drive you away.
Vagabond. You dad. (Breaks into laughter) He won’t come. You are Nakusha, an unwanted child on this planet earth. You don’t have a name like other girls. No one really loves you. Let’s go with me. You’ll get real love.
Nakusha. She says to the Vagabond, devil’s son, you are an animal. (She cries and runs away like a lightening before a storm hits the earth)
Scene- V th.
(Nakusha’s School. Every kid is known by a name but Nakusha is enrolled as Nakusha as she doesn’t have a name. Roll call is over. For the first time in her life, she realizes, she is missing a name after she’d a word with the vagabond.)
Teacher. Kids, I want to know who hasn’t done math from the seventh chapter’s assignment. I do see one note pad is missing on my desk.
Nakusha. I haven’t finished it, Sir.
Teacher. Why Nakusha?
Nakusha. I was busy to clean my house in the night and cleaning kitchen utensils in the morning.
Teacher. Hmmm. What does your father do?
Nakusha. He is a farmer. He plants vegetable and sells it to the local market.
Teacher. Ok, I ain’t going to punish you this time. Make sure you shouldn’t repeat it. (Teacher isn’t very sanguine for Nakusha’s education. She is a daughter of a farmer. She’ll get married early than normal girls. She doesn’t need good education. This is a tradition among the poor families at Sitara)
Scene- VI th.
Equality, a Local NGO has taken an initiative. Some women from metropolis have started this campaign for Equality,” Save Nakusha”; indeed a small but effective footstep to liberalize underprivileged girls. Recently government renamed these girls as Aishwarya, the first name of Miss World Aishwarya Rai (1994).
Nakusha. An unwanted girl child especially if the family was expecting a baby boy to be born. The age group of Nakusha is between 12 years to 16 years. This name and age are specific to a location.
Ash- Aishwarya Rai, the former miss world who won the title in 1994 and often is being counted as world’s most beautiful women
Backward- Economically deprived.