Love, Thou Art Strange

Characters

Meneka Sharma – Wife

Aadarsh Sharma – Husband

Sweetie – Meneka’s best friend

ACT I

Venue – The Sharma’s bedroom. Meneka is sitting on a stool in front of the mirror, brushing her long hair, wearing a sexy slip. Aadarsh is sitting on the bed working on his laptop.

Time – night

Curtains open

MENEKA – “I am using a new shampoo, how does my hair look?”

AADARSH (without looking up) – “Nice.”

MENEKA (stops brushing) – “Nice! My hair looks nice. That’s all you have to say. There was a time when you loved running your fingers through my hair and now all you can say is nice, that too without looking up.”

AADARSH (looks at her and speaks angrily) – “Can’t you see I am working?”

MENEKA – “That’s all you are doing these days. You are always on your laptop or on calls and if not that, then you are watching sports. Then you want to sleep. I am not even on your list. You have no time for me these days.”

(Aadarsh mumbles)

MENEKA (throws the brush on the dressing table, walks towards the bed) – “What, what did you say?” (her voice hitches as she tries to control her tears) “How can you be so callous about my feelings? I love you and want to spend time with you but you have no time for me.” (Aadarsh keeps typing making her angry) “Stop, stop typing and look at me. Everyone’s working but not like you. They take out time for their family. Heck, we don’t even have a family. We have been married for five years and still don’t have children and at the rate we are going may never have. Do you know the last time we made love? It was five months ago. For the past one year you have either been busy or tired. You have changed.”

(Exits stage crying)

Curtains close

ACT II

Venue – Menaka’s best friend’s drawing room. They are sitting on the sofa drinking tea.

Time – morning

Curtain opens

SWEETIE “What’s wrong? Tell me, you have been brooding about it for some time now.”

MENEKA (shaking her head) – “Nothing babes. I am fine.”

SWEETIE – “I know you. You have something on your mind. It’s been troubling you. I have tried to give you space to tell me whatever it is, but no more. Tell me, I may not be able to help but atleast I can listen.”

MENEKA (looking at her friend) – “I don’t know if I should even talk about this. It’s so personal.”

SWEETIE (smiling encouragingly) – “Aren’t all problems personal?”

MENEKA (sighing) – “You are right. I need to deal with this. It’s about Aadarsh. He has changed. I don’t think he loves me anymore. He is always working and when not working, he is either watching TV or sleeping. It’s been five months since we did it. I have asked him so many times if something is wrong. He doesn’t talk about it and says I am making a big deal about it.” (looks down at her hands) “What should I do?”

SWEETIE – “Perhaps you should see a marriage counselor. You need to get to the root of this problem. Something similar happened to one of my friend’s and now she is getting divorced. Sometimes Menaka you just have to catch the bull by its horn.”

Curtains close.

 

ACT III

Venue – The Sharma’s drawing room.

Time – evening

Curtains open

(Menaka is all dressed up, pacing the floor and seems agitated. Half a minute later a bell rings and she opens the door to let Aadarsh in.)

MENEKA (smiling and taking his bag) – “How was your day?”

AADARSH (grunts)

MENEKA – “I have made your favourite mango milkshake. I will get it for you.”

(Exits stage. Aadarsh removes his shoes, tie and rolls up his sleeves. Menaka re-enters the stage carrying a glass)

MENEKA (gives him the glass) – “You know we went out for lunch today; the girl gang. This new place is really good. You have to try it; their Italian is superb.” (Aadarsh’s eyes are closed, he is barely listening to her, while Menaka continues) “Do you know what Sweetie told me?” (Looks at Aadarsh, when he doesn’t respond) “Are you sleeping? I am trying to have a conversation with you, the least you can do is listen.”

AADARSH (angrily) – “My God, what does a man have to do to have a little peace in his own house? Can’t you just keep quiet for a while?”

MENEKA (getting angry) – “Keep quiet. Of course, you want me to keep quiet. This is not a house anymore. You want to use it as a hotel. Come and go as you please, get food, have your laundry done. It’s as if I am your house-keeper, not your wife.”

AADARSH (moving towards her) – “Now Menaka, I didn’t mean that. I am stressed out. I just want some peace and quiet when I come home. I still have work to do.”

MENEKA (glaring at him) – “That is exactly what Sweetie had told me that day. Her friend’s husband was behaving in the exact same manner and they were regularly fighting about it, finally the husband got fed up and admitted he loved someone else and now they are getting a divorce.”

AADARSH – “This is just absurd. What’s that got to do with us?”

MENEKA – “Yeah, that is what that lady must have thought too, till the husband dropped the bomb on her. I am not going to let that happen. You have to tell me what is going on.”

AADARSH (throws his hand in the air) – “Nothing is going on.”

MENEKA – “Something is going on. Tell me. I have a right to know. Atleast have the decency of telling it to me on my face. I don’t want to hear it from someone else. TELL ME. You can’t treat me like a second citizen. Actually, a third citizen, after your work and sports slash leisure. (Screeches) Aadarsh please tell me, what’s going on?”

AADARSH (lowers his eyes and whispers) – “Nothing.”

MENEKA (gasping) – “Oh My God, you are having an affair, aren’t you? How could you? How could you do this to me? What wrong have I done? I love you.” (shouting) “What have I done to deserve this? Who is she? Is she someone I know? In the office? Or did you meet her somewhere else? How long has this been going on? Do you love her? TELL ME, do you love her? How many times do I have to ask you? Do I know her?”

AADARSH (dejectedly) – “It’s Rajeev…”

MENEKA (interrupts him with an incredulous expression on her face) – “Rajeev’s wife? You are leaving me for Prutha. She is not even beautiful. As a matter of fact, didn’t you tell me once that you did not like her. That she was a nagging bitch and would not let Rajeev have a moment’s peace. What happened now? Now, you like her. How could you do this to me? Didn’t you even once, think about us or how much it will hurt me? I can’t believe you are leaving me for Prutha.”  

AADARSH (looking into her eyes) – “No Menaka, it’s not Prutha, its Rajeev.”

Menaka is shell-shocked.

Curtains close.

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Shweta Singh

Shweta Singh is a home maker and mother of on-the-verge-of-being-teenager twins. She is passionate about books and food – both interests inherited from her father – and loves to write and travel at every opportunity. A closet writer, who after encouragement from friends and family has embarked on the journey of self-discovery.

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