A One-Act Photo Play
(A garden in the compound of a large hotel in Jaipur. Sukanya Ramanujan (SR) is stealthily walking along a well trimmed hedge in the hope of catching a glimpse of the peacocks that have been calling out all day long. She has her camera with her. Two Pied Mynas (Myna 1 and Myna 2) are going on their evening rounds in the same garden and notice SR coming along their way)
SR (to herself): I do hope I manage to take a few good photographs of those elusive peacocks. I really am tired running behind them all day…
Myna 1 (to Myna 2): Whoa! Do you see that?
Myna 2: Yeah! Even I didn’t think that pigeons drunk water from the swimming pool.
Myna 1: Not that you idiot- I meant the human coming towards us with the camera…did you notice her?
Myna 2: Oh her! Yeah the Myna Chronicler turned up in town a couple of days ago. She’s staying here.
Myna 1: What?!?
Myna 2: The Myna Chronicler is staying at this hotel with her family. You sure need to get your ears checked pal!
Myna 1 (furious): Never mind my ears and don’t you dare call me Pal you imbecile donut!
Myna 2: Hey! What’s with the abuse?
Myna 1: The Myna Chronicler is here and nobody tells me anything? Do you know what this could mean for us Pied Mynas? This is a disaster!!! I can’t delegate anything to anybody anymore. I have to run every aspect of this freakin place!! Grrrr!
Myna 2: Easy! Easy! Why are you so upset? How does her being here change anything?
Myna 1: For the love of…Do you not get it? Are you dumber than you seem? The common mynas are a happy lot now that they have got their precious story about some stupid treasure and pigeons and all that crap on the net thanks to this Chronicler. The world LOVES them! What about us? We are mynas too!
Myna 2: Ahem! Technically we are Asian Pied Starlings!
Myna 1: That’s right smart alec! Asian Pied Starling it seems. Who remembers that? People call us Pied Mynas and so we are Pied Mynas and therefore we act as Pied Mynas.
Myna 2: I think I can develop a whole new philosophical concept around that thought…hmmm
Myna 1: Nothing new Pied brain. Everything has already been thought of and invented.
Myna 2: Is that Nietsche?
Myna 1: No that’s Sukanya Ramanujan you dim-witted starlet!!
Myna 2: Starling…..
Myna 1 (almost screaming hysterically): I can’t believe I am having this conversation. This is surreal!! Somebody help!
(The babble of the mynas getting louder and louder, Sukanya’s attention is suddenly drawn to the two birds thick in argument. Wanting to help earnestly she intrudes in the conversation!)
SR: Hello! Anything wrong? I couldn’t help noticing that things seem a little stressed here. Can I help?
Myna 1 (in a whisper): There is a God in heaven after all! (to Myna 2) Breathe as much as word and I’ll make you see stars you starlet.
Myna 2: Star…
Myna 1 (cutting it short, angry whisper): Enough already! (to SR in an exaggerated tone!) Welcome to our humble abode O ye great chronicler of the travails and tribulations of our winged brethren from elsewhere in this vast universe. It is indeed an honour to have your presence!
Myna 2: (snorts loudly)
SR (Looking behind her and then at the Mynas): Pardon?
Myna 1 : (in a whisper) Why are they all so dumb? (in the same exaggerated tone) Welcome, O Chronicler. As you had documented the ordeals of a certain avian species that have now received much renown, we wish that you would return the same favour to us,Thank you!
Myna 2: *coughsuperfluouscough*
SR: Thanks be to you Oh little black and white bird. But I do wish you would elucidate your utterings as they sound obtuse to my untrained ear.
Myna 2 : snorts
Myna 1 and SR together at Myna 2: Oi!
Myna 2: Whatever man!
SR: Yes! Whatever indeed! Will you please cut out the flowery language and just tell me in plain English what it is you want.
Myna 1: We Pied Mynas want our own chronicles.
Myna 2: He Pied Myna wants his own chronicle.
SR: Wait a minute! You guys are mynas???? You look nothing like Mynas. Now who you trying to deceive little birdie?
(Myna 1 too stunned for words)
Myna 2: How the mighty fall! Little Birdie…ha ha ha.
Myna 1: There are more kinds of Mynas than you can imagine young lady…give us our chronicle I say!!
SR: Oh yeah? So that’s it then? Great Chronicler one moment and Young lady the next? Have it as you will birdie, I’m off to catch the peacocks!
Myna 1: Noooooo! Wait Wait Wait!!! I’m sure we can all reach an amicable settlement.
SR: What do you want then?
Myna 1: We just want our own Myna Chronicle that you can put up on the interweb. We want to be famous for hunting out treasure just like the pretentious mynas from the other place. Look I can even pose exactly like they did looking like I’m hunting treasure.
Myna 2: Don’t listen to him..he’s just nuts.
SR (nods sympathetically at Myna 2 and then to Myna 1): Listen Myna if you are indeed a Myna as you claim to be. The other Mynas I wrote about aren’t famous. Plus, I can’t do yet another blog about yet another bunch of Mynas hunting treasure. That theme has been done to death. Trust me! No one will want to read about it.
Myna 1: Even on your blog?
Myna 2: Especially on her blog.
SR (to Myna 2): You are very subtle, aren’t you?
Myna 1: There is no hope then! I am to be forgotten and confined to oblivion. Sigh! (is looking positively deflated)
SR: Aww! There is no need for that. Listen, why don’t I suggest something. You just want to be famous right?
(Myna 1 nods weakly)
Myna 2: Yeah, he wants to be famous alright!
SR: OK then Why don’t you just perch yourself up on this hedge then and we’ll do a photo shoot of you which I will put up on my blog. You’ll be a star!
Myna 2: …Ling!
Myna 2: He will be a starling! Not that he isn’t already one but he pretends to be another!
Myna 1: (the gravity of the suggestion slowly sinking in) Did you say photo shoot?
SR: Yeah sure! Just up here!
Myna 1: Really? Oh Really? Wow! oh Wow! oh Wowo! (jumping around) I am so cool! I will give those Mynas a run for their money. Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!
SR: If you can stay a little still I may be able to focus better…thanks!
Myna 1: So do you think I look good in profile? Deep Profile? No? Maybe just a slight tile? Or maybe we should do the completely surprised look? Or the I am so happy I am singing look? Wow oh Wow!
SR: Thats great! Thank you I think I have enough photographs!
Myna 1: Are you sure?
Myna 2: She is sure.
Myna 1 (to Myna 2): You will pay for this!
SR: Yep! Am quite sure. These are going to be great!
Myna 1: I can’t wait
SR: Listen you guys! I have to go get photographs of the peacocks ok? I promise I will put these up on my blog. Don’t blame me if you get too much fanmail ok?
Myna 2: *snorts*
Myna 1: No problemo! okthksbye!
SR: That was curt! These birds are strange.
Myna 1 (to Myna 2 as they walk away): Now that is a job well done.
Myna 2: Whatever!
If you just went huh? after reading the entire blog you haven’t read the original Myna Chronicles here