Characters in the play and their description:
Mr. Sivaram is the manager of a general insurance company. Although a good man, his knowledge of English and his intelligence are both very limited. He loves to talk in English in an effort to impress others, and in the process he blunders badly, commits mistakes, and is often misunderstood. More often than not, his limited knowledge and intelligence get exposed and he becomes the laughing stock of people.
Mrs. Rekha is an officer working under Mr. Sivaram. He has a crush on her and tries to impress her wherever possible without realizing that she is laughing at him.
Mr. David is a brilliant and intelligent officer in the IT department of the company. Sivaram, who doesn’t know the basics of operating a computer, likes to keep a computer on his table just to impress others. He doesn’t realize that he has been given a non-working system and calls David to repair it. David who is outwardly very diplomatic, has a strong sense of humor and cannot resist making rude comments about the blunders committed by Sivaram.
Mr. Ramakrishna is an Internal Auditor of the company.
The Scene opens with Mr. Sivaram sitting at his table, sipping an orange colored drink. His phone rings and he exclaims:
Sivaram: Hello, Siva here. Aaahhhh, Ashish, how are you? I am fine….yes, yes,……. Oh right now? Hmmm, I am enjoying Marina… (There is a pause….) Marina, Marina, man…. or is the name Matilda…. Hey, I am talking about the new cool drink….the orange colored one…… Ah, I am sorry, you are right, the name is Mirinda…correct…. Mirinda. So tell me Ashish, what news??
Oh, is that so? Let me talk to Ramakrishna and get back to you.
Okay then, bye.
(dials the intercom number on his telephone)
Ramakrishna, can you just come in here for a minute? (Hangs up the phone)
(In the meanwhile, Rekha walks in, holding her head). “Hello Siva”
Sivaram: Hello, my dear, how are you? (Gets up from his seat, and pulls a chair out for her). What happened? You are not feeling well?
Rekha: No, I am having a terrible headache, and the doctor ordered me to take Combiflam tablet. The problem is, the peon is not available.
Sivaram: These rogues are not available exactly when you need them. Wait. (He picks up his phone again). Mr. Mani, where is the office boy? …. Nonsense. I told you on the day I came here. I am Siva! If I am not happy, I will not allow anybody else to be happy in this office. Send that fellow to me within five minutes.
Rekha: (gazing up at him adoringly): You take so much care of me. By the way, can I use your computer to browse the net?
Sivaram: Sure, sure, my dear. Feel free. This is your office. And now tell me, how are things at home? Has your daughter started intercourse yet?
Rekha (with a shocked expression): What do you mean?
Sivaram: You told me she finished her 10th class didn’t you? Where is she doing intercourse now?
Rekha (sarcastically): She has started studying Intermediate course (heavily accenting the words Intermediate Course) in Andhra Mahila Sabha and…
(Before Rekha can continue, the office boy enters) “You called me, sir?”
Sivaram: Where were you, useless fellow?
Office Boy: Sir, one surveyor had asked me to give you this. (He gives a can of vehicle cleaner to Sivaram).
Sivaram: (all his anger immediately disappearing) Ah yes, thank you, thank you. I want you to go immediately and get Madam a Complan tablet. She is having headache.
Office Boy: (Looks puzzled) Sir, what is Complan tablet? I have heard of Complan drink.
Sivaram: You will always hear only of drinks. Don’t you know Complan tablet, idiot? It is for headache. Go and get it immediately.
Rekha: No, No, it is Combiflam, not Complan. Here I will write it down for you. (She writes down the name and gives it to the boy. He takes it and is about to leave).
Sivaram: And come back quickly, okay? If you don’t come back fast, I will mark you as Outstanding in your confidential report and then you will never get promotion.
Rekha: What do you mean by saying that if you put outstanding, he will never get promotion?
Sivaram: See, this fellow is always outside the office. That is why if I say he is always standing outside, i.e. outstanding, he will never get his promotion again.
(Rekha smiles secretly to herself, enjoying the howlers committed by Sivaram) The office boy hurries out.
Sivaram: And now, tell me dear, how are things at home?
Rekha (wearily): What to say? The fridge you gave me last year broke down. I don’t know how I am going to manage as I urgently need a new one.
Sivaram: Ah, I saw one in the morning in DJ Electronics next door. It was a very fine piece, in Maroon color, large size, with glasses, and control knobs on top. By the looks of it I am sure it must be Omozome friendly also.
Rekha (puzzled): What is Omozome friendly? And incidentally, DJ Electronics doesn’t sell refrigerators.
Sivaram: You don’t know Omozome? That thing which is there in the sky all over the earth, and if too many fridges are manufactured, it will be eaten away and poison the earth.
Rekha: Ah, you mean Ozone layer.
Sivaram: Ah, that is what I meant. But you are wrong about DJ. I saw the fridge with my own eyes and I am sure you will like it. Don’t worry, I shall get it for you.
Rekha: This computer of yours is not getting switched on at all. I shall go down to the IT department and use one of their computers. See you later.
Sivaram: (Picks up his phone again, and dials another intercom number.) Mr. David? Can you come to my cabin immediately? My computer is not working.
In the meanwhile, Ramakrishna walks in.
Ramakrishna: Good evening, Sir.
Sivaram: Ah, Ramakrishna, come in. I was just talking to Ashish. It seems you raised an audit objection about some policy in his branch. What’s the problem?
Ramakrishna: Well, sir, as you know, BHEL is one of our major clients. They had complained to us that earlier, our office was charging a rate of Rs.2.50 for all their mechanical equipment. But Mr. Ashish had charged a rate of Rs.3-50 and forced them to pay almost Rs.85000 rupees more this year. BHEL is complaining that this is the rate applicable for electrical items and the rate for mechanical equipment is only Rs.2-50. So…
Sivaram (interrupting him): Mr Ramakrishna, you are not applying your mind. What is the client’s name? BHEL!!! BHEL!!! I hope you are aware it stands for “Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.” So why did you have any doubt in this?
Ramakrishna (with a puzzled frown) I don’t understand, sir.
Sivaram: Mr. Ramakrishna, when the client’s name itself is BHEL, the E standing for electrical, is it not common sense that we should charge electrical rate for everything they insure with us? I don’t know what is the problem with you youngsters.
Ramakrishna (angrily): Sir, so according to you, anything and everything in BHEL, including human beings have to be charged an electrical rate just because the client’s name is BHEL. Is that so?
Sivaram: Don’t be impertinent with me, Mr. Ramakrishna. I have decided on the matter. No further arguments. You may go.
Ramakrishna turns to go out, just as David walks into the room.
Sivaram: Ah Mr. David, you have installed this system but till today I did not use it. Now when Rekha madam wanted to use it, it is not working. Can you just check?
David: (talking below his breath): How will it work idiot? We know very well you don’t know the difference between a keyboard and a mouse, so we gave you a system which doesn’t work at all.
David (pointing toward the can of cleaner): What is that, Sir?
Sivaram: Ah, this is a vehicle cleaning fluid someone presented to me. But these manufacturers are real idiots, I must say.
David: Why, sir?
Sivaram: (picking up the can and indicating the label): See, these fellows are saying this is a vehicle cleaner. But they are not saying whether it is for 2-wheeler vehicles or for 4-wheeler vehicles. Real idiot fellows.
David (behind Sivaram, holding his hand to his head, and muttering below his breadth): Bewakoof kahin ka! Thereko vehicle cleaner bolke likhe tho bus nahin hain re? Usme 2-wheeler aur 4-wheeler bolke specify karna hai kya? Gadhe ka baccha! (Translation: Fool ! Is it not enough to describe the product as a vehicle cleaner? Should they specify whether it is for 2 or 4-wheelers also? Son of a donkey).
Sivaram: Did you say something David?
David: Nothing, sir, I was just saying it is a very excellent product.
(He opens the back of the Computer and pretends to start repairing it).
In the meanwhile the office-boy returns with the Combiflam tablet. “Sir, I brought the tablet”
Sivaram: Then go and give it to Madam, idiot. What are you waiting for?
Office Boy: But Sivaram Sir, the money for the tablets…..
Sivaram: (Glaring at the boy): I have told you umpteen times, don’t call me Sivaram. My name is Siva. Siva! Siva!! There is no Ram in me.
David: (below his breath): Yeh Ravan ke bacche mein Ram kahaan se aayega ? (Translation: How can there be a Ram in this descendant of Ravan?) (Ram and Ravan are the hero and villain in the Indian epic – The Ramayana).
Sivaram: What is that, David?
David: Nothing, sir. I was only suggesting that you can pass his conveyance voucher and he can take the money from that.
Sivaram: (Brightening up): That is an excellent idea, David. (To the office boy) You heard David, sir. Go and put a conveyance voucher for any amount you want. I will pass it. Okay?
Sivaram: (Turning back to David) : David, can you please do me a personal favor? There is a fridge in that DJ Electronics shop next door. Can you just go and inquire the price? It is maroon colored, about this height (indicating his shoulder level) and is kept right in the display window).
David: What brand is it, sir?
Sivaram: I don’t know what brand. But there is only one maroon colored fridge in their display window. It has glass windows, lots of control knobs on top, etc. Please go and find out the price and come back, OK?
David: Idhar byta tho teri computer teek karne ko bolega. Yeh computer ko sudhaarna Bhagwan ka bhi bus ki baat nahin hain. Isse behtar hai ki bahar ghoomne ki mouka miley. Dekhe tho, yeh kaunsi fridge pe buddey ka nazar gira). (Translation: If I sit here, you will ask me to repair your computer, and that is something which even God cannot do. Let me see what is this fridge which has caught his fancy).
Sivaram: What is that you are muttering, David?
David: Nothing, sir, I shall go immediately and find out. (Goes out of the room)
Sivaram begins to see some papers when Rekha walks into the room again.
Sivaram: Ah, there you are my dear. I just now sent David to find out about the fridge. How is your headache now?
Rekha: Not getting any better. Staring at the computer screen has only made it worse. I feel like having a bowl of hot tomato soup.
Sivaram: Ah, I shall take care of that. (He rings the bell and the office boy enters.) Hey, go and get two hot tomato sauce for me and Madam.
Office Boy: Sir, Maggi sauce or Kisan sauce?
Sivaram: Hotel sauce, idiot. Go to Alex’s kitchen opposite and ask them for two hot tomato sauce.
Office Boy (understanding): Sir, do you mean sauce or soup?
Sivaram: Ah, of course, I meant soup. Did I say sauce? Okay, okay, go and get two hot tomato soup. Here is the money for that.
He gives some money to the boy who leaves the room. In the meanwhile, David walks in with a peculiar smile on his face.
Sivaram: Well, David, did you find out the price of the fridge? How much is it?
David: Sir, that is not a good item. Is there any other fridge you are interested in?
Sivaram: No, I am interested only in that particular fridge.
David: Sir, please, don’t insist on that. You tell me what kind of fridge you want and I shall ascertain the price.
Sivaram: (Losing his temper) Mr. David, I asked you to find out the price of a simple fridge. Instead of doing what I ask, you are telling me cock-and-bull stories and kicking the bucket about nonsense. Do as I say and don’t argue with me.
David: Sir, I don’t know what bucket you or I will kick but for your kind information, the fridge which you think is a fridge is not a fridge at all. It is a washing machine!