Dramatization of Leela’s Friend
Dramatization of Leela’s Friend
Dramatization of Leela’s Friend : We all know that dramatising a story is a difficult task. However, I have tried my best to dramatize the beautiful short-story, “Leela’s Friend” by R.K. Narayan.
The final manuscript is given below :
Original Text : R.K. Narayan
Leela, a five years old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Sivasanker
Mr. Sivasanker, father of Leela
Mrs. Sivasanker, mother of Leela
Sidda, a middle aged poor servant fellow
A Police inspector
Mr. Sivasanker’s house
ACT — I (Dramatization of Leela’s Friend)
[Narrator : Mr. Sivasanker is a middle-aged man. His family comprises his wife and his five years old daughter, Leela. He works in an office. The only problem he now faces is the problem of appointing a good servant for household work and looking after his daughter.]
Scene — I
(Mr. Sivasanker stands in the front veranda of his house. He is brooding over the servant problem and murmuring — I just need of a servant for my home, my wife can’t handle this huge work alone.)
(Then Sidda hangs about in front of the gate of Mr. Sivasanker.)
Sidda : Sir, do you want a servant?
Mr. Sivasanker : Come in.
[Sidda opens the gate and comes in.]
Mr. Sivasanker : (He subjects him to a scrutiny and says to himself) Doesn’t seem to be a bad sort….. At any rate, the fellow looks tidy.
Sidda : (Again) Sir do you need of a servant?
Mr. Sivasanker : Where were you before? What’s your name?
Sidda : Sir I’m Sidda. I worked before in a bungalow there, (indicating a vague somewhere) in a doctor’s house.
Mr. Sivasanker : What is his name?
Sidda : I don’t know, master. He lives near the market.
Mr. Sivasanker : Why did they send you away?
Sidda : (Giving the stock reply) They left the town, master.
(Mr. Sivasanker is unable to make up his mind and he calls his wife. She looks at Sidda.)
Mrs. Sivasanker : He doesn’t seem to me worse than the other we have had.
[Leela their five years old daughter comes out, looks at Sidda.]
Leela : (Giving a cry of joy) Oh, father! I like him. Don’t send him away. Let us keep him in our house.
And then they decide to keep Sidda as their servant.
Mr. Sivasanker : (To Sidda) All right, you can work here, and you are given two meals a day and four rupees a month.
Mrs. Sivasanker : In return for which you will wash clothes, tend the garden, run for errands, chop wood and you will also have a duty to look after Leela. Are you agree?
Sidda : Yes, thank you madam.
Scene — II
[Sidda is working in front of the garden.]
Leela : (Crying) Sidda, come and play with me.
Sidda : I have many works now, I can’t play now.
Leela : Oh, Sidda please………
(Sidda have to drop any work he may be doing and run to her, as she stands in the front garden with a red ball in her hand. Sidda’s company makes Leela supremely happy.)
Sidda : All right, I will do these works later. Let’s go to play.
[Leela flungs the ball at Sidda and Sidda flungs it back.]
Leela : (Throwing the ball at Sidda) Now throw the ball into the sky.
[Sidda clutches the ball, closes his eyes for a second and throws the ball into the sky.]
Sidda : (After returning the ball into his hand) Now this has touched the moon. You see here a little bit of moon sticking.
Leela : (Examining the ball keenly for traces of the moon) I don’t see it.
Sidda : You must be quick about it because it will evaporate and go back to the moon. Now hurry up………..
(He covers the ball tightly and allows her to peep through a little gap.)
Leela : Ah yes, I see the moon, but the moon is very wet?
Sidda : Certainly it is.
Leela : What is in the sky, Sidda?
Sidda : God.
Leela : If we stand on the roof and stretch our arms, can we touch the sky?
Sidda : Not if we stand on the roof here, but if you stand on a coconut tree you can touch the sky.
Leela : Have you done it?
Sidda : Yes, many times, whenever there is a big moon, I climb a coconut tree and touch it.
Leela : Does the moon know you?
Sidda : Yes, very well. Now come with me. I will show you something nice.
(They are standing near the rose plant.)
Sidda : (Pointing up) You see the moon there, don’t you?
Leela : Yes.
Sidda : Now come with me.
(He takes her to backyard. He stops near the well and points up. The moon is there, too.)
Leela : (Clapping her hands and screaming in wonder) The moon here! It is there! How is it?
Sidda : I have asked it to follow us about.
Leela : (Running to her mother) Mother, mother, Sidda knows the moon.
Scene — III
(At dusk Sidda carries Leela in and Leela holds a class for him. She has a box filled with catalogues, illustrated books and stumps of pencils. It gives her great joy to play the teacher to Sidda. She makes him squat on the floor with a pencil between his fingers and a catalogue in front of him. She has another pencil and a catalogue.)
Leela : (Commanding) Now write.
(Sidda tries to copy whatever she writes in the pages of her catalogue. She knows two or three letters of the alphabet and can draw a kind of cat and crow. But none of these can Sidda remotely copy.)
Leela : (Examining his effort) Is this how I have drawn the crow? Is this how I have drawn the B?
Sidda : I can’t copy properly.
Leela : (Pitying him, and redoubling her efforts to teach him) You can control moon but utterly incapable to control pencil. You must do it.
(Consequently, it looks as though Leela will keep him there until he will do it properly.)
Sidda : (Seeking relief) I think your mother is calling you into dinner.
(Leela drops the pencil and runs out of the room, and the school hour ends.)
(After dinner Leela runs to her bed. On the other hand, Sidda is ready with an incomparable story.)
Sidda : (Sitting down on the floor near the bed) Do you know the story of animals in the jungle, or gods in heaven? And also the story of magicians who can conjure up golden castles and fill them with little princesses and their pets….
Leela : No…..
Sidda : All right, no problem, now I am going to tell you the story of animals in the jungle.
Act–II ( Dramatization of Leela’s Friend)
Scene — I
[Narrator : Day by day Leela clings closer to Sidda. She insists upon having his company all her waking hours. She is at his side when he works in the garden or chops wood, and she accompanies him when he is sent on errands. Everything is running well. But a dangerous consequence is waiting for Sidda.]
(One evening Sidda goes out to buy sugar and Leela also goes with him. When they return home, Leela’s mother notice that a gold chain Leela wearing is missing.)
Leela’s Mother : (To Leela) Where is your chain?
(Leela looks into her shirt, searching for it but do not find her chain.)
Leela : I don’t know.
Leela’s Mother : (Giving her a slap) How many times have I told you to take it off and put it in the box?
(Leela’s mother is shouting, Sidda, Sidda!)
(As Sidda comes in, she throws a glance at him and thinks the fellow already looks queer.)
Mrs. Sivasanker : Where is the chain? Where have you kept it?
Sidda : (Blinking with a dry throat) I don’t know.
Mrs. Sivasanker : Bring the chain or I’ll call the police.
(She turns to go back to the kitchen for a moment because she has left something in the oven.)
Leela : (Following her mother and whining) Give me some suger mother, I am hungry.
Mrs. Sivasanker : (After coming out from the kitchen) Sidda, Sidda! There is no answer.
(Sidda has already vanished into the night.)
Scene — II
(Mr. Sivasanker returns home from his office an hour later, grows very excited over all this, goes to the police station.)
Mr. Sivasanker : (In the police station, seeing the inspector) Hello, inspector.
Inspector : Hi! Mr. Sanker. How are you?
Mr. Sivasanker : Fine, but I have a problem. I want to lodge a complaint.
Inspector : Tell me about the problem.
Mr. Sivasanker : You Know, I have recently appointed a servant in my house but today he has gone away from the house stealing my daughter’s gold chain.
Inspector : What is his name and age?
Mr. Sivasanker : He is a middle aged man named Sidda who has previously worked in a doctor’s house.
Inspector : (Identifying him) Oh! no, he is a thief. He has been in jail half a dozen times for stealing jewellery from children.
(Annoying with little anger) You should consult with me before employing a servant in your house. All right, I will look into the matter.
(Mr. Sivasanker lodges a complaint against Sidda.)
Scene — III
[After meal Leela refuses to go to bed.]
Mrs. Sivasanker : (Turning to Leela) Sleep Leela, sleep.
Leela : I won’t sleep unless Sidda comes and tells me stories…….. I don’t like you, Mother. You are always abusing and worrying Sidda. Why are you so rough?
Mrs. Sivasanker : But he has taken away your chain…..
Leela : (Annoying) Let him. It doesn’t matter. Tell me a story.
Mrs. Sivasanker : (Attempting to make her lie down on her lap) Sleep Leela, sleep.
Leela : Tell me a story, Mother.
(It is utterly impossible to her mother to think a story now. Her mind is preoccupied with the thoughts of Sidda. She thinks, with his household knowledge, Sidda may come in at night and loot everything. She is also shuddered to think she has given shelter to a villain. Probably it’s God’s mercy he hasn’t killed the child for the chain….)
Mrs. Sivasanker : (Cajoling) Sleep Leela, sleep.
Leela : Can’t you tell the story of the elephant?
Mrs. Sivasanker : (Angrily) No.
(Leela makes a noise of deprecation.)
Leela : Why should not Sidda sit in our chair, Mother?
(Mrs. Sivasanker does not answer the question. Silence for a moment.)
Leela : Sidda is gone because he wouldn’t be allowed to sleep inside the house just as we do. Why should he always be made to sleep outside the house, Mother? I think he is angry with us, Mother.
(Leela turns on her side, falling asleep.)
Scene — IV
(In the meantime Mr. Sivasanker returns home from the police station. Leela has fallen asleep.)
Mr. Sivasanker : What a risk we took in engaging that fellow. It seems he is an old criminal. He has been in jail half a dozen times for stealing jewellery from children. From the description I gave, the inspector was able to identify him in a moment.
Mrs. Sivasanker : Where is he now?
Mr. Sivasanker : The police know his haunts. They will pick him up very soon, don’t worry. The inspector was furious that I didn’t consult him before employing him…….
Act — III (Dramatization of Leela’s Friend)
Scene — I
(Four days later, Mr. Sivasanker is at home, after coming from the office. A police inspector and a constable bring in Sidda at Mr. Sivasanker’s house. Sidda stands with bowed head. Seeing Sidda, Leela is overjoyed.)
Leela : (Running towards Sidda) Sidda! Sidda!
Inspector : (Stopping her) Don’t go near him.
Leela : Why not?
Inspector : He is a thief. He has taken away your gold chain.
Leela : Let him. I will have a new chain.
(All of them laugh)
Mr. Sivasanker : (To Sidda) Why have you taken the chain? Where is the chain? Tell me what you have done with the chain.
Mrs. Sivasanker : Sidda, so ungrateful you are! You are a devil.
(Tears roll down Sidda’s cheek)
Sidda : (With tearful eyes) I have not taken it. (Very feebly looking at the ground)
Mrs. Sivasanker : So, why did you run away without telling us?
(There is no answer. Leela’s face becomes red.)
Leela : Oh, policeman, leave him alone. I want to play with him.
Inspector : My dear child, he is a thief.
Leela : (Haughtily) Let him be……
Inspector : (To Sidda) What a devil you must be to steal a thing from such an innocent child! Even now it is not too late. Return it. I will let you off, provided you promise not to do such a thing again.
Mr. & Mrs. Sivasanker : (Agreeably) Return it now. No harm will be done to you.
Leela : (Feeling disgusted with the whole business) Leave him alone, he hasn’t taken the chain.
Inspector : (Humorously) You are not at all a reliable prosecution witness, my child!
Leela : (Screams) He has not taken it!
Mr. Sivasanker : Baby, if you don’t behave, I’ll be very angry with you.
Inspector : All right Mr. Sanker, no problem, I take him to the police station with me. (To the constable) Take him to the station. I think I will have to sit with him tonight.
(The constable takes Sidda by the hand and returns to go. Leela runs behind them.)
Leela : (Crying) Don’t take him. Leave him here.
(Leela clings to Sidda’s hand. He looks at her mutely, like an animal.)
Mr. Sivasanker : Leela, come back to home.
(Mr. Sivasanker carries Leela back into the house. Leela is in tears.)
Scene — II (Dramatization of Leela’s Friend)
[Narrator : Everyday when Mr. Sivasanker comes home he is asked by his wife about the jewel and Leela enquires of Sidda.]
Mrs. Sivasanker : Any news of the jewel?
Leela : Where is Sidda?
Mr. Sivasanker : They still have him in the lock up, though he is very stubborn and won’t say anything about the jewel.
Mrs. Sivasanker : (With a shiver) Bah! What a rough fellow he must be!
Mr. Sivasanker : Oh, these fellows who have been in jail once or twice lose all fear. Nothing can make them confess.
Scene — III
(A few days later, putting her hand into the tamarind pot in the kitchen, Leela’s mother picks up the chain. She takes it to the tap and washes off the coating of tamarind on it. It is unmistakably Leela’s chain. She goes to Leela to show the chain.)
Mrs. Sivasanker : Look at the chain.
Leela : It’s mine. Give it here. I want to wear the chain.
Mrs. Sivasanker : How did it get into the tamarind pot?
Leela : Somehow,
Mrs. Sivasanker : Did you put it in?
Leela : Yes, mother,
Mrs. Sivasanker : When?
Leela : Long ago, the other day.
Mrs. Sivasanker : Why didn’t you say so before?
Leela : I don’t know.
Scene — IV (Dramatization of Leela’s Friend)
(At night when Mr. Sivasanker comes back, his wife tells him how the chain has been discovered.)
Mr. Sivasanker : The child must not have any chain hereafter. Didn’t I tell you that I saw her carrying it in her hand once or twice? She must have dropped it into the pot sometime….. And all this bother on account of her.
Mrs. Sivasanker : What about Sidda?
Mr. Sivasanker : I will tell the inspector tomorrow…..in any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.
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