MARRIAGE POEM a tragi-comedy*
MALA NARESH MRS. LALL LEELA MALATI RAN J IT
a housewife her husband a neighbour a friend of Naresh a socialite her husband
A drah^ middle-class drawing-dining room^ the furniture a mixture of modern and old fashioned. Several book-cases^ with ill-arranged books. No curtains ^ no carpets^ no flowers r Right centre^ a writing desk with papers^ files and books strewn on it. The dining table neither cleared nor set. General effect of untidiness but not of squalor. In front of the largest bookcase^ a small mat on which toys are thrown, about 3 indicating the presence of children in the house. Flat^ thin lighting from overhead bulbs. Very little colour in the room. One large painting heavily overlaid with dust.
Mala^ age thirty-five^ slightly emaciated but not unattractives wearing a pink sari^ is eating slices of bread which she dips into her cup of tea, The pre-curtain musio^ which should strike a contrapuntal note^ continues for half a minute. Malays face is tense^ her movements nervous. The music stops^ Mala becomes very still^ then a door bangs and Mala twists her face with annoyance as Naresh enters. The next moment she smiles at him and he smiles back. He has a brief-case in his right hand which he flings against the legs of his writing desk. The jacket slung over his left hand he arranges on the back of a dining-room chair» He goes towards his desk. The music starts again and never stops till near the end of the play^ being heard softly in the background when the dialogue is going on and breaking out loudly at every pause^ as indicated.
*From Three Plays (Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1969). Reprinted by permission of the author and the publishers^