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Broken Bonds: Scene I

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

[This scene takes place in Minds Quill’s office, a spacious cosy room filled with books on every shelf, a huge office table, and three chairs. They had a balcony where they occasionally smoked. Enjoying the fresh air on a sunny Sunday morning, Rohan and Neelkanth sat facing each other on either side of the table.]

Rohan took a break from reading a novel submission to say:

A good story has a soul within it Neelkanth, and the words written are to just describe its beauty. The words used in our books are not bad but these books lack the soul itself. Honestly, how many of our recent releases are fascinating?

Neelkanth was also reading another submission. He closed his book, took a deep breath and yelled:

Soul? Let's be realistic Rohan, our writers are getting sold for filmy stories and a majority of our readers are those who expect either violence or sexual content written with vivid descriptions explaining every act! Did you even see our recent sales chart? Our last choice for publishing was the book “Nude’d” and now that is on the top being sold like a freshly baked cake. People are not buying what we expect Rohan. Yes! When we started this business it was very different from what it is now and over the years people have changed. Stories don’t get popular unless there is a television show about them or there is something related to sexual content or violence. Readers want pages filled with great twists. Historical shows and books have now become official sex shows, thanks to the writers.

Rohan putting the novel in his hand aside and closing his eyes mumbled:

Isn’t it a disgrace for a writer to fill pages with twists just to grab a reader’s attention? Aren’t there any writers left to write fantabulous fables that shape the view of children? Neelkanth, every dark act that we publish today shall instil negativity in the minds of our readers. It pains me when we feed ourselves with the money earned by selling such disgraceful pages. As a publisher I hate myself!

[As soon as Rohan completed his sentence, Madhuri, Bhadra, and Maina enter the room. Neelkanth walked to them as soon as he saw Bhadra]

Bhadra introduced his younger brother Rohan by saying:

Maina, I would like you to meet my younger brother Rohan and that is his friend Neelkanth. Both of them run a publishing house and they are very good at it. I say so because they make profits even in our times when videos are preferred! My brother also writes but let me just admit it, they are not quite the page-turners that we would love to read.

Maina looking at the crimson red face of Rohan cheerfully said:

So nice to meet both of you. If you don’t mind can I ask you why are you so serious? I was told by your sister that your nose looks red but I don’t think it is just that now. Why are you so serious?

While Rohan turned to look at Bhadra furiously, wanting to give them some privacy Madhuri interrupted Maina by saying:

Maina, let me show you my home. We could also unwrap all the gifts Mahesh has given me for this Valentine's day. There are loads of them!

[Maina looked at Rohan and Neelkanth for one last time before Madhuri and she left. Bhadra stood looking at the new book on the table and Neelkanth walked along with Maina and closed the door as they walked out]

Rohan slammed the table and shouted at the top of his voice:

You have crossed the line! Tell me this isn’t happening! You dare not do this! You will destroy our reputation in our community if you welcome her to our family! Did you forget that she is not a member of our caste? She would be a disgrace amongst our family members and our legacy would be ruined! What religion would your children be off? Being the eldest, you must take responsibility for your family! Look at you!

Bhadra looked seriously at Rohan and said sternly:

Rohan! One more word insulting her and you would regret saying so in the first place. I know you do not wish this to happen and I have thought through it a lot many times! I cannot let go and lead a life as if nothing ever happened. Even if I did, the pain would consume me my whole life. As far as I know, the caste I am born in and the religion I follow has nothing to do with the woman I am marrying. Don’t be an educated fool!

[Bhadra walked out as soon as he finished not wanting to hear a word more.]

Neelkanth staring at the furious face of Rohan said:

He is right, isn’t he? You are being an educated fool! Looking at you, I see a slave bound to the mortal constraints that we humans built for ourselves. I wish a day would come when men would stand united rather than differentiate each other on the basis of their nationalities, castes, and colour. However, it is hard to accept that a few things will always be dreams after all! Mostly because there are always men like me only hoping rather than striving to make these dreams come true.

Rohan sitting back in his chair stated:

Neelkanth, a day would come when my brother would realize who the educated fool is. The mortal constraints are no foolish deeds, my friend.





This contribution is edited by Tarun Chintam & photographed by Pankaj Tottada.



This drama is available in paperback & ebook.

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