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Karma Café

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Calamities are not uncommon in our lives, but not all of us are bound to be destroyed by them. Some of us could pivot the disaster into an opportunity, which is some valuable skill only a few possess.


“Karma Café” by Saswati Banarjee & V. K. Telkepalli's a drama about a couple who possessed this valuable skill and used it to start a café that served customers based on their mood.

 

Credits

This contribution is co-written by V. K. Telkepalli, edited by R. K. Chamarla, & Tarun Chintam & photographed by ​Ravindra Patoju.

 

Product

This drama is available in a paperback & ebook.



 
Cover Photo by Ravindra Patoju

Contents


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Scene I


[While light music is playing in the background, a lady in her early 60s is sitting on the counter talking on the phone, a girl about 20 years of age enters the stage.]


Ramya:

Have a nice day, keep smiling (Hanging down the receiver)... our friends at table number 5 are in a gloomy mood, attend the table quickly!


[Meanwhile, a waitress stops at a table where a few girls are sitting and turns to the counter.]


Waitress:

Ma’am! Someone wants to meet you. She’s sitting there.


[The waitress pointed towards a table, glancing at the girl]


Ramya:

Kindly tell her that I’m not interested in giving an interview.


Waitress:

I’ve already told that ma’am but she told me to inform you that she is the daughter of one of your old customers.


[Looking at her again, Ramya tries to remember if the girl seems familiar… giving up, she turns towards the waitress.]


Ramya:

Bring some coffee and tell her to come here. Make it extra strong!


[After being informed, the girl comes and sits at a table near the counter and Ramya gently sits there too.]


Girl:

Thank you ma’am for your time.


Ramya:

Sorry for the inconvenience dear. Lately, I have stopped talking to people. Each and every person was demoralizing me.


[Waitress enters and places the coffee on the table and exits.]


Ramya:

Here... have it, you look a bit tired.


[Girl sips the drink]


Girl:

Hmm. Do you really serve this to everyone? I was in need of this, how did you know?


Ramya:

Well, that’s Karma Café…


Girl:

I am really eager to know your story madam. My father used to say, “If you wanna know what passion looks like visit Karma Café.”


Ramya:

Well who are you, child? Not a familiar face.


Girl:

My name is Arshi Shah, I work for a food magazine. My father was one of your regular customers and he had recently passed away.


Ramya:

I am sorry for your loss.


Girl:

He always used to talk about how you guys being business analysts and software engineers started this amazing place and it was his wish that I should visit and write an article about this cafe.


Ramya:

Such a kind man. I would certainly like to share our story. Not for you but for your father. I hope we could help in changing his mood a few times at least.


[Blackout]

 

Scene II


[In a scarcely filled restaurant with romantic music playing through the stereo, a 32 year old man enters talking on the phone and sits at a table.]


Kabir: (Frustrated)

​I am fed up with this daily routine… Yes, that’s exactly what I did, you better be careful too. I would just suggest you to follow me. (Checking the phone) Talk to you later my wife is calling.


Kabir:

Yes darling… are you okay? Wait, just drop by ‘The Royals’, I will order your favourite… and be calm.


[Hanging up the phone, he calls for the waiter. Background music gradually fades in while he is thinking and a woman who is about 28 years old enters.]


Ramya: (Hastily sitting on a chair in front of him)

How could they do this to me? What were they thinking when they were giving me the bonus in April? Probably they gave it to me by mistake.


Kabir: (Consoling her)

No problem dear… just calm down.


Ramya:

You know what that saala chamcha (Idiotic sycophant) Ajay got the promotion and I am kicked out of my job. Five years ago, those guys were selling shit on thelas (Bicycle street vending cart) while I was the one who worked my ass off to bring them to the peaks and they fired me? What were they thinking really?


Kabir:

Just calm down… you can get another job.


Ramya:

Of course that’s what I’m going to do but how could they do this “lack of performance” bullshit?


Kabir: (Calmly)

Well... I quit my job.


Ramya: (Without listening to what Kabir said)

I didn’t quit my job, they threw me out...


[Pausing for a second]


Ramya:

What? Didn’t... you… hear what I said until now! If you have got a nagging boss then that’s not a reason to quit a job. We have bills to pay and… how could you do this Kabir?


Kabir:

Probably this is the time we should think of our own venture.


Ramya:

No! This isn’t the time and you know it very well Kabir!


[After a moment of silence]


Ramya:

Let’s search for jobs and what did you order?


Kabir:

​Your favourite...


[Blackout]

 

Scene III


[On a blank stage, Kabir is sitting on the sofa while Ramya enters.]


Ramya:

​How did your interview go Kabir?


Kabir:

Gam is kadar badha ki main use pee gaya. Thukhra raha tha mujhko badi der se yeh jahaan, main aaj sab jahaan ko thukra k peegaya.


Ramya:

What are you talking about? Are you high?


Kabir: (Laughing)

That’s a famous dialogue from ‘Guru Dutt’ that carries a lot of depth.


Ramya:

What does it mean?


Kabir:

“I know we had kept it for our future but since the disaster has struck let’s turn this into an opportunity.”


Ramya: (Thinking for a while)

Give me one good reason as to why I should invest in your plan? Except for the fact that you are my husband.


Kabir: (Laughing)

That’s the reason I love you. By the way, I have put our plan into execution and we are getting Rishabh’s place for setting it up.


Ramya:

Are you sure?


Kabir:

Yes, and I’m planning to name it Karma Café… a place where there are no menu cards and customers get served depending on their mood.


[Blackout]

 

Scene IV


Arshi:

​What’s with these mood cards?


Ramya:

That’s the specialty here my child. We believe that food affects every person differently.


Arshi:

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