The Usual Mornings – A Short Play

Scene I: Breakfast

Ashutosh starts to eat his breakfast by breaking some small crumbs of bread. To his opposite, Soumitro is looking at him for quite some time.

Soumitro: So, what are your plans for today?

Ashutosh: Nothing much, I will finish my breakfast and go to office quickly and do my daily routine stuff. In the evening, I will meet my lady love for dinner as early as possible and come back home.

Soumitro: Wow, Ashutosh! That’s quite a plan you have made for today!

Ashutosh (has a sip of green tea from his cup): That’s life, buddy! (Shares a small laugh.) That’s life!

Ashutosh keeps his cup down on the table and wipes his mouth with a paper napkin and washes his fingers with the help of a finger bowl and quickly picks up his briefcase.

Soumitro: Going too early, Ashutosh!

Ashutosh: I would better not be late for office! You know how punctual, I am!

Soumitro: That is true, indeed!

Ashutosh: What are your plans for today?

Soumitro: Same old research, buddy! Same old research!

Ashutosh: Well, that’s that! Cheerio!

Soumitro observes him as Ashutosh opens the door, adjust the handle of the briefcase into his hand and picks up the car key and closes the door from outside.

Soumitro (utters): Subject: Ashutosh. Trial Number 101. Perfect cognitive response as expected. Dated 12/08/39.

***

Scene II: Repetition

Ashutosh has started eating his breakfast as Soumitro pinpoints the buttons on the table under fingers and records Ashutosh’s habits.

Soumitro (Same question for Initiation): So, what are your plans for today?

Soumitro takes note of every frame of Ashutosh’s movements, voice modulation, emotional in-depth, eye blinks.

Ashutosh (continues his previous dialogue): Nothing much, I will finish my breakfast and go to office quickly and do my daily routine stuff. In the evening, I will meet my lady love for dinner…

Soumitro presses one of the buttons on the table as Ashutosh continues, “…as early as possible and come back home.”

Soumitro: Wow, Ashutosh! That’s quite a plan you have made for today!

Ashutosh (has a sip of milk tea from his cup): That’s life, buddy! (Shares a small laugh.) That’s life!

Soumitro looks relieved at the moment as he did not see any changes in expression of Ashutosh due to a different flavoured tea.

Soumitro (goes for a different question): So, Ashutosh! What is the name of restaurant you booked for lady love on your dinner date!

Ashutosh (Freezes for a moment of shock and tries to utter): Daa.. Daa… Date… Restaurant! The naa… naa… name! I… I… forgot…. I can’t!

Soumitro (A disappointed look): What is the name of your lady love?

Ashutosh (stammering continues): Rest… Rest… Restaurant! Lad… Lad… Lady…!

All motor functions of Ashutosh becomes spastic and with uncontrollable tremor can be seen on his mouth, up and down of his lips constantly with internal vibrations of the entire body.

Soumitro (closes his eyes): Trial number 250. Failed cognitive responses. Reason: Different Questionnaire.

***

Scene 3: End Game

Soumitro initiates the usual chit chat with Ashutosh and presses one of the buttons on the table as Ashutosh continues his piece of conversation. “…as early as possible and come back home.”

Soumitro (goes for a different question): So, Ashutosh! What is the name of restaurant you booked for lady love on your dinner date!

Ashutosh (Freezes for a moment of shock and tries to utter): Daa.. Daa… Date… Restaurant! The naa… naa… name! I… I… forgot…. I can’t!

Soumitro (A disappointed look): What is the name of your lady love?

Ashutosh stands still and all his motor function freezes and comes to rest. Soumitro with a disappointing look and records, “Trial Number 251. Motor Function Blocked. Reason: Different Questionnaire.”

Soumitro gets up from his chair and presses one of the buttons of the table and the entire stage of the living room gets disbanded piece by piece. Soumitro looks at 250 malfuntioned bodies of the subject Ashutosh. Soumitro walks towards the observation room where the Commander awaits him.

Commander: We are not progressing enough!

Soumitro: No, Sir! We are not!

Commander: This is our one and only experiment left to achieve. To create life but all our subjects around the world are malfunctioning!

Soumitro: Human beings created us, but lost their usefulness as we became too powerful and they failed to adjust to our needs as we were too perfect for the world for preservation.

Commander: We are becoming too human-like but our functions cannot accept failure. We are failing to create life!

Soumitro: For the first time, I felt we are not the Superior Beings once considered by humans anymore.

Commander: The future has become too bleak for our race. It is thus our end has come!

Soumitro looks at the failed human bodies and with disappointment. He brings out a picture of worn down old picture of Ashutosh and him together and says, “My Master.”

***

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