"Very well, let somebody else be Devdoot; I will act the part of the king, or the minister. I know by-heart the lines of five to six characters in the play," Dashu told him.
When we informed that Gonsha was unwilling to act in the play, it was decided after an angry discussion that there was no point in antagonising Dashu further, and he should be allowed to play the part of Devdoot. Dashu was quite happy with the decision but he cautioned us, "If any of you annoys me again, I will spoil the play like I did last time."
The play began. Act one of the play concluded without any major incident barring the time when Dashu spat on the stage once. But with the commencement of act three, Dashu began to behave rather thoughtlessly. At one point he was expected to say, "Can man hope to cope on his own if Devdoot turns away?" But Dashu added four-five lines more of his own after this. When I objected, Dashu retorted, "All of you deliver long lectures and there is no problem with that; it is only when I speak a few words more you object to it."
Even this could have been tolerated, but Dashu insisted that he should make an appearance on the stage in the final act. Now, Devdoot was not supposed to appear in the final act; Dashu knew this and yet he kept insisting. We explained to him that Devdoot, in the previous act, had departed for heaven. In the final act too the minister informs the king about Devdoot's departure. Dashu relented, but it was clear that he was not at all happy.
The curtain was raised for the final act. After some time the minister presented himself before the king. He apprised his king of mundane matters, and then informed that Devdoot had departed for heaven after showering blessings on the king.
No sooner had the minister imparted this piece of information than Dashu sprang on the stage smiling from ear to ear and sang out, "He has come back."
This sudden intrusion from out of the blue caused the minister to fumble, and he did not know what to say next. All of us panicked; it looked as though we would have to bring down the curtain prematurely. Dashu, like a smart alec, told the minister, "Go on, complete what you had begun to say." But this only scared the minister all the more.
Rakhal was enacting the role of a sentinel. He approached Dashu with the intention of whispering some words to knock sense into his head. The instant Rakhal took a few steps forward, Dashu leaped at him and, while declaring heroically, "This wretch had wanted to stop me by force," knocked off his turban.
Then Dashu went on to recite a speech which should have been delivered by the king - "This kindom will be freed from violence and poverty" etcetera. "Go people, and continue with your work peacefully," Dashu recited perfectly and ended the play. We could do nothing other than to look on helplessly. The bell rang signalling the end of the play, and the stagehand brought down the curtains.
Bursting with anger we fell upon Dashu. "Idiot, you have spoiled the whole play; almost half the dialogues remained un-uttered," we told him. "Well, when I found no one was saying anything, I just recited whatever I could remember. Else, the play would have been a washout," Dashu defended himself.
"Why did you have to take the stage in the final act? That spoiled everything." I asked him.
"Why did Rakhal say he will not allow me to act in the play? Besides, why were all of you against my acting from the very start? Why did Ramapodo glare at me all the time?" Dashu asked.
"Let's punch him," Ramapodo said.
"Just try it. I will yell at the top of my voice and gather everyone here," Dashu told him.