Dramatist: I have never watched a play like this before! I also write, and so do many others; but no one can ever hope to reach the level to which you have soared! You have even surpassed Shakespeare in certain aspects!

Shethji: Yes, sir. The writing that emerges straight from the heart is incomparable! Shakespeare wrote to earn money; our dramatists, too, write to earn a living. Their writing, therefore, cannot come from the heart. Why do you think Gosai-ji's Ramayana is immortal? That's because it was inspired by devotion and love. Saadi's "Gulistan" and "Bostan", and Homer's literature are timeless treasures because they were written from the heart. One who writes from the heart chooses each word and each sentence carefully, spending months and months in getting each word and sentence right. Those who write for money cannot ever expend so much time and energy; they are in a hurry to complete the work in hand so that they can take up the next assignment.

Dramatist: Very true! Our literature is decaying because writers nowadays write only for money or fame.

Shethji: Sir, you have spent ten years studying music and the arts; you must have expended lakhs of rupees in this pursuit! What immense efforts and research must have gone into gathering materials for writing this play! Who can ever hope to recompense efforts of this magnitude!

Dramatist: Impossible. The mere idea of rewarding such work is doing it injustice! If there is any fit reward for an achievement of this nature, it is the satisfaction of the soul. And that satisfaction is clearly manifest in every word you speak!

Shethji: Yes, so rightly put. The fit reward for such work is satisfaction of the soul!

The Shethji then addressed his dramatist, "Take the manuscript, and assign the roles to the actors today itself. This play should be on stage within three months."

The dramatist picked up the manuscript from the table. Guruprasad looked at Vinod with forlorn eyes; Vinod eyed Amar; Amar looked at Rasik. But no one spoke. Shethji, it seemed, had sewn their lips! The dramatist left carrying the manuscript with him.

Shethji smiled affably and said, "Sir, please take a little more trouble for our sake. It would be nice if you could spend a few days here with our actors when the rehearsal begins. Most of our actors are Gujaratis, and they cannot pronounce Hindi words correctly. Under your supervision and guidance they can improve their diction. If the actors fail to perform well, then all your effforts in writing the play would go waste!

The shethji then summoned the office-boy and asked him to get cigars for the guests. Cigars arrived. The shethji rose from his chair in a clear indication that the discussions were over. The five friends also rose and trooped behind him to the gate. The owner turned and shook hands with each of them. "Do come and watch this poor group's show this evening; an opportunity may not present later."

Guruprasad, his voice sounding as though it was coming from a deep down grave, said, "We will make it if possible."

When the five friends had walked some distance and found themselves on the road, they stopped to take a breather and to look at one another. The tension melted; the funny manner in which they were beaten in their own game struck them with full force and they laughed without restraint.

"He turned out to be our guru," Vinod said.

Amar: How neatly he deceived us!

Rasik: I always suspected he was a rogue of the first order because of his unwillingness to speak.

Mastaram: Hats off to him! What a slap he has dealt us! I won't ever forget it.

Guruprasad kept aloof from the discussion; he continued walking with a bowed head as though he had still not come to grips with the situation.


Some useful links for
your career:

  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu