old will may be dead but i’m still alive


this is the first scene of a play i’m writing. any resemblance to any persons living or dead is probably accidental. go figure. also let me know if its worth continuing.

the soliloquies

a play in 1 act


  • abdullah shah karachvi – (the central character. a dark, overweight and generally unattractive young man. abdullah has an office job that he doesn’t like, a life which is going nowhere and a creative mind that he can’t use. he is obsessed with his childhood sweetheart, a beautiful woman named sassi who is now married and hasn’t seen him for the last ten years)
  • sassi maroof – (the object of abdullah’s obsession. a brilliant young architecht, married for the past five years to a man her parents found for her. she has recently arrived in her hometown for a vacation.
  • suroor zaidi – (a junior coworker at abdullah’s office. she is a tall, leggy, “blonde” with an incongruently sharp brain and something of a soft spot for abdullah)
  • najeeb baig – (a classmate and close friend of abdullah’s from university. najeeb is a soft spoken, generous hearted, well mannered young man. the clichéd “good guy”)
  • tazeen haider – (a relative of abdullah’s. she has been one of his closest friends since childhood and one of his only confidants)
  • abdullah nawab – (abdullah’s classmate and best friend in school. abdullah nawab is everything abdullah shah is not; tall, fair, handsome, popular and successful.)
  • shahid nizam – (another close friend from school)
  • faizan mohiuddin – (a close friend and classmate from abdullah’s later school days. faizan and abdullah share a bond in the sense that they mapped their careers together on the same path. faizan is happy and successful today. abdullah is not)
  • saif agha – (a colleague and close friend of abdullah)
  • jamal siddiqui – (a colleague and close friend of abdullah)
  • arafat niazi – (a colleague and close friend of abdullah)

time: the present.

scene 1:

(a small room with a window. the moonlight is filtering in through the grille work, showing the pensive form of abdullah shah sitting on his bed)

abdullah: (thinking aloud, calm reflective posture)

the reason i chose wrigley’s cool air over all other chewing gums is no secret. and boy, did i try them all. it is the simple little matter of the aftertaste. why would anyone sacrifice on taste for aftertaste? why not chew on wild berries instead of dreary old eucalyptus? elementary, my dear watson. when you eat something coated with flavours meant to please, you can only enjoy that for so long. and then comes the aftertaste. a clingy sensation on the palate that does not go away until washed away or replaced with some other taste. fickle things, taste buds.

but fate can be just as fickle. life is meant to acquire its own distinct flavour as time passes on. an identifying taste. something pleasant. like the khopra laden meetha paan you could get from the hawker at the corner of the street. of course, you have to factor fate in into the equation. and fate did not mean my life to be another cool air. oh hell no. it drags on and on and on like the sticky remnants of amoxil syrup they gave you when you were a kid. and that is where i am stuck. in the aftertaste. in the vacuum left between the future and the past. the future of me and the past of we. or you and i or we. in the air that hangs around after unfinished sentences and unanswered questions. in a comma in a sentence in a footnote of her life.

oh yes this is about her. you didn’t possibly think it wasn’t, did you? so why would i even think of her at a time like this? [giggles]

because she was the taste before the aftertaste. the light before the fade out. and aftertastes have to be washed away. i thought i just told you that.

[takes out a syringe from his pocket and injects a toxin in his arm]

maybe in this end there will be a new beginning. maybe i will live on in every smile she’ll ever flash. in every twinkle of her eyes. the very things that brought the flashes of colour in the black and white picture of my life. and maybe it will just be the roll of credits in the low budget flick that you shouldn’t have bothered watching after the first scene. it is at any rate the end. the end of a million years of happier minutes. of times when consequences didn’t exist. when futures could be extrapolated into what you wanted them to be. when worlds of meaning were conveyed with flicks of eyelashes and turns of a pretty little head. the end of a billion years of yearning after the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. the end of a tale best left untold. like the cat she ran over on her first attempt at driving. like the reason for why there had to be a life after us.

[shudders and slips from the bed to the ground]

she will weep at my grave i know. and in the tears that fall from luminous eyes and seep through dirt and linen shroud, i will smell her scent again, taste her skin again. feel life again. immortality is just two tears away.

[body goes limp and lies on the ground as the light coming in from the window brightens to show a sunny day outside with birds chirping away merrily]

end of scene 1


5 Responses to “old will may be dead but i’m still alive”

  1. ur writing a play? a man of many talents eh. hahah abdullah shah karachvi?? thaz 2 damn funi..how did u come up with that. took me a while 2 compose myself. ok im liking it keep going. the womans called sassi? haha! whatz with the namez dude? plz tell me that sum1 else found the namez funi. me thinks 2 myself *maybe itz just me*

  2. “because she was the taste b4 the aftertaste*- i really like that line. it stands out in my mind. erm also the way u end the scene is very cleverly done. the ide of a shroud and his body going limp and lying there…nice.

  3. interesting starting..
    looks good to me.

    i’m looking forward to read more 🙂

  4. every thing is a bit to euphoric for the hero dont u think?

  5. i like! i like!

    more please 🙂

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