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Full Online Book HomePlaysChitra, A Play In One Act - Scene III
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Chitra, A Play In One Act - Scene III Post by :Viola_Tan Category :Plays Author :Rabindranath Tagore Date :May 2011 Read :1547

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Chitra, A Play In One Act - Scene III

SCENE III


Chitra
No, impossible. To face that fervent gaze that almost grasps you
like clutching hands of the hungry spirit within; to feel his
heart struggling to break its bounds urging its passionate cry
through the entire body--and then to send him away like a
beggar--no, impossible.

(Enter MADANA and VASANTA.)


Ah, god of love, what fearful flame is this with which thou hast
enveloped me! I burn, and I burn whatever I touch.


Madana
I desire to know what happened last night.


Chitra
At evening I lay down on a grassy bed strewn with the petals of
spring flowers, and recollected the wonderful praise of my beauty
I had heard from Arjuna;--drinking drop by drop the honey that I
had stored during the long day. The history of my past life like
that of my former existences was forgotten. I felt like a
flower, which has but a few fleeting hours to listen to all the
humming flatteries and whispered murmurs of the woodlands and
then must lower its eyes from the Sky, bend its head and at a
breath give itself up to the dust without a cry, thus ending the
short story of a perfect moment that has neither past nor future.


Vasanta
A limitless life of glory can bloom and spend itself in a
morning.


Madana
Like an endless meaning in the narrow span of a song.


Chitra
The southern breeze caressed me to sleep. From the flowering
Malati bower overhead silent kisses dropped over my body.
On my hair, my breast, my feet, each flower chose a bed to die
on. I slept. And, suddenly in the depth of my sleep, I felt as
if some intense eager look, like tapering fingers of flame,
touched my slumbering body. I started up and saw the Hermit
standing before me. The moon had moved to the west, peering
through the leaves to espy this wonder of divine art wrought in a
fragile human frame. The air was heavy with perfume; the silence
of the night was vocal with the chirping of crickets; the
reflections of the trees hung motionless in the lake; and with
his staff in his hand he stood, tall and straight and still, like
a forest tree. It seemed to me that I had, on opening my eyes,
died to all realities of life and undergone a dream birth into a
shadow land. Shame slipped to my feet like loosened clothes. I
heard his call--"Beloved, my most beloved!" And all my forgotten
lives united as one and responded to it. I said, "Take me, take
all I am!" And I stretched out my arms to him. The moon set
behind the trees. One curtain of darkness covered all. Heaven
and earth, time and space, pleasure and pain, death and life
merged together in an unbearable ecstasy. . . . With the first
gleam of light, the first twitter of birds, I rose up and sat
leaning on my left arm. He lay asleep with a vague smile about
his lips like the crescent moon in the morning. The rosy red
glow of the dawn fell upon his noble forehead. I sighed and
stood up. I drew together the leafy lianas to screen the
streaming sun from his face. I looked about me and saw the same
old earth. I remembered what I used to be, and ran and ran like
a deer afraid of her own shadow, through the forest path strewn
with shephali flowers. I found a lonely nook, and sitting down
covered my face with both hands, and tried to weep and cry. But
no tears came to my eyes.


Madana
Alas, thou daughter of mortals! I stole from the divine
Storehouse the fragrant wine of heaven, filled with it one
earthly night to the brim, and placed it in thy hand to drink--
yet still I hear this cry of anguish!


Chitra (bitterly)
Who drank it? The rarest completion of life's desire, the first
union of love was proffered to me, but was wrested from my grasp?
This borrowed beauty, this falsehood that enwraps me, will slip
from me taking with it the only monument of that sweet union, as
the petals fall from an overblown flower; and the woman ashamed
of her naked poverty will sit weeping day and night. Lord Love,
this cursed appearance companions me like a demon robbing me of
all the prizes of love--all the kisses for which my heart is
athirst.


Madana
Alas, how vain thy single night had been! The barque of joy came
in sight, but the waves would not let it touch the shore.


Chitra
Heaven came so close to my hand that I forgot for a moment that
it had not reached me. But when I woke in the morning from my
dream I found that my body had become my own rival. It is my
hateful task to deck her every day, to send her to my beloved and
see her caressed by him. O god, take back thy boon!


Madana
But if I take it from you how can you stand before your lover?
To snatch away the cup from his lips when he has scarcely drained
his first draught of pleasure, would not that be cruel? With
what resentful anger he must regard thee then?

Chitra
That would be better far than this. I will reveal my true self
to him, a nobler thing than this disguise. If he rejects it, if
he spurns me and breaks my heart, I will bear even that in
silence.

Vasanta
Listen to my advice. When with the advent of autumn the
flowering season is over then comes the triumph of fruitage. A
time will come of itself when the heat-cloyed bloom of the body
will droop and Arjuna will gladly accept the abiding fruitful
truth in thee. O child, go back to thy mad festival.

 

___
End of Scene III (Rabindranath Tagore's play/drama: Chitra)

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