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Full Online Book HomePlaysChitra, A Play In One Act - Scene VI
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Chitra, A Play In One Act - Scene VI Post by :forumking Category :Plays Author :Rabindranath Tagore Date :May 2011 Read :666

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Chitra, A Play In One Act - Scene VI

SCENE VI


Arjuna
I WOKE in the morning and found that my dreams had distilled a
gem. I have no casket to inclose it, no king's crown whereon to
fix it, no chain from which to hang it, and yet have not the
heart to throw it away. My Kshatriya's right arm, idly occupied
in holding it, forgets its duties.


(Enter CHITRA.)

Chitra
Tell me your thoughts, sir!


Arjuna
My mind is busy with thoughts of hunting today. See, how the
rain pours in torrents and fiercely beats upon the hillside. The
dark shadow of the clouds hangs heavily over the forest, and the
swollen stream, like reckless youth, overleaps all barriers with
mocking laughter. On such rainy days we five brothers would go
to the Chitraka forest to chase wild beasts. Those were glad
times. Our hearts danced to the drumbeat of rumbling clouds. The
woods resounded with the screams of peacocks. Timid deer could
not hear our approaching steps for the patter of rain and the
noise of waterfalls; the leopards would leave their tracks on the
wet earth, betraying their lairs. Our sport over, we dared each
other to swim across turbulent streams on our way back home. The
restless spirit is on me. I long to go hunting.


Chitra
First run down the quarry you are now following. Are you quite
certain that the enchanted deer you pursue must needs be caught?
No, not yet. Like a dream the wild creature eludes you when it
seems most nearly yours. Look how the wind is chased by the mad
rain that discharges a thousand arrows after it. Yet it goes
free and unconquered. Our sport is like that, my love! You give
chase to the fleet-footed spirit of beauty, aiming at her every
dart you have in your hands. Yet this magic deer runs ever free
and untouched.


Arjuna
My love, have you no home where kind hearts are waiting for your
return? A home which you once made sweet with your gentle
service and whose light went out when you left it for this
wilderness?


Chitra
Why these questions? Are the hours of unthinking pleasure over?
Do you not know that I am no more than what you see before you?
For me there is no vista beyond. The dew that hangs on the tip
of a Kinsuka petal has neither name nor destination. It offers
no answer to any question. She whom you love is like that
perfect bead of dew.


Arjuna
Has she no tie with the world? Can she be merely like a fragment
of heaven dropped on the earth through the carelessness of a
wanton god?

Chitra
Yes.

Arjuna
Ah, that is why I always seem about to lose you. My heart is
unsatisfied, my mind knows no peace. Come closer to me,
unattainable one! Surrender yourself to the bonds of name and
home and parentage. Let my heart feel you on all sides and live
with you in the peaceful security of love.


Chitra
Why this vain effort to catch and keep the tints of the clouds,
the dance of the waves, the smell of the flowers?

Arjuna
Mistress mine, do not hope to pacify love with airy nothings.
Give me something to clasp, something that can last longer than
pleasure, that can endure even through suffering.


Chitra
Hero mine, the year is not yet full, and you are tired already!
Now I know that it is Heaven's blessing that has made the
flower's term of life short. Could this body of mine have
drooped and died with the flowers of last spring it surely would
have died with honour. Yet, its days are numbered, my love.
Spare it not, press it dry of honey, for fear your beggar's heart
come back to it again and again with unsated desire, like a
thirsty bee when summer blossoms lie dead in the dust.

 

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

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SCENE VIIMadanaTONIGHT is thy last night. VasantaThe loveliness of your body will return tomorrow to theinexhaustible stores of the spring. The ruddy tint of thy lipsfreed from the memory of Arjuna's kisses, will bud anew as a pairof fresh asoka leaves, and the soft, white glow of thy skin willbe born again in a hundred fragrant jasmine flowers. ChitraO gods, grant me this my prayer! Tonight, in its last hour letmy beauty flash its brightest, like the final flicker of a dyingflame. MadanaThou shalt have thy wish. ___End of Scene VII (Rabindranath Tagore's play/drama: Chitra)
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SCENE V VasantaI CANNOT keep pace with thee, my friend! I am tired. It is ahard task to keep alive the fire thou hast kindled. Sleepovertakes me, the fan drops from my hand, and cold ashes coverthe glow of the fire. I start up again from my slumber and withall my might rescue the weary flame. But this can go on nolonger.MadanaI know, thou art as fickle as a child. Ever restless is thy playin heaven and on earth. Things that thou for days buildest upwith endless detail thou dost shatter in a moment
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