Avon can wait

Updated: Dec 01, 2019, 07:46 IST | Rahul da Cunha | Mumbai

"Thou wanted to know if it was a biopic of your life story?" I asked

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul da CunhaWilliam Shakespeare came to town the other day. He looked amazing for a man of 455 years. I attempted to impress him with a half sonnet:

"All the world's a stage

The quality of mercy is not strained, You doth look dashing

For me it's smashing, I am foxed… flummoxed by your botox."

Shakespeare interrupted me, a trifle irritated.

"Uhm, just to let thou know, my signature style is the iambic pentameter, not this daft semi-rhyming!"

"Gotcha! So uhm William, uhm Mr Shakespeare…uhmn why has thou come to our land? Did you have some work?"

"My reasons are two—my first destination was the Amazon Prime Video offices, to understand the nature of their show, Bard of Blood."

"Thou wanted to know if it was a biopic of your life story?" I asked.

Billy stopped for a second, and gave me the male version of the Mona Lisa smile.

"Ah! You may look like a knave, but you're not. You are correct, I had wanted to demand a copyright fee or serve them a legal notice. But alas, it turns out Bard of Blood is a serialised show about a serial kisser who is a spy!"

"And what is thy second reason for coming to our city," I probed.

The playwright paused and his voice went down three octaves: "There is something rotten in the state of Maharashtra."

"It amazes me, sir, that so much has happened globally in the last one hundred years, and still you choose this as your subject!"

"You see, fair sire, every major event either in politics or popular culture, somehow has a familiarity with one of my works—take a megalomaniac like Donald Trump, who's both villain and hero, he reminds me of my protagonist in Richard III, or the story of the Congress Party, sounds like Macbeth, gone badly wrong. I am looking for a unique plot. Look at the last fortnight in your state; the cast of characters has heroes, villains, kingmakers, turncoats, betrayers, traitors, witches, ghosts hovering around large rooms and sitting in seats of power; uncles, nephews, heirs to the throne, ambitious mothers, men making rousing speeches in the pouring rain, treachery and drama at 5 am. All this is beyond my wildest imagination. Every time I think the sordid events resemble Othello, in an hour it morphs into Hamlet, I wake up the next morning to a Comedy of Errors. Just when I think it's Much Ado About Nothing, lo and behold it's now Julius Caesar. I definitely felt it was worth re-incarnating myself to pen a new play!"

"Ah! So you intend a visit to the seat of our politics, the palace of power, the edifice of greed."

"Yes I intend to visit Mantralaya."

"What do you plan to name this new play, oh Bard of Avon?"

"I'm hoping to call it All's Well That Ends Well—a tragicomedy. But I fear it could become, A Midsummer Night's Nightmare."

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahul.dacunha@mid-day.com

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