Dedicated to AGL Kaul, DySP/SCB/CBI
Interrogation: A one-act, two-character sketch.
Scene: A table, with two chairs facing each other. Hanging from above the center of this table, a bulb with a string switch to turn it on and off.
The bulb is turned on.
Q- The Light?
K- Have you seen it?
K- The Light.
Q- Not the Light. A light, yes.
K- Any sort of light
Q- Flickering: I was far, it was drizzling. I couldn’t see clearly.
K- Well, did you or did you not see it? The Light?
Q- You mean: a light.
K- Damn it! A light, the Light! What difference does it make?
Q- Speaking from an epistemological perspective, yes: it does make one helluva difference. One might even go so far as to say: all the difference there is between omniscience and blindness.
K- Oh, shut up! You know as well as I do that this isn’t one of your sessions or sermons or seminars or soliloquies or whatever it is you call ’em.
Q- Pray tell, then, what exactly “this” is?
K- A bloody Interrogation. That’s what this is. And you bloody well know it. Now, don’t try acting smart with me.
Q- Do I need to act?
Q- Smart. I was under the impression that the reason why you’ve called me here, to this “Interrogation”, is precisely because you know it for a fact that I AM SMART. Perhaps a bit too smart for your palate.
K slaps Q.
Q wipes blood off the corner of his upper lip with a finger.
Q- Violence is the weapon of the weak. Who said that? Ah, you haven’t the faintest clue. Well, in that case: let it be I. Yes, I said that. You will remember it, won’t you? Violence is the weapon of the weak. Not Luther or Gandhi but I. I.
K leaves room.
Q- (looks lovingly at the blood on his finger, sucks it) Yummy. “The blood of Christ shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.” O, sweet, sweet Sacrilege. Behold, the Seduction of Sinners!
K returns. Sits down.
K- Like the sound of your own voice, eh? Now, let’s hear you sing.
Q- Care for a lullaby?
K- Only the truth.
Q- Truth is blind men looking at shadows dancing on the walls of a cave. Wait a minute. Blind men don’t see. Can’t see. Perhaps they weren’t blind after all. (screams) No! The Advent of Amnesia!
K- O what a drama-queen! Look we can go on all night like this. But it will be a whole lot easier for the both of us if you…
Q- Is it night already? So soon?
K- Does it matter? In here, it’s always night. One long unending night.
Q- Bravo! Could this really be…the Birth of a Poet? Come to think of it, I tend to have that affect on people: impregnating everyone with poetry.
K- You give yourself too much credit.
Q- Not enough for you, apparently. Admit it. Wouldn’t you be happier if I gave myself unadulterated credit for this…Crime? You know, took the entire blame on my head. Confessed. Isn’t that what this “Interrogation” is about?
K- All we want to know is what really happened.
Q- Oh! Is that all? A moment ago, you wanted to know ‘the Truth’. The point, which I’m glad you’re beginning to belatedly appreciate, is that you’ve got to be specific about things: what, when, where, how. Those are the easy questions. It’s the WHY that’s the Real McCoy!
K- So tell me: what, when, where, how?
Q- Turn off the light. Will you? I can see much better that way.
K- As you say. You can’t possibly run. There’s nowhere to run to.
K pulls the bulb’s string switch. Lights off.
K- There! Now tell me, very slowly, what do you see. Tell me everything.
Q- Oh, but I am not here. See for yourself.
K turns on bulb.
Q isn’t there.
January 14, 2006.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
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