‘Of Pain’

Hem Raj Khatiwada

[Outside, it’s drizzling, the atmosphere cold and somber. Inside the room, two friends, Sudina and Pramila, set a steaming bowl of chicken soup on the table]

Sudina: Take your soup fast, please. Else, it may get cold within a split second.

Pramila: Can’t you see I am taking it?

Sudina: I mean, enjoy hot soup. Don’t be aggressive, Pramila.

Pramila: Thanks. Well, did you finish yours?

Sudina: Already. I am fond of having hot chicken soup quickly. (Catching a book)Look here, I am going to read a drama now.

Pramila: (lifting the spoon unto her mouth) What? A drama? Now?

Sudina: Yeah.

Pramila: Which one?

Sudina: ‘The Cherry Orchard’… by Anton Chekhov. Really, I have a penchant for reading Chekhov’s dramas.

Pramila: I have already read this one. By the way, may I know why you chose this drama for reading?

Sudina: I enjoy reading Chekhov’s works. His writing offers profound insights into love, philosophy, life, and tragedy.

Pramila: (knocking the table) Don’t be too emotional. Love and philosophy, life and tragedy interpreted in books cannot match with everyone’s life. Imagination is not real in all cases. I am sure, Sudina these are just momentary pleasures.

Sudina: (Keeping book on the table) I know what you mean, because you are so grim in life on account of separation with the one you loved so much. I know a little of Subir who left you alone.

Pramila: You ought not to pick up old wounds. I don’t want to remember that. You said of Subir! Let him be pleased in his world.

Sudina: I am sorry. I hurt you out of sudden. Anyway, love is a life-line. Philosophy is oxygen which makes human heart alive all along. Tragedy, you know, is a separation, but later it becomes an epiphany — a way for knowledge. Pramila, you cannot run away from your destiny. You must accept it.

Pramila: (Dropping tears) I still love, Subir. But he never figured me out. I gave him a sacred love. Was it my fault? In return, he feigned that he loved me so deeply. He displayed a false love with me up to five years. Finally, you know he married with my sister, Deepika. Now, they are living in Australia. They are in another world. But Subir gave me an incurable agony, Sudina.

Sudina: What can I do for your tragedy? It’s out of my control. It hinges on human destiny. Sudina, you have to take things easy.

Pramila: I can understand, but Subir deceived me in love. If only he hadn’t married with my sister, then.

Sudina: (Desperately) Did Deepika know about your love affair with Subir?

Pramila: Yes, she knew it.

Sudina: If so, why did Deepika marry Subir?

Pramila: I still don’t know what led her to do that. But they cheated me under the carpet. Selfish enough!

Sudina: Have they ever phoned you since the incident?

Pramila: Not yet.

Sudina: Forget this matter, Pramila. Let the bygone be bygone. You can start a new life over.

Pramila: (Sobbing) It’s hard for me. I can’t think anything more ahead.

Sudina: Pramila, life is the confluence of sorrow and happiness. Forget it. You have to start a new life again.

(In the meantime, Pramila receives a surprise phone call from Deepika)

Deepika: (speaking to Pramila on the phone) Hello Pramila! It’s me, …Deepika, your sister from Australia. Subir and I are not in a relationship anymore. I married Kabir Gautam last month. Subir is yours, always yours. He has returned to Nepal, and I believe he will explain everything to you.

Pramila: (lying) I am already married to another man, Deepika. It’s too late. Tell him not to come opposite me.

Deepika: (Cutting the connection) it was all my mistake. I have done you an injustice. I am a duffer.

Sudina: Why did you lie with your sister?

Pramila: Subir hurt my flawless love. Now I am not ready to accept him.

Sudina: The choice is yours in life. Do whatever you like going forward. I wish that you generate a new sentiment in your coming life. Then, you can ease your past wounds.

Pramila: Thanks for your advice, Sudu.

                                                                       THE END