Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Barista

Film opens on a girl sitting alone at a coffee table at the NFC Barista, waiting, as a waiter walks into the frame.

Waiter: can I get you something

Antara: Actually, I’m waiting for someone

Waiter: It’s just that there are people waiting.

Antara: I see no people…

Waiter: Do you believe in indivisibilities of factor inputs

Antara: do I believe in what?!

Waiter: See, it’s a numbers thing, a set of 4 customers who come in won’t divide themselves into sets of two each

Antara: and you’re telling me this because…

Waiter: because I’ve seen at least four such sets walk away…

Antara: I’m expecting someone…

Waiter: well, you could…uhhh…expect him, or (don’t get me wrong) her on that table there too

Antara: I’m expecting two people

Waiter: well, there’s a fantastic table for three there, right by the sunlight.

Antara: listen, I’ve seen absolutely nobody come anywhere close to this place for the last half an hour.

Waiter: and you know why?

Antara: Stop it, will you!! I’ve been sitting on this very table since I was a girl of four…

Waiter: and you clearly haven’t ordered since

Antara: is this what this is about, do you just want me to order something?

Waiter: hmmmmmmm…maybe

Antara: (fuck), ok, get me something, anything…get me a fuckin’ americano


Waiter: sure thing ma’am


Kalyan: you okay, you don’t look okay, that guy looks sort of familiar

Antara: I’m sick of this place, why did we have to meet here, we could’ve just met at the damned airport

Kalyan: or maybe, not at all

Antara: fuck you

Kalyan: anytime

Antara: you do realize that your presence here is entirely accidental

Kalyan: Well yes, subtract a flight from Bombay, a two week old appointment and yes, then its accidental

Antara: Sri just called you because you’re his brother

Kalyan: chances are, yeah, where is he anyways, I thought Sir gallant would be here before me, or maybe he stopped by a slum on the way and started a rehabilitation project

Antara: or maybe, he stopped by the wayside for a fuck with his secretary, oh hold on, he doesn’t have a secretary, you have a secretary

Kalyan: who told you

Antara: your wife, Kalyan, she wailed it out on fucking long distance, Bombay to Paris, ISD, and the way she was going, I’m sure everyone heard….

Kalyan: she called you

Antara: yeah, I’m guessing she trusts me

Kalyan: poor girl

Antara: I don’t know why you came

Kalyan: Sri called me

Antara: and all that brotherly love drove you here

Kalyan: sort of

Antara: so (bullshit),you came here to meet Sri

Kalyan: No Antara, I came here to meet you…

Antara: you know that I’m seeing someone

Kalyan: yeah, but you aren’t married yet

Antara: but you are

Kalyan: oh yes, that’s a real problem. Any more excuses?

Antara: I’m your sister

Kalyan: that’s not my fault

Antara: not mine either

Kalyan: you didn’t think about it when you started this

Antara: Kalyan, that was 12 years ago

Kalyan: and that changes what

Antara: I can’t believe we’re having this conversation


Antara: you didn’t order any coffee, why has he brought you coffee

Kalyan: we could’ve left together, moved to a new city, nobody would’ve known

Antara: but we didn’t, right

Kalyan: they knew about us, that’s why after it happened they sent you to England and me to Bombay

Antara: it’s been so long, we were different back then, this place was different, and, nobody, nobody could’ve seen it happen

Kalyan: oh, don’t be naïve

Antara: Stop it! Kalyan, it wasn’t a plan, they just wanted us out of here, they were concerned…

Kalyan: And we couldn’t have moved to the same place, we couldn’t have moved together…

Antara: we weren’t adults, Kalyan, and it’s not easy bringing children up, you know, a family has its own. It would’ve been hard bringing us up together

Kalyan: So that’s what they told you….

Antara: so it’s a big conspiracy isn’t it. They probably killed dad too

Kalyan: oh No, you know who did.

Antara: Shut up Kalyan

Kalyan: listen to me, he knew what we had together. He knew that as long as dad was around, nobody could’ve pulled us apart. He called up chachi and Aditya, he planned you going to London and me going to Bombay, then the mad drug crazed bastard killed his own father.

Antara: that’s enough, I shouldn’t have come…

Kalyan: why else do you think he disappeared, right after the murder, this garb of fucking righteousness, after what he did with dad out in the fields, I’m sure it’s the same wherever he is, he hasn’t changed, he can’t change, all of what he’s doing is nothing but a garb, a façade. He’s not right, he’s messed up in the head, he couldn’t see us together, he wanted you….

Antara: You’re sick. He’s my brother Kalyan!

Kalyan: well, so am I

Antara: you know what, this is a bad idea, you shouldn’t have come.

Kalyan: Sri invited me

Antara: it’s him

Kalyan: he’s hugging the waiter, fucking embarrassment


Srinath: (aside) I can’t believe this. It’s old Ramu Kaka’s nephew. When I saw that they’d converted the old coffee house into this, I thought they’d all be gone. (to Kalyan and Antara) So how’s England? How’s Art School?

Antara: I finished last year, I’m in France now, I might be getting engaged

Srinath: that’s beautiful. Kallu how’s family?

Kalyan: Doing fine, Srinath.

Antara: how’s work going?

Srinath: there’s much that needs to be done…

Kalyan: I’m sure there is

Srinath: how’s chachi?

Antara: fine, mostly

Srinath: and how’s adi chacha’s family doing? Yaar, thori coffee…

Kalyan: yeah, the business is doing well…

Srinath: our Kallu, Adi chacha had 2 sons, and he left the business to our Kallu…

Kalyan: it wasn’t much of a choice, really…

Antara: It’s been a long time

Srinath yes, this whole city has changed, this place was just a café and a couple of shops. Look at it now. The coffee house is a Barista and they’ve built a whole marketplace around it…(pause)…so much happened, and so quickly, and so long ago…

Kalyan: funny how we haven’t met, na…

Antara: how’ve you been , Sri?

Srinath: yeah, Kallu got married, what’s this, no card, no invitation..

Kalyan: you didn’t miss much

Antara: how’s work, what’s work?

Srinath: I’m working with an NGO, down in a village near Patna. Can’t speak Bhojpuri for nuts…

Kalyan: so you’re into saving the world and all

Srinath: human rights, and uh…sustainable employment

( )

Srinath: seems like yesterday, the four of us sitting here, having coffee, this place nearly had a forest around it, it seemed so beautiful, so perfect…

Kalyan: Is that why you killed him?

Antara: kalyan, will you shut up…

Kalyan: can we stop pretending for a moment here?


Kalyan: (softly and politely) thank you


Kalyan: I mean, for God’s sake, can we stop pretending this meeting is some sort of family reunion. 12 years ago, someone murdered our father, and then, you, Sri, ran away, and then after that, we haven’t met, the three of us, ever. And suddenly out of the blue, Sri calls up and sets this up. Someone killed our father, and we’re sitting here, having fucking coffee and going hail fellow, well met, like nothing happened and everything’s hunky dory. You know what, I want answers, and I want answers now…
(takes a sip)
(softly and politely) The weather’s better in Bombay

Antara: what just happened?

Srinath: ohmigod…it’s not over, it’s not over yet

Antara: I don’t understand

Srinath: I didn’t call him

Antara: but you told me, over the phone, that you had

Srinath: I didn’t call you either, Antara

Kalyan: I’m sorry, but what are we blabbering about?

Antara: My God, Kalyan called us, he set it up

Srinath: that’s why he doesn’t remember, Antara, doesn’t remember anything about dad, doesn’t remember why mum killed herself, his mind wipes out the bad bits, he still hasn’t healed, I thought it would heal with time…

Kalyan: does somebody speak English here, what’re you guys on about?

Antara: listen, listen to me, do you know what father did to us

Srinath: Antara, no…

Antara: he needs to know, Sri, do you remember Kalyan do you remember?

Kalyan: Listen bitch, I’m through with your games.

Antara: ever wondered why you were daddy’s boy, daddy’s special little boy…

Srinath: Antara…no…

Antara: Daddy was a big building contractor, and the business came with workers and daddy was bad to the workers, and daddy lost his mind being bad, and one day brought his madness home with him….

Kalyan: stop it, bitch, stop it now

Antara: and when mommy saw what daddy had done to his little children she cut herself up and left this stupid fucked up world

Kalyan: stop, stop…now

Antara: and that’s why, Sri did what he did

Srinath: Antara

Antara: so that daddy’s boy would have to stop sucking his own damned father out every night…

Srinath: Antara

Antara: he needs to know, Sri

Srinath: Antara, I didn’t do it

Antara: what?

Srinath: I didn’t kill him

Antara: so why did you run…

Srinath: because, I was frightened

Antara: of what, Sri…

Srinath: of you, because you killed him and I knew and I didn’t want to turn you in

Antara: what?

Srinath: he was younger, and going mad, and you loved him, I thought you killed dad to protect him

Kalyan: Now, the airport would’ve been a better place to meet

Antara: I didn’t, I swear I didn’t, I didn’t…

Kalyan: did I miss something

Srinath: then, who killed him

Kalyan: finally! We’re discussing it, aren’t we, well Adi chacha had ideas

Srinath: Adi chacha?

Antara: he arrived after you left, with chachi to take us away

Kalyan: theory one, dad killed himself, baseless why would he do that? Theory two his eldest son did, too inconvenient, out the window, Theory three, his daughter, maybe, let’s send her abroad before the cops come poking about, or theory four, the little retard, who the hell would suspect him, let’s just keep him in Bombay, therefore, given a dead body, adi chacha made up theory five, Ramu kaka, who’d poisoned dad to avenge the monstrosities he levied upon the working classes

Antara: he dragged Ramu kaka out in the open, beat him until he couldn’t move, and then shot him, in full view of the colony…

Srinath: And nobody complained, nobody went to the cops

Antara: don’t be ridiculous Sri, the man had murdered his master

Kalyan: yes, how convenient, and Sri was gone, maybe the mad old man had killed him too, so let’s blame it all on the butler…

Antara: OK, something about this doesn’t make sense…

Kalyan: Antara needs some more coffee. Now Sri, are you finally going to tell us why the fuck you poisoned our father…

(fade to black)

We see all three of them lying dead on the table. The waiter comes, gathers the coffee cups and leaves.


Perakath said...

Brilliant, Udayan. Loved it! Am a little drunk :) but still!

Perakath said...

see i DID comment, fucker! you haven't returned the favour :P

Anonymous said...