Our Day 19

Prof. Damaz
A One Act Play


Prof. Damaz was an interesting man. He called himself professor. Dungu and Sungu were fishmongers. They put up their huts on either side of the professor’s house and started selling fish of several kinds. And the stench!

The appalling stench could be smelt a mile off. The smell almost suffocated Prof. Damaz. He could no longer put up with the fish-mongers. How could he get rid of the unwelcome neighbours? Come with me. We’ll have a peep into Prof.Damaz’s house.



Prof. Damaz: Ah, it smells terrible here.. What a horrid smell ! I just can’t bear the stench of fish. I can neither read nor can I sleep. Good heavens! I must get rid of these unwelcome fishmongers. Yes, I must at any cost.

(Damaz goes out to meet the fish -mongers)

SCENE 2 – Dungu’s hut


Dungu : Come all of you. I sell you fresh fish. Tropical, marine and freshwater fish! Very good fish! Very reasonable price!
Sridevi : What is the price of this paarai fish?
Dungu : You may take it for Rs.75, mam.
Sridevi : These small ones?
Dungu : They are Rs. 25 each. Buy two and get one free.
Sridevi: Oh, great! Give me two and don’t forget the free fish.
Dungu;: Well, I never mam. Here you go. Check the fish yourself.
Sridevi: That’s kind of you. And these prawns?
Dungu : Rs.600 a kilo.
Sridevi : Any reduction?
Dungu : How many kilos do you want?
Sridevi : Two kilos.
Dungu : Take it at Rs.550 a kilo.
Sridevi: Rs. 500?
Dungu: (Aside) Looks like a rich lady but wants a discount on everything. From tomorrow I must quote a higher price.) Okay, mam.
Sridevi: It’s generous of you, Dungu.
Dungu: (Aside) Mmh! How sad! In our country the rich want the poor to be generous, particularly the fishmongers and the vegetable venders. Would they ever bargain at malls? The rich don’t want to part with their money. What are they going to do with all the wealth they’ve amassed?)
Sridevi::(Aside)This man is talking to himself. I don’t know what his self talk is about. It’s none of my business. Before his mind changes for an increase in the price of fish I must leave here.) Can I pay by card, Dungu?
Dungu: You can Google pay, mam.
Sridevi: That’s fine.
Damaz : Hello, Dungu. Will you do me a favour?
Dungu : Yes, sir. Fresh fish of any kind! I’ll…
Damaz : Not that, Dungu. I don’t want any fish.
Dungu : I don’t have anything else to sell, sir.
Damaz : Hello! Understand my problem. I’m unable to put up with the stench of your fish. Would you shift to some other hut?
Dungu : How’s it possible, sir? This hut has cost me ten thousand rupees. And to spend another ten thousand, that too in a month’s time…! Just impossible, sir You must understand my problem, too.
Damaz : Yes, you’re right, Dungu. But you needn’t worry, Dungu. I’ll pay you ten thousand rupees. And you must leave here immediately.
Dungu : (We, the poor fishermen, are working day and night for our daily bread. These simply sitting rich cannot understand the needs and feelings of the poor unless we teach them.)
Damaz:: (He is silent, must be musing about shifting to a new hut.) Hi Dungu, why are you silent?
Dungu: I like the idea of shifting to a new hut but I must speak to my brother, Sungu, too.
Damaz : That should be no problem. I’ll also pay him ten thousand rupees.
Dungu : ( It sounds good. Now is the right time to switch over from selling fish to selling huts. This hut cost me just two thousand rupees. This professor offers ten thousand. It’s a lot of money.. I must grab opportunities.) Well, that’s generous of you, sir.
Damaz : Here’s the money. Take it home. Share it with Sungu. Ten thousand each.

(Sungu collects the money and goes away)

SCENE 3 – Dungu meets Sungu


Dungu : Prof. Damaz has given us ten thousand rupees each.Here’s your share.
Sungu : Ha! Ten thousand rupees! Does he want fish for all the money?
Dungu : No, Sungu. He doesn’t want any fish. He says we should shift to some other hut.
Sungu : Aha! That looks funny. We don’t do him any harm. We are such simple people. We’ll be good neighbours for life.
Dungu : That’s true. But he says he can’t put up with the smell of our fish.
Sungu : Oh, I see. Then we must teach him a lesson. He does very little work and takes pride in drawing a very high salary. We toil all day for a few rupees. And he can’t put up with our smell !. Call yourself a professor? We’ll teach you a lesson.
Dungu : Alas! Isn’t it taking a risk? I just don’t understand.How are you going to teach him a lesson? It’s neither possible nor any good.
Sungu : Listen. He has given us ten thousand rupees each to change our huts. We’ll do it this way. I will get into your hut and you into mine. Is that OK?
Dungu : Vow! What a marvellous idea!

(They move into each other’s hut)

SCENE 4 – Damaz calls the fish – mongers down


Damaz : Oh! What a foul smell?
The same huts!
The same beggars!
The same stench again!
I must teach them a lesson.
They don’t know who I am.
Dungu! Dungu!!

(Dungu enters with Sungu)

Sungu : Good morning, sir.
Damaz : You’ve cheated me!
Sungu : Cheated you?
Damaz : Yes. I’ve been defrauded.
Sungu : Defrauded?
Damaz : Burglars! Swindlers!
Sungu : Burglars! Swindlers! You call us burglars? You were alright until I saw you last. What happened, sir?
Damaz : I gave you ten thousand rupees each. And you said you’d change your huts..
Sungu : Yes, sir. We’ve changed our huts. We’ve moved into each other’s hut.
Damaz : Oh! What a fool I am! How cleverly they’ve tricked me! I feel like such an idiot. I can’t live here any longer. I must leave here immediately.

(Damaz runs away with a travel bag.)


Damaz! Poor Damaz! You are born to live here. You must learn to live well. Do you know the secret of living well? Do you know the secret of living every moment in its fullness? Accept, understand and love everybody. You will live every moment in its fullness.

“Love Everybody To Live Every Moment.”

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