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“The Unfulfilled Dream” – Online Scene and Dialogue Challenge – 2017

I undertook this “Online Scene and Dialogue Challenge” in the year 2017, as part of a writers program. The word-limit set for this was a minimum of 3&1/2 pages and 535 words, and a maximum of 6&1/2 pages and 975 words. Well, I was not been selected for the writer’s program but in fact, it was a great learning experience.

Note: The premise of the scene and dialogue was provided by the company itself to the applicants, who have to write an emotionally complex scene and dialogues thereby. For copyright reasons, the premise is not being published here.

So, here are the scene and dialogues –

The Scene:

FADE IN.

INT. UDAIPUR – HOTEL ROYAL TREAT – ROOM NUMBER 503 – DAY

The Hotel ROOM is well-equipped with all the modern amenities, while the antique furniture and the chandelier give it a royal touch.

ANANYA SINGH (21), sitting in a loosely fit tee-shirt and pajama, beside the window facing the street, in her parent’s hotel room, capturing a video of the random activities going on the street.

Ananya’s father, SURENDRA SINGH (56), pretending to read the newspaper while watching her daughter from the corner of his eyes and thinking about how to initiate the conversation.

 

SURENDRA

(initiating the conversation)

Wasn’t marrying Tom Cruise

your childhood dream too?

ANANYA

 (disinterestedly)

And your’s? Actress Madhubala,

right?

SURENDRA

(angrily)

I didn’t spoil my life running

after some crap childhood dream…

ANANYA

(confidently)

It’s a well thought out decision!

SURENDRA

(cynically)

Remember you said the same thing

when you decided to live-in with

that Rascal NAVEEN?

ANANYA

(fuming)

As if, you never made any wrong

decision…

SURENDRA

(staring her)

I surely did…One such wrong

decision is, in fact, sitting

in front of me, right now.

ANANYA

(annoyingly)

Sigh! The older generation can

never digest differences in opinion.

(beat)

Anyway, I got to go, have some

urgent work down there…

SURENDRA

 (commandingly)

Wait…I haven’t finished yet…

ANANYA

(rushing towards the door)

Later Dad…

Ananya rushes out of the room and reaches the LIFT in a couple of seconds, while Surendra shifts his gaze out of the window.

 

EXT. – OUTSIDE HOTEL – BUSY COMMERCIAL STREET – A MINUTE LATER

Ananya walks confidently towards the Traffic Police Inspector Shambhu Yadav (47) standing under the shadow of the banyan tree, while the street vendors shouting at the top of their lungs, to attract the customers…

ANANYA

(clearing her throat)

Hi! I am Ananya, a journalist.

SHAMBHU

(chewing the tobacco)

Hmm…

ANANYA

(faking confidence)

I want to record your views on

bribery for my news article…

SHAMBHU

(spitting the tobacco)

Ah! Which channel? Wait lemme

comb my hair…

ANANYA

(adjusting her mobile camera)

Oh! You are looking smart

and presentable…

SHAMBHU

(blushing)

ALWAYS!

ANANYA

(ignoring his remark)

What do you think about bribery?

SHAMBHU

(fixing his gaze on the mobile)

Well, it’s definitely a curse

and all those who take or give

bribe should be put behind the

bars, without fail.

ANANYA

(cynically)

Do you practice what you preach?

SHAMBHU

 (faking a smile)

Yes…And now excuse me, I have

to resume my duty…

ANANYA

(speaking LOUDLY)

YOU WILL REGRET IF YOU LEAVE…

SHAMBHU

(fuming)

WHAT?

ANANYA

 (handing over her mobile)

Enjoy this video…

 

After seeing the video, Shambhu laughs nervously, keeping her mobile in his pocket.

 

ANANYA

(hiding her nervousness)

FYI…a copy of this video is

saved on my laptop too.

SHAMBHU

(handing over her mobile back)

Please take all the money I have.

ANANYA

(raising her chin)

Return this back to where it

belongs and promise that you

won’t repeat it…ELSE…

SHAMBHU

(begging)

I Promise…but please delete

this video, else my job…

ANANYA

 (shouting)

GO AND RETURN THE MONEY,

RIGHT AWAY…

 

INT. HOTEL ROYAL TREAT – ROOM NUMBER 503 – A MINUTE LATER

Although, Surendra could not hear the conversation, however, he witnessed the whole drama from the window…

SURENDRA

(inquisitively)

Did you force that inspector

into some philanthropy work?

ANANYA

(passing on her mobile)

More of his philanthropic work

is available in this video…

SURENDRA

(grinning)

Thankfully, now you realize that

it is one of the most corrupt

departments.

ANANYA

(irritatingly)

Dad, not again…we are on a holiday,

“in case you don’t remember”.

SURENDRA

(sipping tea)

Are we?

 

PREETI SINGH (49), Ananya’s mother steps out of the bathroom, after a long shower.

PREETI

(surprisingly)

You guys are still fighting?

ANANYA

(pointed)

Ask that to your husband, who

claims me to be his mistake…

PREETI

 (kidding)

Don’t mind his words;

He is turning cranky…

    Aging effect, you know…

ANANYA

(joyously)

You are the best mother

in the world…Love you, Mom!

SURENDRA

(pretending to be annoyed)

Yeah, Yeah! And I am the worst

dad and husband in the world…

Both Ananya and Preeti screams – Not world, but UNIVERSE…

(All three, burst out laughing)

ANANYA

(hurryingly)

Let’s get ready, we have to

leave for sightseeing in some time.

EXT. FATEH SAGAR LAKE – AFTERNOON – LATER

In spite of a hot sunny day, the cold breeze flowing around the lake and the waves running on top of the water makes the whole ambience so relaxing that one can easily get drowned in the captivating beauty of Fateh Sagar Lake.

Preeti and Ananya walk slowly alongside the Lake.

Surendra arrives in some time, with hot corns…

SURENDRA

(pointed)

You girls mind taking away

some load from my hands…

PREETI

(jokingly)

Awe! My poor hubby, can’t even

handle three hot corns, is it?

ANANYA

 (takes a bite)

Super hot and yummy

PREETI

(flirtingly)

Ummm, indeed your choice is best,

Mr. Husband.

ANANYA

(pulling their leg)

Ahem! Ahem!

The lovebirds need privacy?

SURENDRA

(timidly)

Shut Up! We need to talk Ananya

ANANYA

(pretending to request)

Noooooo Dad…

let me enjoy pleaseeee…

SURENDRA

(ignoring her reply)

I am all ears…

ANANYA

 (breaking the silence

after a few minutes)

I want to live and accomplish the

unfulfilled dream of ANAND…

Convinced?

SURENDRA

(pleadingly)

Ananya, we don’t have any more

strength left…

ANANYA

(with a heavy heart)

Me and ANAND SINGH (23) were more

like friends than brother and sister.

Not a single day has passed when

I didn’t miss him…

SURENDRA

(apprehensively)

Still, you want to join the same

police force, which actually…

ANANYA

(chokingly)

…Anand’s last post on Facebook was –

“I wish to leave behind the footprints,

which others shall follow and succeed”.

All three sits silently on the bench, witnessing the sun taking shelter behind the hill…maybe it needs to take some rest before it rises and shines again.

FADE OUT.

Peyush Jain

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