Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Romeo Juliet

V Meera

With due apologies to William: a feministic interpretation of Romeo and Juliet

Dramatis Personae (people in the play!)

Romeo- a weak, undernourished boy of twenty whose only occupation is to ogle at passing ladies from his balcony window.

Juliet_ an able bodied, athletic young woman of about 18, who is an expert at Taekwando (a martial art) and who believes she was Xena the Warrior Princess in her former life.

Rest of the cast - immaterial.

The Prologue: (the story in brief)

Two households, both alike in dignity
In fair Verona where we lay our scene
Some petty quarrels and ruthless envy over Onida TV
Spills a lot of civil blood
Which makes it easy to sell
Ariel Microsystem (with extra stain removing power)
A pair of star-crossed lovers try to elope
But a lazy cow prevents their flight
They are caught in the traffic and
That very cow blocks their Maruti Esteem
When poor Romeo tries to move away the cow from
their path,
He succeeds, but is mowed to death by a buffalo,
Who suspected Romeo of attempting to hit on his wife.
A tragic end to a tragic tale.

Voila! A scene from the play. A not so tragic scene though. The balcony meeting of the lovers.

Act 2 Scene 2

There’s Romeo up in the balcony, sighing in deep distress for his ladylove. Juliet hides still amongst the bushes and chances to see Romeo moaning in a lighted window above.

A conversation follows, thus.

Romeo: O Juliet, Juliet! Wherefore art thou Juliet? Deny thy father and refuse thy name,
Or if you will be only my love, I swear I’ll change my name.

Juliet (aside): Hmm, shall I hear more, or shall I hear the bugger speak some more?

It’s your name that is my enemy
You are you, even without a name
What is Juliet anyway? It is nor hand nor foot
Nor arm nor face nor any other part of the body
Belonging to a woman
O be some other name
What’s in a name anyway? Oh how I gladly would be yours if only you were called Karupayee or even Rambha or Urvashi..
A rose, by any other name would smell as sweet (although that might not hold good for things that don’t smell so good anyway!)
So Juliet, if you were not called Juliet, you will still retain that perfection you own without a name
Juliet, drop thy name which is not as good as the rest of your body
And take me!

Juliet: (emerging from the bushes, unable to take it any more)

I take thee at thy word
Call me your love
And I shall be baptized again
I shall be Rambha or Menaka or Silk Smitha,
Anything you say.
If only you call me your love.
(anything but Monica Lewinsky, though!)
I shall never be Juliet again. (sighs contentedly)

And the couple embrace.

Scene shifts to the famous Venkateshwara temple at Tirupathi where Juliet ties the sacred Mangal Suthra around Romeo’s neck. The marriage has been consecrated. (At the background are heard some arguments about settlement in case of divorce but they fade away in the din of the mridangam and guitar)

The End. (for now).


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