To start from the first scene, click here.
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Note: In celebration of women’s month, I decided to post this play that I wrote when I was in second year high school. My groupmates helped me come up with ideas, but I was the one who was largely responsible for the conceptualization of the story and the writing of the script. In this play, I talk about two sisters who are awoken to the plight of women and are moved to fight oppression. I also slightly touch upon the issue of honor killings, specifically how raped women (usually in the Middle East) are killed because they have brought “dishonor” to their family. Our group was assigned to write about Pakistan, but in this script, I changed the name of the country into a fictional country because the depiction of this world is not an accurate depiction of Pakistan. I also changed “Allah” to “Azlah” because the god described in this story and the religious practices depicted are not accurate depictions of the Muslim faith.
Back in the house of Najiya, it is already morning. The family is about to eat breakfast. There is a small table in the middle of the room. The table is surrounded by large pillows that function as seats. Mother is seated at the right side of the table. The General Najiya is seated at the left side of the table. Anwaar and Fareda are seated on the seats at the center of the stage which are farthest from the audience. They both look tired and sleepy. Fareda is resting her head on Anwaar’s shoulder. The three servants enter bringing the breakfast. After serving the family, the servants will stand at the back of Anwaar and Fareda.
General Najiya: It’s a lovely morning, but both of you look so horrible. It’s as if you didn’t sleep last night.
Fareda: (says without thinking.) That’s because we went out.
General Najiya: Out? You went out during the night?
Anwaar: Out the garden, father. That’s what Fareda meant. Silly girl, she doesn’t complete her sentences.
General Najiya: So why did you go to the garden?
Anwaar: Oh, we were just feeling nostalgic. I mean, Fareda is already of age, and eventually she’ll get married.
Fareda: I’ll be what?
(Fareda is outraged. Anwaar looks at her mother to avoid Fareda’s furious eyes.)
Anwaar: And I feel sad because I don’t want to lose a sister.
Mother: Yes dear, I quite understand.
(Mother gives her cup to the servants and the rest follow suit. The servants clear the table.)
Mother: Unfortunately, we can’t stay to chat. Your father and I have to go to the king’s palace. He has an important business to attend to. So, farewell, my sweets.
Anwaar and Fareda: Farewell, father. Farewell, mother.
(Mother and General Najiya exit.)
Anwaar: What were you thinking, Fareda? Why did you say that we went out? You know sometimes I think carelessness is but inherent in your nature.
Fareda: I’m sorry. I was just…as you said…not thinking. I’ll be more careful next time. I promise. Anyway, I was just wondering—
Anwaar: Yes, me too. What could this important business be about? Why is mother a part of it?
Fareda: She won’t actually be a part of it. I bet she’ll just be sent to another room with all the other wives of the men who are attending the meeting. The wives are as if brought there for decorative purposes.
Anwaar: How do you know this?
Fareda: It’s a skill called eavesdropping. But I wasn’t pertaining to that. I was actually thinking of giving you writing lessons so that you can continue my work. I’ve compiled a great number of books—
Anwaar: No, Fareda. I’m willing to protect you, but anything beyond that is no longer within my responsibility.
Fareda: Fine. I just thought I’d try.
Anwaar: Next time, don’t bother.
(Lights out. They exit.)
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Age of the Diary by Jasmine T. Cruz. If you like this post, please subscribe to this blog. Follow Ja on Twitter: ageofthediary. Email Ja at: email@example.com.