The Quarrel - ZorbaBooks

The Quarrel

Scene 16

[Blood flowed down Sahir’s forehead, and it was evident he was in pain. AD rushed towards him, placed his handkerchief to stop the blood flow, and helped him to stand again].

Sahir: (Holding the handkerchief tight), I am fine, Advik.

AD: (Leaving him) You should have some potions or these people’s medicines, or else you will fall sick.

Laila: (Not interested) Yeah, yeah, whatever. Now tell us what you learned from Chetan, dear.

Sahir: (Holding his forehead with the handkerchief, sat on a rock and said) Things do not look right there. Chetan seems to be planning something, and I suspect it is not a very good thing, dear. Also, he has bribed many members of the Council. They treat him incredibly well, and not to mention they are evil.

Ruya: (Throwing a stone in the lake’s water) This means they will also work for Tamas.

Laila: (Sarcastic) Fantastic, and here, Sitara is all dramatic and making a fuss.

AD: Laila, we all know Sitara is a sensitive girl. We lied to him, and I do not know if she can forgive us all.

Laila: I cannot apologize to a teenage girl. (Looking at Sahir) One person spoiled her enough and made our task tough.

Sahir: (looking at Laila) Thanks, Laila. But please listen to me carefully (looking at others), even you, Advik, and Ruya. No matter what, I will be there with Sitara.

[There prevailed a silence for some time, and everyone remained quiet while absent-mindedly Sahir played with his wand. Advik now took a stand with firm command].

Advik: You mean to say if she disagrees to fight Tamas, to be a part of us, you will support her fuss.

Sahir: I do not think she is making any fuss. Moreover, she has the right to choose. Even if that means we lose. (Looking at Laila) Also, if we cannot have faith in a teenager, we can never accept that she is our savior.

Ruya: But Sahir, we will be doomed if we do not have Sitara.

Sahir: I do not think so, Ruya. Our coven has fought Tamas before. I know we are now corrupt more, but think about the Rooh, seven hundred fought two thousand, and all can’t be mere folklore. Without Sitara, too, we can give a fight to Tamas. If not anyone, I believe in us!

Laila: (Smirking) “Us!” Did you use the word “Us?” Sahir, you must remember that if Sitara denies being a part of us, you can never face Tamas. Believe it or not, if this happens, forget about the war. It is you first who will get doomed forever. 

[A silence again prevailed. Sahir’s eyes burned like fire in hell. He took a step forward and looked straight into Laila’s bloodshot eyes. Ruya now intervened and put them aside].

Ruya: OK, seize fire.  

Sahir: (Stepping back) Thank you, Laila, you think so much for me and Sitara. But it will be better if you mind your business. It will give me less stress. (Saying this, Sahir left).

AD: Ruya, please, try to convince Sitara.

Ruya: I will try my best. God will handle the rest.

AD: That will do.

Ruya: Fine, see you. (Ruya went away. Laila tried doing the same when she found AD on his way).

Laila: (Looking at Advik) I thought you have a good character.

AD: (Sighs helplessly) And you lack a sense of humor. But I do not want to argue with you. 

Laila: At least you have a presence of mind, like a few.

AD: Laila, I want to discuss a serious matter. Can we concentrate here? (Laila smirked) Yesterday night you were playing the flute melodiously. I was listening to it silently.

Laila: (looking directly into AD’s eyes) You were invading my privacy?

AD: Not intentionally. Listen to me, Laila. I mean no harm to you, you know that, na?

Laila: I do not know anything, AD. Say whatever you have to say quickly.

AD: Laila, you are a vampire. You have the hypnotic power. But that does not lie in your eyes. Your music can hypnotize.

Laila: If you want me to play the role of a Pisachini. I am out of it.

AD: You think a lot more than required, Laila. Currently, I am concerned only about Sitara. 

Laila: I care a damn about your position, so don’t give me orders.

AD: But you can give me favors. (Smirks) Laila, I want you to hypnotize someone (pauses) secretly. You will report me and only me. No one should know about this. Get it, miss?

Laila: Why do you think I will do what you say?

AD: Laila, you are not working with us without any reason, and I can vouch for that fact any day. So, stop acting smart, my lady. Do as I say because I ask this officially.

Laila: Tell me, how can I serve you, my master?

AD: OK, let’s discuss this matter. I do not know if Sitara will agree to come with us. But I want us to be ready for Tamas.

Laila: Do you want me to hypnotize that man?

AD: No, that is not my plan. 

[AD and Laila talked for some time, and Laila left the place after a while].

AD: I will not let you win this time. Tamas, I have lost Mohini and Sahr Bhai for you, and I will not forgive you for your crimes. Today Sahir is suffering only for your wrongdoings. Young Sitara has lost her parents because of you. You will have to pay the price too. You may have won last time, but Tamas, time is wicked, darling. This time, you will lose everything. As for my family, and Chetan, you have chosen the wrong man. He looks strong, but he will not be very loyal long. Tamas, you will pray your price. This time you will not survive.

[Rage was evident in AD’s eyes, and the forest can always find the hidden feelings that he disguise. But the forest did not look surprised. This rage is old enough. This rage has made AD tough]. 


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Sanjana Guha