Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Sound Of Music - 4

ACT 4. Scene 1.
INTERIOR . The von Trapp residence . Captain von Trapp has thrown a big party. The  Trapp children have been performing non-stop. Highlights include The Lonely Goatherd puppet show. The guests , who are already no fans of the von Trapps’ penchant for song and singing , are beginjning to look very apprehensive , especially  as there has been no sign of any refreshments

GUEST 1 : “ I think it’s about time those kids went to bed”
GUEST1’s WIFE (embarrassed) : “ Helmut ! Er , Captain , he meant the children must be tired . ."
GUEST 2: “ I say , how about turning off the music and turning on some grub ?”

ACT 4. Scene 2.
INTERIOR . Same party. Maria runs into the Captain’s ex- fiancée , the Baroness.

MARIA : “ I didn’t think I’d find you here after your break up.”
BARONESS : “Thank heavens for that break up ! Another song and my heels would have died from the sound of music ” (Eyes her sharply) “I imagine you are quite keen on him though . . .”
MARIA : “ Not really - but he could get me to Ibiza I suppose. Oh, I don’t know , It’s all so confusing”
BARONESS : “ Have a snort, that should clear your head”
MARIA : “ Can you give me some ?”
BARONESS : “ Absolutely not ! Are you crazy ? Go bum somewhere else”

ACT 4. Scene 3.
INTERIOR . Same party. Maria dances with Captain von Trapp. There’s a definite romantic tension in the air as they dance close , holding each other and  looking deep into each other’s eyes.
CAPTAIN (sings softly) : “Maria , Maria ….”
MARIA : “ Look Captain , if there is to be any possibility between us , you MUST stop singing.”
CAPTAIN (surprised , but recovers) : “ And then you’ll be mine …?”
MARIA : “ If you take me to Ibiza…”
GUEST 2 (butts into the frame) : “ Er , about that grub , if it’s not going to be ready soon ....?"

ACT 4. Scene 4. 
Same party. The children are finally about to end their performance with a last one. 

“So Long Farewell , I Hate To Say Adieu
To you , and you , and you and you and you
Goodbye , goodbye , goodbye”
GUEST 3 : “ Goodbye ? Good riddance is more like it !”
GUEST 4 : “ Well , we don’t hate to say it at all : adieu. And no further ado please”
GUEST 5: “ Yeah , what a miserable do . . .”
GUEST 6 : “ Mein Gott ! Enough already. I’d climb every mountain to get away from here”

(to be continued)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Sound Of Music - 3

Act 3.Scene 1.
 EXTERIOR . Some time later. Maria has kind of settled in  now. We come in to a picturesque Alpine meadow where Maria has taken the children out for a picnic. She has just taught them Do-Re-Me.

MARIA : “ Kids, you need to go beyond Doe A Deer. Can you tell me what a male deer is called ?”
KID 1 (uncertainly) : “ Father …? He is a dear . ”
MARIA (mutters) : “ Don’t bet on it” ; (aloud) : “ Buck ! A male deer is a buck .”
KID 2 : “ And what’s Me ?”
MARIA (mutters under gritted teeth) : “ God give me patience”

Act 3. Scene 2.
INTERIOR.  Library of the von Trapps villa later that evening. The light from the fireplace lends a soft romantic glow. Captain von Trapp is strumming his guitar and humming a tune. MARIA walks in

MARIA : “ Good evening , Captain. I hope you’ve had a pleasant day. I took the children out for a picnic this morning . Taught them a song. It was a fine outing ”
CAPTAIN (distractedly) : “ Good. Good . . . ”
MARIA : “ What’s the matter Captain von Trapp ? Don’t you feel well ?”
CAPTAIN (after a pause) : “ Well , for starters Hollywood has typecast me in this mould , so I can’t seem to get any new roles. For another , it appears Herr Furher hates my music and his people are out to get me. And finally , my fiancée the Baroness has left me. She said she couldn’t stand my singing any more . Said she especially hated Edelweiss. Said she thought me sissy for singing it.”
MARIA (suppressing a giggle) : “ Oh dear , why do you persist with singing it then Captain ?”
CAPTAIN : “ I am addicted to it. My therapist says its Obsessive – Compulsive something "

MARIA looks set to leave the room , then apparently has an afterthought

MARIA (sheepishly) : “ Er , by the way , Captain ? This morning , I had to teach the children not only a song but also word-meanings. That will be three hours of extra wages of course”

Maria walks out.

We exit with the Captain singing Edelweiss to his guitar

" 'Edelweiss' , 'Edelweiss'
Every morning you greet me
Small and light, mushy and trite
How'd ya make it to Top Twenty ?

Blossom of snow , well may you bloom and grow
But outgrow this flick i seem to never

'Edelweiss' , ' Edelweiss'
Blast this darned song forever !


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Sound Of Music - 2

Act 2. Scene 1
EXT. The von Trapp villa.Maria has just arrived inside the gates. She is smoking a cigarette while walking down the drive. She surveys the place. Doesn't look impressed. Reaches the door , stubs out her cigarette on the ground and rings the bell.

BUTLER : " Hello ! You look familiar". (Examines her) "I think I've seen you in the movies. Aren't you the girl from Sound Of Music ?"
MARIA (ignores him) : " Is the Captain in ?"
BUTLER (ignores her) : " Why , yes you are ! Look, couldn't you have kept the singing down in that movie ? We're already upto our necks with that sort of thing living with the von Trapps"
MARIA (disdainfully) : " The Captain , my good man !"
BUTLER : " Go try your luck , lady. He is in the parlour with the children. (winces) Singing as usual,the lot of them"

Act 2. Scene 2
INT. The von Trapp parlour. Captain von Trapp and his children are happily and completely engrossed in their singing . Electronica-hardened , wild party chick Maria does not look too amused with these scenes of cosy domestic harmony. Then finally , and at long last , the Captain notices her.

CAPTAIN (in singsong) : " Ah ! You must be Mariaaaa , from the Abbeyyyyy . . .welcooome !"
MARIA (coolly) : " Thank you , Captain . But i wish you didn't sing at me. Why this obsession ?"
CAPTAIN (draws himself up all solemn) : " The man that hath no music in himself , Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds , Is fit for treasons , stratagems and spoils."
MARIA : " What the hell was that ?"
CAPTAIN : " Shakespeare"
MARIA : " Well , it doesn't shake me"

Abruptly turns around to face the camera and bursts into " I HAVE CONFIDENCE"

MARIA sings :
" What will this day be like I wonder.
What will my future be I wonder.
It would be so exciting to be out in Ibiza, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
But, here I am , all at sea.

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
But this is such a stupid venture
That’s why am I so scared

A captain with seven children
What’s more loathsome than that ?

But let them bring on all their damn music
They’ll see I’m their Grand Czaritsa
I have confidence that I’m gonna hit Ibiza
I'll make them see I have confidence in me "


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Sound Of Music - 1

Act 1. Scene 1.
Background song : "The hills are alive with the sound of music . . ."

MARIA (Sullen): " The hell they are . . ."

Act 1. Scene 2. 
The nuns confer.

NUNS (together) : " How do you solve the problem of Maria ?"
SENIOR NUN brandishes a whip : " Now this is one solution" (licks her lips)
MOTHER SUPERIOR (sharply) : " Now , now , none of that please ! The Holy See will not have it. We already have a lot of bad press with that sort of thing"
MOTHER SUPERIOR suddenly smiles : " Hmmm, i have an idea . . . "

Act 1. Scene 3.
Maria with Mother Superior.

MOTHER SUPERIOR : " My dear child , have you much religious belief ?"
MARIA : " Are you kidding me ? I have nun."
MS : " Then go  my child , into the home of Capt. von Trapp and help him with his seven children."
MARIA : " Seven ! Why , the randy old goat ! However shall i manage it ?"
MS : " Language, Maria ! You will do just fine, don't you worry. The only slight difficulty might be that the Captain and his children are always singing. They are excessively addicted to song , especially Captain von Trapp. If you heard that soundtrack in the background a while ago , that was them at it again. You must get around that and teach them practical things -and the ways of the Lord"
MARIA : " So that's why The Sound Of Music. Alright then , i'll go ; though i doubt i'd be much use"
MS : " It'd be a job well done even if you can just get them to keep their von Trapps shut"


Monday, September 6, 2010

The misadventures of Sherlock Holmes – 7

"This reminds me of that fateful encounter with Prof. Moriarty", said Holmes staring vacantly at his iPad. It was a cold and gloomy morning and we had just concluded breakfast at our 221 B Baker Street lodgings. What had induced this comment was the singular case of the environment-fanatic who had caused much bloody turmoil within the premises of Discovery Channel.

" Yes Watson , the more i think about it ", continued Holmes " the more it . . . " . He let the sentence trail off the better apparently to pursue his own train of thought. He pushed the iPad aside, lit his pipe , closed his eyes - in short , exhibited all the signs of being immersed in deep contemplation.

I knew better. This remarkable - if recently wasted - man had taken to availing himself of rather more than the proverbial forty winks of slumber after Mrs Hudson's excellent ham , eggs and bacon each morning. I suspect the quantities of cocaine he consumed besides , unencumbered now by not having to aid the process of solving some of the most complex detective cases ever presented to man, did not much to help.

" Up , Holmes !" , i cried. For such laxity in matters of personal habit went against the very grain of both my personal belief and professional practice . Besides I had another , more selfish motive. Namely, to gather at last the missing threads that would bind that singular story pertaining to the end of Professor Moriarty's vile career such as Holmes had caused it into a seamless whole.

Such readers as may be advanced enough of years may remember the case which had caused such a public sensation that year. Professor Moriarty - Environment extremist , founder of Greenwar and as dark a black hearted villain as ever existed upon the face of this earth - had finally met his comeuppance at the altar of my friend Holmes' brilliance .

Moriarty had been promulgating a radical agenda pertaining to issues of the Environment , Sustainability and Non-Fossil Fuels- based Renewable Energy through his infamous Greenwar organisation. Most of his demands were of a singularly peculiar nature . To expatiate but a mere handful which springs readily to the mind , these included organic laptops, web browsers entirely green of colour , a blue whale as prime minister presiding over a cabinet comprising assorted fauna from the Amazonian rainforest , SUV's made of palm leaves and helicopters constructed from compost. He and his notorious organisation had wrought incalculable harm upon the civilized world with their many terror campaigns across it, all conducted under the cloak of anonymity.

Then Holmes by dint of deduction remarkable even by his exacting standards of those days traced Moriarty's whereabouts to a cybercafe in Cairo whence after the course of many a harrowing cat-and-mouse battle , the theatre of their war finally shifted to a climax in the Sahara desert. There - deep in the unforgiving desert , amidst the dire dunes ,witnessed by nary a living soul let alone live television - Holmes overpowerd the wretch into mortal submission in a legendary encounter.

But it was to be a legend that only the outlines were known of. Nobody ever received even partial possession of the details. Neither Scotland Yard nor I , his closest friend and confidant, knew them. I perceived this now to be an opportunity to be seized of the facts such as they were.

" Come , come ! It hardly befits a person of your standing to succumb to the temptations of indolence so early in the morning. Up Holmes and pray elaborate , sir , on what ensued in your final encounter with Moriarty. For it is about time the facts emerged from the murky depths of conjecture and up to the clear surface of truth !"

That Holmes awoke from his sedated reverie only after a prolonged interval of time bears but no labouring upon. Nor shall I elaborate upon the considerable quantum of effort i had to expend towards that end. I am sympathetic , dear reader, to the demands our Twitter updates places upon our time. Suffice it to say that I managed at last to produce some semblance of response from Holmes.

" Moriarty lured me to an especially confounded area of the desert" , said Holmes. " I was thirsty , Watson , with such thirst as only the unforgiving desert sun can bring on in man. And having drunk to the last drop what remained in my water bottle , I was in much trouble.

"My good Watson , you have always been kind enough to attribute the faculty of deductive reasoning to my undeserving person. I can not of course deny that Providence has indeed bestowed me with a modicum of this ability. And it is to these deductive powers that I turned now . I reasoned that the clump of coconut trees placed there could well be a source of the precious life saving fluid I was so severely in want of. So i took swift aim with my Colt revolver and fired lustily at them."

"But what astoundingly clever thinking , my dear fellow !" I ejaculated , marvelling again at his genius.

The emotion in Holmes' reply startled me. " It was a mirage , Watson, a mirage !" he cried " In reality there was not an inch of green in those infernal sands. To make matters worse , i had exhausted the last of my revolver bullets .
And then the hellhound accosted me. Moriarty was armed to the teeth with both gun and grenade. And there I was dehydrated and de-armed. It looked like the end was nigh , Watson - I was to be exterminated by a viper and a vermin then. I abjured my pride , sir , and pleaded with him to spare me. 

I pointed out that I too was a part of the planet he so wanted to save. I especially stressed upon my support for his position on global warming. (And what more appropriate a context in which to do so , I said). I swore to reduce my carbon footprint. I gave him my word that I'd switch to recycled products. I promised to be on more friendly terms with whales and dolphins. I professed my love for the endangered tiger. I expressed my deep sympathies with the extinct emu. All to no avail , Watson. 

The fiend was determined to finish me. He fired at me . Luckily , he missed. It is my considered advice now to those set upon going green with their guns to reconsider the use of recycled bullets. Then , he hurled a grenade at me. Again , it did not go off. Why ? My dear Watson , but it was solar powered and - as devices based on unentrenched technology often will - it malfunctioned. So there we were at last , both evenly unarmed. "

" Ah , so you overpowered him in direct body combat !" , i said.

Holmes appeared evasive: " Not precisely Watson , not precisely." He hesitated for a moment. "Truth be told Watson , I took to my heels and fled."

" What !" , i cried. I was stung by this revelation. Had we all got it wrong then ? " How did he die then , Holmes ? Out with it man ! Tell me for the sake of all that is honourable in this world !"

Holmes replied uncertainly : " A cosmic force of nature accounted for him. "

I could brook no further nonsense. " Come come Holmes ! Arrive directly at the point , sir" , I snapped.

A sheepish Holmes returned quietly : " He perished of sunstroke." 

Then he quickly added : " But it took me  not two moments to deduce the cause of his death, Watson "