Drama that brought the House down...

 -a humor story by gasper crasto - 26.10.2013

The story is inspired by events in Kuwait where Goan dramas are few and far between. The characters do not exist, except in the mind of the writer.
:::To bring down the house means to cause an audience to leap to its feet, breaking into applause:::

have been blessed with a wife who has shades of unimaginable excitement when it comes to watching Hindi movies, while I have been prone to falling asleep in the middle of one.

My passion in life has been watching sports and news on TV, and occasionally a good Konkani drama. 

When I heard the latest ‘suspense-drama’ was being staged in town, I was as delighted as ever and immediately decided to go for it. 

"I will buy 2 tickets for the 'Tiatr' coming up at the weekend.. They say it's a super-hit..!" I told my wife. 

Regrettably, she was not so excited as I was. If it was a Hindi film, I knew she would bounce like a frog.

“Do you have to watch every drama?” she questioned. She loved to grill my decisions like the local politicians grilling political issues in the house.

“Well.. am not a huge fan,” I said, but I like watching...You see, it’s a challenge to watch and understand what's going on...”

“They all have the same formula and the plots are so predictable. They get boring..” she sighed.

“Some are pretty well done, dear..,” I said,  “every ‘tiatr’ is always melodramatic, and I would say -- better quality too.. Matter of fact, all ‘tiatrs’ are appealing, they speak to the human heart..”

“Shhh..” she jumped, the yelling and crying, the needless flash-lights of their ‘scene-sceneries’.. .. and it’s getting a bit stale nowadays with the same actors and actresses..”

“I really wonder what you like to watch besides YouTube, Hindi movies and the ‘ending-less’ TV serials...” I questioned.

“The only drama I really loved was.., she said, although slightly hysterical, but with such delicious, historical depictions... I guess it was ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, Shakespeare’s drama that infact I read.. yeah,,, Cleopatra kills herself in the end.. So sad...”

“Hey.. you can’t relate Shakespeare to Konkani literature..., I countered, It’s unfair. Konkani directors with their dialogues  of ‘sunneachi shemddi’, ‘kavleache shirap’, and ‘morachim pakam’ can far out-beat the strange Shakespearean dialects of ‘Wilt thou be gone’; and, ‘arm from arm that voice doth fray’...”

“What’s new about Konkani dramas? Hmm? Tell me?” she asked, “it's like this.. First part is normal - just introducing people. After that, the story gets complicated and you have to be watching to know what's going on... I find Goan dramas are overly dramatic..”

“...that’s because Goan people are overly dramatic too..!” I laughed.

“So much for the sick criticism in songs that are just pushed in-between, and has no connection with the title-story.. And the acting....shhh.. can’t stand that..”

“Personally I think the acting is far superior than those crap Hindi stars that you adore...” I retorted.

She looked at me wide-eyed, “Stop! Please if you have no knowledge, don't speak..!.”

I smiled at her, “Okay.. okay..... You can see for yourself.. I’ll book the tickets, okay?” 

“They will come up with the DVD in a few months, why can’t you wait for that?” she questioned.

“It’ll take ages to come.. anyway, ‘tiatrs’ are meant to be watched on stage - ‘live’...” I had rehearsed the statement thoroughly. “All the guys will be discussing it, I don’t want to be left out..” 

It took me the entire week to convince her. Finally she agreed to go along. 


It was a ‘afternoon’ show. We had a quick tea and left for the hall. Although it was time, most people were still outside the hall, chatting. 

“I'll tell you the plot...” she began no sooner we had settled down in our seats. “The main actors will speak in my ‘lovely’ North-Goan accent, and there will be a couple of jerks speaking your Sastti South-Goan..”

“Well, this cannot be reverted, it’s become a trademark from the ages of dramas,” I said.

“I don’t think they are creative enough to come up with new concepts,
 she blasted, “almost all the comedians have South-Goan tongue. Never seen what I'd heard of Jacinto Vaz type calibres... They don't have it in them? Or the directors are out-of-date? Similarly, the Bardez actors can't speak Sastti..”

“Please don’t talk loudly.. The director might swap actors just to please you.. and end up making a mess of the whole drama..!”

“Nonsense..!” she sighed.

“On a serious note, I wish they could re-make what my grandfather termed as Konkani-stage master-pieces of his era such as ‘Revolta de Sattari’, ‘Dhormacho Bavtto’, ‘Almas de Otru Mundo’ and J.P. Souzalin’s ‘Panch Mister Orkache.’”

“Oh, you don't do what M. Boyer did in the last century...” she was in an agitated mood, Get new ideas. Watch movies, different language films. Learn new techniques. Konkani is not dead, yet their effort to kill it is admiring.. ..”

“..New ideas hmm?.., Think of it, I still can’t copy Remo’s takradum-takradum, can you?..” I giggled.

“Certainly, I don’t wanna see someone imitating Alfred Rose type ‘kantaram’ in this drama or trying to emulate Prince Jacob, or reproduce popular internet jokes.. ..Hope they have some dance and rock performance,.. and an Agatha Christie type ending..”

“Dance? You think this is a Filmfare Nite?” I laughed.


“I’d prefer Filmfare Nites for dramas any day.. I could meet all my favorite stars!”

“You know how much it costs to attend such shows? I asked, I can have a season-pass at Ravindra Bhavan for that much money -- my transportation and snacks included..

 “..Talk about songs, they copy desi, old-Konkani tunes, Hollywood tunes. Do they ever compose anything on their own?” she was all question marks.

“I must say you are a big-mouth.. Why don’t you do it for them if you are so capable...”

“Who are you to tell me that? They should impress me to say something nice. Unlike most people here I’ve not come on a ‘free pass'..”

An old ‘auntie’ on the other side of the aisle, eyed us and frowned as if to say she was not seating there ‘free’ either. I smiled at the old owl revealing our tickets that were still in my hand.

:::All stories are a work of fiction. No offense intended to any character mentioned in this story:::

“Just wait and see..” I turned to my wife, “The ticket-flyer says nobody should miss the opening chorus and the ending.. I must say we are right on dot..”

“That’s a con.. to get the audience in place, they don’t wanna begin the show with a few mosquitoes watching.., do they”

“Really? How do you know?” I asked.

“I’ve actually picked up all the ‘tiatr’ phrases, just from hearing them repeated over and over again.”

“I don’t want disturbance once the ‘tiatr’ begins! Okay?” I said, “Put off your cell-phone... I won’t budge when the show’s on, shall I get you some popcorn?.. Better no. I don't want you making that kroom-kroom sound when they have a serious scene...”

“No need of anything, we are having dinner out at the Punjabi restaurant after the show, aren’t we?” 

“Hmm? Who said that?” I looked at her. 


Just then, the band began a music instrumental with the drummer beating on the drums and ‘casatem’ to no ends. 

“This is probably a warm-up rehearsal,” I said stirring in my seat. “The curtains will open any moment now..”  

“Yeah???.., they will play again in 5 minutes.. The show will not start for another one hour. Shhh...you simply dragged me so early; I could have finished watching my serial at least...”

As if to prove her wrong, there was an announcement over the mike: “Chotrai. Ani thoddeach vellan ho ‘show’ ami suru kortat. Magtam je konn bhair asat tannim veginuch apli boska gheunk.”

Immediately, the band played again. The drums were even wilder than before; the drummer seemed as animated as the legendary drummer ‘Bondo’ to exhibit his skills and all the ‘utensils’ that were on display. 

“Didn’t I tell you?” she eyed me, visibly dejected with the repetition of another round of the ‘symphonic orchestra’. 

“You told me what..” I asked, knowing fully well what she was talking about.

Everyone’s eyes were on the curtains now. From nowhere, someone peeped his eyes through the centre of the curtains, probably to have a look at the audience or signal at the band. He closed the curtains as quietly as he had opened, almost unnoticed.

Soon, there was yet another announcement: “Magtam ‘hall’-achi ‘light off’ korunk. Anik donuch minutanim ho 'show' ami suru kortat.”

The lights went black and there was silence in the hall. I sat upright with excitement. 

“Did you lock the front door?” she asked with a start. I was sure atleast half the audience heard her.

The band played yet again, this time some sensible melody and the curtains finally opened.


“Did you lock the front door?” she asked again.

“.. Yes, I did..!” I said, agitated.

Somebody in the row in front of us said, “Shush..!”

Next I hoped she would not ask if I had locked the car or not. Then I began to wonder if I had.

“Why don’t they ‘shush’ the music, it’s so loud,” she murmured. I pressed her hand gently in a request for peace. 

In a few minutes I was engrossed in the song and music, tapping my feet to the beat. I had to admit the ‘opening chorus’ was a sensation. 

“Shh.. what a song!!!! Isn’t it exceptional?” I asked. 

She was unmoved.

“Why do they call it a ‘chorus’ when it’s sung by just one person?” she remarked in-between the song.

“I will ask the director and tell you later.. I gritted between my teeth, “now please zip your lip and watch!” 

The first 'pordho' was captivating. The actors were simply ‘natural’ and the dialogues spontaneous. 


I began to relax for the first time since we left home when she suddenly whispered in my ear, making me jump. It must have been years since she had done that. However, it was nothing remotely romantic. 

“I can’t remember if I turned off the gas after I finished making tea,” she said in a worried tone. “Did you check before we left, by any chance..?”

“No..!” I whispered back rather fiercely, “I didn’t. And please let me enjoy the drama without interruption..!”

“If the gas keeps running, it will burn the kettle.. I am afraid the gas-cylinder will catch fire and explode into flames...” she stopped and looked at me.  “Gosh.. the neighbors will wonder what’s happening.. Please go home and switch off the gas. It’s not too far..”

“It’s not too near either,” I protested. “I will miss the whole drama..”

“Is the drama more important?” she asked unmindful of the people glaring at us. 

“I don’t care if the whole place goes up in fire..” I said churning in my seat. The situation was so frustrating, I just wanted to stand up and weep. 

“Mummy,” said a child’s clear voice in the back row. “Uncle says there’s a fire here..”

A number of people took up the word ‘fire’ enthusiastically as if they were waiting for me to say it.

Abruptly it filled the hall, travelling to the very VIP rows in front. 

Everyone began to crane their neck in one direction or other to discover who the ‘uncle’ was, some people called for the ushers, and a few who did not believe in taking chances stood up and moved to the exit. 

Unexpectedly, I found myself getting more attention than Shah Rukh Khan did at IPL matches.

A middle-aged, thick-moustache man, who seemed disturbed by the fracas, turned around and stared at me – acting as if he was the ‘Chairman of Kala Academy’. 

“Where is the fire..!” he demanded.

“Sorry,” I said to him, “I was talking to my wife.... about our house..”

“Your house is on fire?” he asked, sounding rather harsh.

“No. It is not..!” I turned my attention back to the stage.

“Then, where is the fire?” he persisted.

I hastened to assure him there was no fire anywhere. He turned back grunting like a pig, evidently annoyed. 

There were angry murmurs all around.

“Oh God.. what will happen..” my wife groaned in whispers. Her mind was not at all in the hall now which was a pity. I was getting restless because of her.

“I will go home after the first ‘side-show’, can’t miss the comedy..” I whispered – more to myself than to her.

“Everything will be a pile of ashes by then..” she touched my hand and caressed, “Come-on, we can save a disaster..”

“Okay, you stay here, I will rush home and return in a jiffy..” I said stepping up into the aisle.

“Let me come along..” she tailed me as people goggled at us from all sides. I stumbled in the dark and rammed into a seat. Someone barked, “Ho ani konn re, kuddo..!”

I made to the exit, cautiously, while she tip-toed behind like a camel on ice. 

I was about to take a fresh breath of air when a man appeared from nowhere and said, “Patrao, ek CD ghe re!” 

The way I vanished from the scene must have made the man think I was escaping with some booty. 


The evening traffic was a crawl like a turtle. I tried my best to rush through, nearly dashing into a dozen cars in the process. 

She sat, staring ahead and murmuring, and praying for our safety, uttering words like ‘Watch out!!! Be careful.. Drive slow..l!!!’ which irritated me even more, to say the least.

Finally we were home and relieved to see there were no fire-brigades around.

“Go, run over and put it off.., what you’re waiting for?” I screamed no sooner I stopped the car.

“Come with me please, the fire must have reached the front door by now..!”

“I can’t see any smoke though.. Go now..!!!” I shouted.

“Please come.. am so scared,,!”

I had no choice. We opened the door anticipating an explosion of a supernova. However, the place was calm as a lake. 

“Where’s the fire,” I yelled reaching the kitchen. “...Madame Curie, the gas is off!”

“Can’t you see? The cylinder’s run out of gas! Thank God..!” she said clapping. 

“What a waste..!!! Yaa-la.. Let’s fly back and catch the drama..!”

“Save the drama for your mamma...Forget it..!!!,  Shh, I was so tense!!!..” she said throwing up her arms. “Well, the kettle is still steaming hot, I’ll make a cup of tea.. Okay?.. Let’s go and replace the cylinder after that, the spare one's empty too.. ! 

That sounded like the last ‘Pordho’ of the drama. Arguing with her at this stage would mean spending the next few days in Uganda or starve myself until I looked beautiful, and peacefully got the cylinder refilled. 

“Next time there’s a drama in town....” I wanted to roar in her ears saying that ‘I would go alone’.

She cut me short, “...Next time there’s a drama in town, we shall surely bring down the house!”


Newer Post Older Post Home