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[GRANDFATHER near the door of the Pleasure House. A Company of
GRANDFATHER. Have you had enough of it, friends?
FIRST MAN. Oh, more than that, Grandpa. Just see, they have
made me red all over. None has escaped.
[Author's note: During the spring festival in India people throw
red powder on each other. In this play this red powder has been
taken to be the symbol of the passion of love.]
GRANDFATHER. No? Did they throw the red dust on the Kings too?
SECOND MAN. But who could approach them? They were all secure
inside the enclosures.
GRANDFATHER. So they have escaped you! Could you not throw the
least bit of colour on them? You should have forced your way
THIRD MAN. My dear old man, they have a different sort of red
specially to themselves. Their eyes are red: the turbans of
their guards and retinue are red too. And the latter flourished
their swords about so much that a little more nearness on our
part would have meant a lavish display of the fundamental red
GRANDFATHER. Well done, friends--always keep them at a distance.
They are the exiles of the Earth--and we have got to keep them
THIRD MAN. I am going home, Grandpa; it is past midnight.[Goes
[Enter a BAND of SINGERS, singing.]
All blacks and whites have lost their distinction
And have become red--red as the tinge of your feet.
Red is my bodice and red are my dreams,
My heart sways and trembles like a red lotus.
GRANDFATHER. Excellent, my friends, splendid! So you had a
really enjoyable time!
SINGERS. Oh, grand! Everything was red, red! Only the moon in
the sky gave us the slip--it remained white.
GRANDFATHER. He only looks so innocent from the outside. If you
had only taken off his white disguise, you would have seen his
trickery. I have been watching what red colours he is throwing
on the Earth to-night. And yet, fancy his remaining white and
colourless all the while!
With you is my game, love, my love!
My heart is mad, it will never own defeat,
Do you think you will escape stainless yourself reddening me
with red powder?
Could I not colour your robe with the red pollens of the
blossom of my heart?
[They go out.]
[Enter the "KING" and KANCHI.]
KANCHI. You must do exactly as I have told you. Let there be no
mistake of any kind.
"KING". There shall be no mistake.
KANCHI. The Queen Sudarshana's mansions are in the ...
"KING". Yes, sire, I have seen the place well.
KANCHI. What you have got to do is to set fire to the garden,
and then you will take advantage of the bustle and confusion to
accomplish your object straightway.
"KING". I shall remember.
KANCHI. Look here, Sir Pretender, I cannot help thinking that a
needless fear is troubling us--there is really no King in this
"KING". My sole aim is to rid this country of this anarchy. Your
common man cannot live without a King, whether a real one or a
fraud! Anarchy is always a source of danger.
KANCHI. Pious benefactor of the people, your wonderful self-
sacrifice should really be an example to all of us. I am
thinking of doing this extraordinary service to the people
myself. [They go out.]
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