Scene 3

(Place: Deshabandhu’s palace in Heaven. Time: Twelve noon. Deshabandhu and Pandit Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru’s father and Deshabandhu’s great admirer, are conversing.)

MOTILAL: At long last our beloved Mother India has gained her independence! All her stupendous efforts have finally been crowned with success!

DESHABANDHU: Yes, I have heard that breathtaking news, my dear friend, and also I have heard that your son, Jawaharlal, has become our Prime Minister. I am so happy that he has emerged as a star of unparalleled brilliance in the firmament of India.

MOTILAL: This is due to your blessings, Deshabandhu, and the blessings of all those who truly love our Mother India.

DESHABANDHU: But alas, dear Motilal, Bengal’s fate is excruciating! Our green-gold Bengal has now become a black cremation-ground. Not a single leader has sprung forth from her sacred heart to bear the responsibility of our Motherland. But, my friend, you can be truly proud of your most illustrious Jawaharlal.

MOTILAL: Deshabandhu, what about your mind-begotten son, Subhas? Subhas has conquered the heartbeat and life-breath of each and every Indian soul. Without a shadow of doubt, Subhas’ place in the chronicle of our Mother India’s ageless life is infinitely higher than my son’s!

DESHABANDHU: Alas, I had so much hope in my Subhas and in the others. One by one, untimely, they left Mother Bengal; they deserted her. They, too, have now come to Heaven without liberating Bengal, and our Mother is helplessly drowning in a sea of tears and blood.

(Enter a certain Vaishnava, like Deshabandhu a devotee of Vishnu.)

DESHABANDHU: I am so happy that you have come to bless my abode.

VAISHNAVA: I have come to you for a ticket.

DESHABANDHU: What kind of ticket?

VAISHNAVA: I need a ticket to roam freely in Heaven, on earth, in the infernal region and throughout all planes of consciousness. This is all I need for the time being; afterwards I will need a different ticket from you.

MOTILAL: May I know your name?

VAISHNAVA: Certainly! But first tell me, will you give me the ticket? If not, why should I take the trouble of telling you my name? Would you not like to show me that your life’s generosity and your heart’s magnanimity far surpass Deshabandhu’s?

MOTILAL: What! How dare you compare my insignificant existence with his all-illumining life? Do you not know that I love him and adore him unreservedly? He kindly and compassionately showers his blessingful affection upon me and tells the world that I am his friend. Therefore, I had in mind to make a special request of Deshabandhu on your behalf to grant you the ticket that you need.

VAISHNAVA: You have to make a request of Deshabandhu? Am I at the right place? Am I standing before the right person? Is this not the abode of Deshabandhu? Perhaps it is not! In that case, I am leaving!

MOTILAL: Stop, Venerable Vaishnava — stop! This is Deshabandhu himself (pointing to Deshabandhu.) Stop! Do not go away! Please, do not go away!

VAISHNAVA: All right, now I can tell you my name, but in abbreviated form. I am shortening it considerably: One Thousand Eight Sri Tribuban Das Ghana Shyama Sri Krishna Charan Bharasha Prasadananda Das.

DESHABANDHU: This is your abridged name? Is it your hard-earned name, or have you inherited such a splendid name?

(Deshabandhu and Motilal burst into wild laughter.)

VAISHNAVA: This is my hard-earned name! I earned it! My parents gave me the name Shibu. Now tell me, what about my ticket?

(Enter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Deshapriya.)

VAISHNAVA: What is this nonsense? What is this absurdity? Why are they coming here? Please, please fulfil my desire first, before you speak to them! (To Subhas and Deshapriya.) Please, please wait a little! Let Deshabandhu fulfil my desire first by granting me my ticket. I am sure you, too, have come here to ask for something.

DESHAPRIYA (to Deshabandhu): I have brought Subhas here to offer his devoted obeisance to you, Deshabandhu. Ah, I see Nehru here! Pranam, pranam! I bow to you, I salute you!

MOTILAL: Subhas is here? Our leader is here?

(He stands up and embraces Subhas.)

VAISHNAVA: Alas, these friends of yours are ruining my request! I shall be here again tomorrow.

(Exit Vaishnava.)

DESHABANDHU: Subhas, you too have come back? What will our Mother Bengal do now? Like us, you, too, have deserted Mother Bengal?

NETAJI: It is you, Deshabandhu, who can save our Bengal from untold and unspeakable atrocities. Once more Bengal needs your immediate pinnacle-leadership! We implore your express arrival! Once more we shall be your unwavering soldiers. At every moment we shall obey your infallible command lovingly, faithfully and self-givingly.

DESHABANDHU: Come, let us go! We shall go first to East Bengal, which they now call East Pakistan. We shall save our Mother Bengal from the ruthless torture of division-night. Come, my Subhas! Come, Jatin! You two remain always with me. If you two are with me, then there is nothing that I will not be able to accomplish for our Mother Bengal.

(The song Janani Chatrala is heard. With adamantine will, all three hero-souls descend from Heaven to their beloved Bengal. Exeunt omnes.)

(The song Bharat Amar concludes the play.)