A Carrot of Some Consequence

A CARROT OF SOME CONSEQUENCE
—————————————————–
A short skit
by
Julian

Cast of Characters
Arpita woman about 50 years old .
Ranjan man about 50 years old . Husband of Arpita
Nikhil: boy about 14; Son of Ranjan and Arpita
Sanket: boy about 17. Brother of Nikhil
Kenneth: man about 35. Driver of jeep

Setting:
A fairly busy highway in an Indian town. About 4pm in the afternoon.

(AT RISE)
The family is in a car. ARPITA is driving. RANJAN is sitting in the front seat
balancing an artistically arranged tower of vegetables carved into geometric shapes.
At the top is a carrot with some decorative slits and at the bottom is a watermelon.
NIKHIL and SANKET are sitting in the back. Both are looking at their mobile
phones.

RANJAN I hope one of you remembered to close the gate. It’s not far, but anything
can happen…
SANKET (listless) Remind me again why we are going to this place… I’m going for
a movie with Vishal at six.
ARPITA You know how much Dada enjoys entering these vegetable-carving
competitions.
(To RANJAN, who is struggling to connect his mobile to the radio)
Honey, watch the carrot.
SANKET And why are WE going to this place?
(gestures to himself and Nikhil)
ARPITA Sanket! It’s important we do things together as a family.
SANKET (Sneezes) Bleh.
RANJAN (keeps his phone in his pocket, turns around)
Nikhil, stop fooling around with that, especially in a moving car. You’ll
spoil your eyes.
(To ARPITA)
I don’t know why we gave him that phone in the first place.
NIKHIL I’m reading theoretical physics on Quora. It’s educational.
SANKET (reads over his shoulder)
What allows Flash to go faster than the speed of light? (smirks) Very
educational.
RANJAN If you’re that bored, why don’t we sing a song? That’s always good fun on
a car trip.
SANKET (sneezes, looks happy)
Soddy, I hab a cold. (exaggerated sick voice)
RANJAN Every time some excuse. Do you remember our picnics, Arpita? How we
used to sing all the way there and back…
NIKHIL It’s no use trying to get Sanku to do anything. (Starts to rap)
RANJAN Ay! I said sing, not talk fast!
NIKHIL (Looks out of the window)
Hey! There’s a dog on the roof of that jeep.
SANKET What? Where? That’s not safe!
(thinks)
Can I have a dog?
NIKHIL Yes!
ARPITA We’ve been over this before. Waste of money, our flat is too small and no
one is there to look after it. Can you take my sunglasses out of the
glovebox? It’s too bright.
NIKHIL I would look after it.
RANJAN Like you promised to look after your studies without help?
SANKET Yeah, him looking after a dog would be an animal rights violation.
ARPITA You’re hardly any better, SANKET. Don’t be mean.
SANKET (sniffily) I would do all the work… But still…
NIKHIL (contemptuously) Like you ever lift a finger for anything!
RANJAN (looking out of the window)
Oh, I see it! There’s a portable kennel on that jeep. It’s for sale. But I don’t
see a dog.
(Gets distracted by billboard. )
RANJAN Look at that! Mopeds, mopeds mopeds. When I was 16 I walked
everywhere. Now look at that Arpita they’re advertising mopeds for kids
Sanket’s age.
SANKET (drawls) What, you want me to walk everywhere? Or sit inside and read
some book all day like Nikhil.
NIKHIL Hey! What’s so bad about that? All you do at home is sleep! I don’t think
there’s anything that can make you run.
(pretends to consider deeply)
Maybe… If there was an asteroid about to hit Earth and you were in the
way…
ARPITA Or if Shaila calls him.
RANJAN Who’s Shaila?
ARPITA Our new neighbour’s daughter. Wears torn jeans.
SANKET So?
ARPITA So nothing. All I’m saying is, perhaps it’s time you started applying a little
energy to life. At least make your bed in the morning. I’m so tired of
telling you.
RANJAN That’s very true, Aru. Forget the bed, I used to wake up at 4 to make my
tiffin. These kids have no initiative. Never do anything on their own.
NIKHIL (wounded) I wanted to make my own tiffin but Ma said I don’t have any
understanding of what nutritious means.
ARPITA Enough now. We’re almost there.
RANJAN (sees another billboard)
Can you believe it?! Look at that one!
(ARPITA turns to look at the hoarding RANJAN is pointing out.)
NIKHIL Watch out! The dog!
SANKET Eek!
(ARPITA slams on the brakes)
(A horrible squealing noise and then a pop)
(Ranjan is fussing over his vegetable carving, making sure it’s okay)
SANKET You ran over that poor dog! You killed it! Are you insane? We should do
something!
RANJAN Calm down Sanket. At least it wasn’t a person. I hope my bumper is okay.
SANKET Why the hell should I calm down? And all you can think about is your
bumper!
NIKHIL (phone in hand) Should I call emergency? (shakes his head as he realizes
they won’t respond)
(Jeep stops, KENNETH comes out, walks to car)
ARPITA (upset) Oh dear. I hope the man doesn’t make a fuss.
NIKHIL It’s okay mama, It’s not your fault.
RANJAN I’m sorry I distracted you.
SANKET We should all go apologize to him.
(RANJAN, NIKHIL and SANKET get out of the car, RANJAN still carrying
his vegetable carving)
KENNETH (with a kind of embarrassed smile). I think you ran over Kenny. He must
have gotten loose.
RANJAN We are extremely sorry. Is there anything I can do?
SANKET (cuts in) I am so terribly sorry about this.
KENNETH Well,-
NIKHIL (examining something caught in tyre)
Hey! It’s made of plastic.
SANKET What? Oh, thank God.
KENNETH Yeah that’s Kenny, mascot of Kenneth’s Kennels. I’m Kenneth by the
way pleased to meet you. I blow him up and tie him to the jeep. Its good
advertising. As for what you can do… I’m really hungry.
(sees the vegetable carving, grabs the carrot from the top, takes a big bite,
nods and waves it at RANJAN)
Keep it, I guess we’re even.
(RANJAN stares at plate in shock )
NIKHIL (grinning) Kenny is cool! I’m going to clean him up and hang him in my
room.
ARPITA (smiling) You got your dog. Happy now?
NIKHIL Yes! I mean, Kenny’s just inflatable, but he only cost a carrot.
(RANJAN looks anguished. NIKHIL gives him a reassuring hug.)
KENNETH (finishes eating carrot)
(chattily) Thanks for the carrot. I’m off to display my kennel at the dog
fair.
(turns to walk away)
SANKET (immediately) Wow, can I come?
KENNETH Um, sure I guess.
SANKET Have fun looking at vegetables!
(SANKET runs off)
ARPITA Sank-
NIKHIL Whoa, I didn’t know he could run like that.
RANJAN But… my carv…. He’s gone!

(THE END)

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