Published Book or Work by:
Tshagay, The Orphan
|TSAGAY, THE BEGGAR
EXT. STREET, DAY
An under nourished boy around seven years of age is walking in the busy street. He is constantly holding his belly and yearning in hunger. His two fragile legs hardly carry his body. He is dressed in dirty rags, he wore shoes which are not pair and torn. We see his toes from the shoes. He has old dirty rosary around his necks. He walks in the street looking here and there. Frequently, he kisses his dirty rosaries. He goes near dustbins, then picks a can and looks inside. He finds it empty and throws away back into bin. He looks at many garbage bins as he passes through shops. Then, he comes across a Bakery. There are many types of cakes kept inside class counter. He peers from outside crawling his dirty fingers on glass. The owner who is busy counting bunch of ngultrum 500 notes asks without looking at beggar mistaking for customer.
Can I help you?
The boy keeps looking silently. Owner turns round and finds Tsagay with pleading eyes. Finding that he is no customer, owner shouts.
Get lost, (spits) he is worse than dogs. Go away.
The boy runs away without looking back.
If you come back again, I will call police.
Tsagay runs away towards main traffic in Thimphu. He sits on the cold cement on the footpath watching vehicles stopping and waiting for police signal to pass. He again clasps his rosary. There is stop sign in that side and just in front of her halts a beautiful car. He looks into car. Insides, there is boy of his age saying something to her mother. The pretty mother kisses the boy and gives him a apples. The boy in the car takes a bite and throws apple out. Tsagay looks at apple and swallows saliva in his mouth. Just then, traffics start moving again. The following car squelches apple into pieces.
He shakes his head in disbelief and walks away.
INT. HUT MADE OF TIN SHEET
In the old carpet lies thin and frail woman. She groans in pains. Her mattress is piece of coarse sacks. There is nothing inside. The oven has no fire. There are two empty pots lying near by and two steel plates and cups. Room is dimly lit by a candle which is almost exhausted. Woman constantly holds her body with pain. Tsagay sits near her mother holding her head innocently. Mother presses Tsagay’s head against her bosom and say.
Mother; Tsagay, I have to give you something.
Tsagay looks into eyes of his mother. His mother is shedding tears. Tsagay wipes her tears gently with sleeve of his dirty shirts. His mother smiles faintly with tears. She takes out rosary from her necks and put it around Tsagay’s neck. Tsagay looks quizzically into eyes of his mother.
Mother; this is only my legacy. It will keep you alive.
Tsagay; why are you giving me this.
Mother; when I am not here, it will remind you of me.
Tsagay cries and says.
Tsagay; mom, you will not die. I will not let you die.
Mother is fighting for her life. Tsagay is trying hard and shaking her to keep her alive.
Tsagay; look at me, mom.
There are gushes of wind and a candle is blown off. Screen becomes dark and we hear voice of Tsagay crying.
Tsagay; mom, please, come back.
We see Tsagay walking and checking every empty packets and cans. He passes a nursery where students of his age are playing various games. A girl is playing skipping. A boy is talking to teacher. And few girls are singing. He peeps through fences. A boy of his age sees him and waves at him to come in. he slowly and fearfully, looking here and there goes inside. A peon sees him and chases him away.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM.
There is journalist and a man dressed in fine cloth with authority seated facing each other.
Journalist; in our country, we see many minors working as
babysitter and dishwashers in hotels. Some of them
are as young as six to seven years. As a chairman for
Child’s Right to Education, what do feel about that.
The man coughs, clears his throat and says in the interview. Let’s call him Dasho.
Dasho; it is indeed sad to find our future generation missing
Their opportunity to play and grow as normal kids.
What is sadder is that every people employ child to
baby-sit and wash dishes because they are cheap.
Those people should feel ashamed. We are writing to
Prime minister to look into matter.
EXT. TAXI PARKING
We see taxi in line and drivers rushing for passenger. Some shouting for passenger. There is weird man inside a taxi as a passenger. Tsagay goes near that passengers and begs.
Tsagay; give me a penny. I haven’t eaten for days.
The man looks at Tsagay angrily and pushes him away roughly.
Man; irritating, why they don’t work as washer.
Tsagay doesn’t seem to mind by his rough behaviour and comes again near and begs.
Tsagay; please sir, I will wash your vehicle or polish your shoes
Just then, a woman walks by, looks at boy and gives him five ngultrum notes. Tsagay thanks her and turns to that weird man in early thirty.
Man; can you wash plates.
Tsagay; yes, sir.
The man pulls the Tsagay inside taxi and says.
Man; you will work as washer for my Dasho.
INT; DASHO’S HOUSE
A woman of authority opens her bedroom door. We see same Dasho who gives interview in television sleeping. The woman around late thirty comes to living room and shouts.
Dasho Aum; Tsagay, where are you/
Tsagay;(voice Over) la ama, I am in kitchen.
Dasho Aum; warm the water.
We hear sound of dishes being washed.
Tsagay ;( VO) okay la.
She looks at clock on the world and curses. She goes to kitchen and scolds Tsagay.
Dasho; it is seven o’clock, warm the water first. Singye has to go to
school. From tomorrow, I need warm water before Singye
Tsagay accepts silently. Then Dasho Aum goes to another bedroom where fat boy of Tsagay’s age is sleeping. Woman gently goes near him and wakes him up.
Dasho Aum; wake up, Singye. Its time to prepare for school.
That boy yearns and slowly wakes up.
INT. LIVINGROOM, DASHO’S HOUSE, MORN.
Dasho is seated on the sofa in living room sipping tea. Their son Singye emerges out from his bedroom still yawning in sleepy mood, followed by Dasho Aum.
Singye; morning, dad.
Singye comes to dad and hugs him. Then goes towards bathroom.
Dasho Aum; is water warmed, Tsagay?
Tsagay (VO); it will be in minute, madam.
Dasho Aum sits near Dasho and call back Singye.
Dasho Aum; it is not ready yet. Come and sit here.
Singye comes back and sits in between his dad and mom. Then Singye stands up again.
Singye; I will bring my brush and tooth paste.
Dasho; Tsagay, go to bathroom and get Singye’s brush.
Tsagay looks at water in boiler, when go to bathroom and brings Singye’s toothpaste and brush. Tsagay gives it Singye.
Singye; dad, I need to take hoe, there is school gardening today.
Dasho; how they expect kids to work. It is child abuse.
Singye puts paste on the brushes and goes to bathroom. When reaches near bathroom, Singye looks backs and says;
Singye; don’t forget my birthday.
When Singye is gone to bathroom, Dasho tells his wife.
Dasho; Tsagay is not doing any work. It is just extra stomach,
We have to fire him.
Dasho Aum; I thought that long ago.
EXT. OPEN CAVE
We see there is cave near river. There are dogs sleeping under cave. As we enter in, we see Tsagay sleeping inside. He is in rags. He still wears that rosary. As we look on, he stirs, rubs his eyes, looks around and comes out.
He stands outside and looks into open space. Then he clasps his rosary. He puts hand into his pocket and takes out few crumpled notes. He shakes suddenly as he forgets something.
Tsagay; oh, god, it is one year since my mother’s dead.
He runs into his café, picks up his old coat and runs. As we follow, he runs towards small shop. He comes out of shop with small packet of dalda oil and again runs.
EXT. CHORTEN (STUPA)
There is small neglected chorten, he bows three times to it and brings down karmey Kom (container to offer butter lamp) from top of chorten, he put his dalda oil and lights it. As it burns, he puts lighted lamp back and bows three times again. Then, he prays.
Tsagay; mom, wherever you are, I want to say I am fine. I hope you
are fine. Goodbye mom, don’t worry about me.
Then, he pulls of rosary from his neck and put it on the chorten.
Tsagay; god, please give this to my mom.
Then, he walks away far away into nothingness.
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