Armoured Corsets

armoured-corsets

 

Prologue:

Narrator: A tale not of bards or beauties or courtly love,

It is a tale of burning passions that can overthrow the kingdom.

What evil hands have curbed, shall rise to power above,

For you cannot envelope liberty, nor can you contain freedom.

If freedom is no more than a word to you,

Then abandon at once and return not.

Yet, if your blood boils with passionate fury too,

Then witness the battle of freedom which was fought.

Like the eternal waves smothering the golden sands of the shore,

Let freedom flow and carry you to the world of glory and gore.

But, waves- in an effort to tame, shall into rebellion break,

When beyond the flames of injustice, new fires will awake.

 

Act 1:

Scene 1

(The marketplace witnesses a series of events. The road side is being swept by two females (Emma and Lucy), a girl is selling oranges and another female (Abigail) is sitting on the marble steps by the corner whilst reading a book. Other females too are present in the scene. In the centre of the stage is a group of men (Mathew, Man and three-four warriors) who are playing cards and drinking beer. Men’s laughter in the background.)

[♫

Mathew: (Fiercely, beats his hand on the table, draws the chair backwards and beckons the orange-seller with a finger.) Brave men, gallants; I’ll show you what is jest. Come here; yes you, the girl selling oranges.

All (Men): Follow all orders that we give you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

Girl: Good sirs, be kind, I am a little girl. I only work, there’s nothing I did wrong.

All (Men): Follow all orders that we give you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

 Girl: You are warriors- your duty is to protect. Then why do you assault and not defend?

All (Men): Follow all orders that we give you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

Man: Don’t tremble, don’t fear; when you see the warriors. You’re doing your job, with a brave exterior. (He assures the girl to carry on; however, the other warriors contradict his thoughts.)

All (Men): Follow all orders that we give you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

(One of the men tosses over the girl’s basket of oranges. The other females silently witness the sight of injustice. Lucy stops sweeping and Emma comes forth in agony and pain and hides the girl in her comforting embrace. Abigail shuts her book in a start and walks towards the group of males.)

Abigail: Have you no soul, no passion in the heart? She did no wrong, while doing her own part.

All (Men): She refused the orders that we gave her. She paid for insulting her superior.

Abigail: In Lord’s name- no insult she spoke. Can’t you let females, work on their own?

All (Men): Follow all orders that we give you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

Abigail: Who are you, tell me this, sir? Are you God, warrior, saviour or murderer?

All (Men): Do not raise your voice or argue. Your place will always be under our shoes.

(Meanwhile, Mathew grows fierce, more so under the influence of alcohol. He grabs hold of Abigail by the hair and drags her halfway through the stage. The scene escalated into appalling violence.)

Abigail: I am the widow of your own friend. Have mercy, you brute, you shameless!

All (Men): Follow all orders that we give you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

Abigail: I’m like your sister, your mother too. If they were me, this is what you would do?

(Abigail spits on Mathew’s face; and in return, Mathew splashes all his beer on Abigail’s face. The man tears Mathew and Abigail apart to maintain peace. He is repelled by the other warriors.)

All (Men): Let this be a lesson to all of you. Your place will always be under our shoes.

 (The males (except Man) make an exit in high spirits. Lucy and Emma help Abigail to her feet.)

Man: I am sorrier than I can express. Lord forgive me, I was helpless.

(Exit Man.)

Abigail: If I endure it, my soul shall be cursed. For years and years I’ve seen it thus.

A+L+E: But now, it shall prolong no more. We’re not under their shoes!

♪]

(Exit all)

 

Scene 2

(A busy hall in the Lord’s mansion. Hustle-bustle and criss-cross of workers occupy the scene. Whispered mumbles in the background. Mother (the Lady of the house) enters the scene in great haste.)

Mother: Is the young lady ready by this hour?

Gentle woman: Madam… your daughter…

Mother: There’s still so much to take care of- the shoemaker has just arrived, the florist’s garland is yet to be sewn, the jewellery appears absolutely awful, and as to the perfumer, he is missing from the scene. But pray, is the young lady ready?

Gentle woman: Madam… the lady is…

Mother: Before I forget, I must confess- the Lord, my husband, is another mess. He had gone to have a word with the men, it’s been three hours now, yet he’s not to be seen. But tell me, is my daughter ready?

Gentle woman: Madam… I want to discuss the matter… about the young lady, your daughter…

Mother: Lord save my poor soul, the day of the marriage has dawned, bringing alongside the reminders of a mother’s duty. Yet my daughter is oblivious and cares little about the marriage, her own marriage, for god’s sake!

Gentle woman: Madam, the lady has made up her mind.

Mother: Made up her mind? Now what am I to make of that? Be clear with what you mean.

Gentle woman: Your daughter can no longer be contained within these walls. She secretly designs to join the forthcoming war.

Mother: The war?! Impossible- she is a female!

Gentle woman: She will disguise herself as a male.

Mother: They will kill her if they find it out!

Gentle woman: Madam, you must dissuade her right now.

Mother: (Tensed) Oh my Bloom! My child! How can I make you understand? Why does your soul crave to encounter the danger that it can easily avoid? If you were to the world as you are to me, no chains of suppression would have dared to contain your soul. Yet, if you were not to the world as you are, the suppressive chains wouldn’t have existed at all.

[♫

Mother: (Fans herself) Must I ignite darkness? Repeat the same old cycle? Must I astray my own child, from the path that leads to light?

I do not know…

♪]

(Troubled, the Lady exits the hall in order to persuade to dissuade her daughter from joining the forthcoming battle. The gentlewoman follows the Lady. Exit all.)

Scene 3

(Mother enters her daughter Bloom’s chamber. She witnesses a scene that makes her pale with fear and anxiousness. Bloom is apparelling herself in a man’s attire. Her hair covered in a man’s hat, bosom bound with a cloth, and face smeared with a counterfeit of a moustachioed male)

[♫

Bloom: I know I’ve been made for things bigger than this. I’ll fight for my people I’ll not be a princess.

Mother: Oh, my Bloom, my sweet-sweet Bloom. We are the royalty. That’s below our dignity.

Bloom: It cannot be otherwise, it cannot be this- when my fellow men fight, I am to marry the prince.

Mother: Listen Bloom…oh sweet Bloom…we cannot let you to the w(ar).

Bloom: Oh mother!

Mother: Because you are very dear.

Bloom: That’s a lie, that’s a lie, that’s a lie. You think I am not brave because I’m a girl, you think I am not brave ‘cause I’m not your son.

Mother: I shall deny a thousand sons for a daughter like you. You can do all that no earthly male can do.

Bloom: But what’s of such courage, when I cannot even fight? I must battle away darkness; I must win the women their rights.

Mother: What darkness? What women and rights? We are females, we learn to compromise.

Bloom: Mother, we are females, we are no animals. We are made for big things, let us live like humans!

Mother: I do not understand, what has gotten in your mind? If you go to the battle, you will not come back alive.

Bloom: I do not crave mere existence. If injustice is life, then I’d rather die.

Mother: How can I make you see the dangers that you crave? Every step that you’re taking will lead you to your grave.

Bloom: Oh, mother, my sweet mother. My death shall be life to million others.

Mother: You said the truth, now go my Bloom, and return with head held high. Go bravely through the war, go bravely through it all and don’t let anyone say… that you’re just a girl.

Bloom: Can this be true, can this be real? I promise mother I will prove that we do not fear.

Mother: Be careful Bloom, the war is dense. Don’t get caught, you know the consequence.

Bloom: Mother don’t you be afraid of the unseen future. I shall die if that’s written with no pain in my heart.

♪]

Mother: Why must you talk about dying, for god’s sake, Bloom!? You are young and full of life. And if anything at all is to happen, then it shall happen to the Lord, your father. It’s been more than three hours now and not a trace of him is to be found. I’m afraid he’s already dead, and if otherwise, he shall not survive my rage. But why must you talk about dying?

Bloom: (Laughter) because the cause that I stand for demands sacrifice of lives. And I shall embrace death with an outstretched arm if it affords me the freedom that I seek for my people.

Mother: That’s what war demands.

Bloom: That’s what equality demands.

(The Lady stands in the backdrop quietly, her handkerchief attending to her tears. Meanwhile, Bloom occupies the central stage, and as she is dressing herself entirely in a man’s apparel, she is also stating her purpose and motivations to join the battle.)

[♫

Bloom: My life, I give to freedom alone. That’s the only cause for my soul. I don’t want to keep on living, like the ones who’ve lived before. There is a purpose of my being; I want its end be seen. I’ll go to the battle field, I’ll pick up arms if that it needs, my body will bleed, my spirit will leave, but my heart will be craving for more. For another chance to prove. That though Lord gave me that, which he gave no earthly man. He gave me a female form, the power where life is born from. Then let my soul rise again, in thankfulness of God. I shall die a female form, to be female reborn.

♪]

(Exit all)

Scene 4

(The battlefield scene- war preparations. The army is bracing up for the upcoming war, carrying out the last minute work. At this point, however, all the warriors are resting their tired bodies after the day’s work. Chief enters the scene, soaring with zest.)

Chief (Arnold): Mathew! How goes the preparation for the war?

Mathew: Mighty fine, chief, mighty fine. The warriors are brimming with passion, and their swords are eager to slit the enemies’ throats. Though their souls have grown weary by the day’s work now.

Chief: What? Warriors and weary? That’s a laugh! How now boys, shouldn’t you be in the kitchen instead?

Mathew: (Claps) get back to work at once!

[♫

Chief: Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Get up, get back, finish the task as soon. Strong and brave are we, we are not mere ladies. We do not feel the pain, neither cold nor heat.

Mathew: Bold and tough are we, not afraid of enemy. We will not be weak; we are not mere ladies.

All (Males): Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Get up, get back, finish the task as soon.

Chief: Brothers we are the males, we’re strong to lift the weights. We do not cry or weep or fuss like mere ladies.

Mathew: Head as high as we can, we’re ready to face the hell. Can go through all extremes, we never sigh as the mere ladies.

All (Males): Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Get up, get back, finish the task as soon. (X2)

♪]

(Aside: Chief enquires about the general and his arrival.)

Chief: Any news about the general’s arrival? The sudden alarm of the upcoming war was bad enough when to add to it, reports about the general’s declining health came about.

Mathew: The king has appointed a new general in the service of our nation, Chief. He shall be joining us shortly.

Chief: Has the news come from a reliable source, Mathew?

Mathew: By my honour, I say, it couldn’t have been more reliable.

Chief: That must reinforce the men further. Announce the general’s arrival over the speakers. It will act as a dose of encouragement to rejuvenate their souls.

(Exit all)          

 

Scene 5

(A small cottage. The female workers (around 10) are carrying out all menial works during the emergency times-such as baking, stitching etc. Small talk and discourse on unimportant subjects is their best pastime.)

[♫

All (Females): Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Hair tied, sleeves up, finish the task as soon.

Lady 1: We bake all the food, all the clothes we sew. We’re masters of kitchen and all household work we do.

Lady 2: We look after our kids, our lords look after us. (Laughter.) We’re happy with what we get, we’re women, we never fuss.

All (Females): Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Hair tied, sleeves up, finish the task as soon.

Lady 1: You must all know that, Abigail right there, was beaten up by men, look there- how she glares!

(Everybody laughs)

Lucy: You must stand in shame! To mock fellow female! She stood up for us all, (Emma: Apologise!) yet you’re blind to your fault.

All (Females): Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Hair tied, sleeves up, finish the task as soon.

♪]

Lady 2: Abigail was beaten? Ha! How scandalous!

Lady 1: Scandalous?! Oh dear me! Scandalous are the talks about the Lord’s daughter. Have you not heard that the young lady Bloom has eloped from her own marriage for reasons unknown?

Lady 2: Oh yes. And rumour has it that her own mother, the Lady, assisted her in her flight. Without the prior knowledge of her husband, the Lord, I dare say.

Lady 1: Oh dear me! You mustn’t believe in such rumours. For which cold-blooded mother would send her own daughter to the devil’s mouth? I say that the young lady eloped on her own account. Young as she is, her unthinking heart would have painted castles in the air. Who knows maybe the possibilities of romantic encounters and…

Lady 2: Hush up! If the Lord’s subjects hear you, they will execute you for having uttered such syllables. Enough it is for us to know that the young lady has eloped. The rest of the news should unfold hereafter.

Lady 1: You speak wisely. Dear me, the toil seems to be never ending. There are always heaps and piles of unfinished work at the end of the day. With the approaching war, the workload seems to be ever increasing. How I wish I had a hundred of maid servants working under me!

Lady 2: And one twitch of the stick and an entire army of slaves under your service. I had a dream to be the Lady of a house one day, with the good grace of my superior, my husband.

(Abigail, after listening to the small talk, stands up in exasperation. Unlike the vast majority of females, she expresses her dream- to give something to her country. She, thereafter, encourages Lucy and Emma to boldly express their dreams as well. They are carefully being observed by the other females. However, none of them dare to mirror their courage, for they all abide by the unfair laws.)

[♫

Abigail: I had a dream, when I thought I would be, fighting for them, fighting for my people. I had a dream, that I would be, an inspiration, for my people. I had a dream.

Lucy: And I had a dream, that one day I will be, dying for my country. I had a dream.

Emma: I too had a dream, when they would let us be, people of our own choice, the way we want to be. I too had a dream.

All (A+L+E): And we have a dream, we all have this dream. That one day they will say- we all are as good as males. We all have this dream.

Abigail: Yes this is our dream, and we’ll make it real. And this will happen soon, we will all surely prove. Yes our dream will come true.

(A female from the audience rises up to tell the world her dream, which is a reflection of the dreams of the other females (A,E,L). She makes her way from the crowd to the stage in order to join in.)

Jane: I had a dream when my dreams won’t be just fancy, they’ll be reality. I had a dream.

All (A+L+E+J): And we have a dream, we all have this dream. That one day they will say- we all are as good as males. We all have this dream. Yes this is our dream, and we’ll make it real. And this will happen soon, we will all surely prove. Yes our dream will come true.

♪]

Lucy: What must our first step be?

Emma: To penetrate into the army and make space for ourselves. A women being a warrior is absolutely unthinkable and unheard of. If we are to prove ourselves equal in all respects, we’ll have to contribute in the forthcoming battle- both for our country and for ourselves.

Abigail: Emma is right. The impending horrors of the war will and must frighten the frail hearted. But since time immemorial, we females are being considered the weaker vessel, for reasons unreasonable and unjustifiable. For how long must this continue? My soul burns in this withering fire of injustice. I shall endure no more. If war is the answer, then so shall it be. And if death awaits my arrival instead, then so shall it be. But why fear? And of what? My mind is fearless when I know that I have nothing to lose. And my soul is restless when it knows that a plethora of golden possibilities lie ahead.

Jane: I shall give in my entire being to earn the rights that we have been denied for so long. If are made humans, we are by no means any lesser than the males. All their rights and liberty are equally ours. And this battle must be fought as a rebellion against the walls that try to confine our strengths.

Lucy: If we lose, we only die. And if we win, our rights will be ours. Splendid! We will first have to work on the execution of our plans.

Emma: Our husbands will prove to be of great indirect assistance to us. Do not be surprised Lucy. We shall apparel ourselves in their manly attire and adopt their behavioural pattern. Disguised as men themselves we will enter the men’s sphere. And with the coming of the appropriate time, our true selves will be unveiled in front of the world.

Lucy: With a soft heart and a determined mind will we be able to build up the future that we wish to see.

(Exit all)

 

Act 2:

Scene 1

(A candle-lit chamber in the mansion of the Lord. Mother is seated in a chair, drowned in the thoughts of her daughter. The Gentle Woman enters the scene with a tray of food. She places the tray on a table nearby and approach the Lady of the house.)

[♫

Gentle woman: Madam, I beseech you to bring an end your fast. It’s been two nights and not a grain of food you’ve touched at last.

Mother: Don’t ask of me what’s beyond myself, I cannot satisfy- the starving soul I bear with the food that yonder lies.

Gentle woman: Then what is your demand? I shall try to satisfy.

Mother: You cannot lessen my ache; I want my daughter by my side.

Gentle woman: Your daughter has her mind, to fight for a greater cause. You must cheer yourself instead; you must give her your support.

Mother: Surely you speak with wisdom, I will now comfort my soul; with the balm of hopefulness, which will dawn like a new born sun. But I am a mother, and my heart it shudders, every minute of the hour. If she be caught, if she be dead, I am anxious about my daughter. How must I tell my unthinking heart to calm down by the day? She is standing up for us, by breaking the laws that block her way. Maybe one day we’ll be one, when this battle will be won. Till then, let my heart be frail, and let my mind be brave.

♪]

(Exit all)

 

Scene 2

(Merrymaking some nights prior to the war. All males have gathered and they are drinking beer and singing songs. A spirit of brotherhood hovers over the atmosphere.)

[♫

Chief: Brothers, we’ve gathered, tonight to celebrate. Who knows, future, we might lay cold and dead.

All (Males): We raise our drinks in cheerfulness. Forever shall our freedom be blessed.

Mathew: Fearless and brave, we’re the masters of the land. All else, is plain, it lies in our hand.

All (Males): We raise our drinks in cheerfulness. Forever shall our freedom be blessed.

(Enter Lady 1 and Lady 2 with a promiscuous air.)

Chief: Who comes now, I do suspect females. (Hahaha) How now, ladies? The hour is dark and late.

Lady (1+2): Good sir, we both fall to your grace. We’re here to tell you some secrets.

Chief: I charge you to speak without fear. Tell me what news do you bring here?

 Lady 1: There are a few thoughtless ladies, who’ve secretly devised to break in.

Lady 2: Into the war that is to be fought, red handed catch their evil plot.

Chief: Much valuable news ladies you gave. Who will break the law will also have to pay.

(The ladies make proceeding to leave. However, Mathew holds their hands, preventing them from going. They stand statue-like in surprise. Mathew then comes forward and around them.)

Mathew: Beautiful ladies, you were kind and nice. You cannot leave without a prize. (The Chief does not stop him. Nor does anybody else.)

Ladies (1+2): Don’t please, good sir, we are not what you think we are. (They try to free themselves and make a move towards the exit, yet, in vain.)

Mathew: Beautiful ladies, where you’re going? Let me owe the honour to show you in.

Man: Kind sir, be good, they had come to help. Can’t you hear their woeful cries, their yelp?

Chief: This man, here, speaks with much wisdom. There is a higher call for our nation.

Mathew: Ladies, you fools, with purpose here you came. Now you’re leaving, with marks of shame.

(The males all have a hearty laughter. The ladies quietly and quickly disappear into the night. All exit the stage while singing.)

All (Males): We raise our drinks in cheerfulness. Forever shall our freedom be blessed.

♪]

(Exit all, dancing and merrymaking)

 

Scene 3

(Bloom, alone, stands apparelled as a male in the centre of the stage. In the background, she beholds the poor condition of fellow females. One female is trying to quite her yelping child, the other is begging for food. They are shivering in the cold and their bodies have only a thin cloth to keep them from the piercing wind. The injustices of the world prompt her to sing out her heart.)

[♫

Bloom: Look how they cry; have you turned a blind eye? These are my people, for them I fight. All homely comforts grants but pain. Here they live in dirt, begging for handful of grains.

All (Females): Open your eyes, open your heart, you too have to play a faithful part. And end this misery of all; shelter, food, cloth is all we want.

Bloom: If this is life, they all should rather die. And should they live, they must lead a human’s life. What does it matters, if they’re living or not, they are treated worse than a roadside dog.

All (Females): Open your eyes, open your heart, you too have to play a faithful part. And end this misery of night, let the flames of hope ignite.

♪]

(Exit all.)

 

Scene 4

(Later, the same night. Battle field. The warriors are chanting the ‘work-fast’ mantra in the background. Man hears somebody’s approaching footsteps. The females (Abigail, Lucy Emma and Jane) enter the battle field disguised as warriors.)

[♫

All: Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Get up, get back, finish the task as soon. (X2)

Man: Ay! Who’s there?

Abigail: Brother, we are your seniors. I’m the general, these others are warriors.

Man: General indeed my sir! Forgive me, for I couldn’t see who you were. Come this way, come here, may I please guide you the way? The Chief’s there, the warriors too, waiting for you all the day. Chief! The general and the other warriors come near.

Chief: Hahaha…they’re already with me here.

Man: So who are the warriors that I bring with myself?

Chief: They are no warriors, they are mere women. (Unveils their disguise)

Tell fast, tell quick, why have you come here? Don’t try to lie, why have you come here?

Abigail: Though we are ladies, we are no less than these (Pointing the males). We’re strong and we are brave, just give us one chance we pray.

Females (A+L+E): Whatever is in their blood, it’s there in our blood too. If given a chance, we’ll prove, there is nothing that we can’t do.

Chief: Hahaha…no chance, no chance. Send them back to where they came from. Ladies, listen, you are not better than males.

General: Chief! Don’t send them alone. It’s dark, unsafe for them. They are mere ladies; I’ll handle them if you please.

Chief: Go, take them along. Hurry and don’t take long. Don’t waste your time on these; they are just the mere ladies.

All: Work fast, work hard, we have no time to lose. Get up, get back, finish the task as soon. (X2)

♪]

(Exit all)

 

Scene 5

(Back to the Lord’s mansion.)

Mother: Oh dear, what news did the messenger bring?

Gentle woman: (stands still)

Mother: Do not you have a mouth? Tell me, how goes the scene of the battle field? How is my daughter, oh, how is my Bloom?

Gentle woman: Madam, I know not how to narrate here what my ears have heard but not a moment ago…

Mother: I command you to speak!

Gentle woman: There is a floating gossip everywhere about the arrest of some females disguised as warriors in the battle field.

Mother: My Bloom couldn’t possibly be one of them. She is too smart to get caught. I know her. It’s not my daughter, oh, my heart tells me that it’s not my Bloom.

Gentle woman: They say that the ladies looked poorly and probably had no connection to the royalty what so ever. Though their names have not yet been disclosed. Lord save my soul, lord save them all.

Mother: If the Lord created us all equal, then no force has the superiority to defy that law of our Lord’s creation. His daughters shall win what they stand for at any cost. And yet, if our own Lord, our master and creator declares otherwise, only then shall his daughters die at the altar of their own sacrifice.

Gentle woman: Pardon my manners, madam, but you speak like your daughter.

Mother: The seed of power that lay dormant within my soul had finally germinated. I do declare that my daughter showed me my strength when I thought I had none. Therefore must I be a source of all that is required for us to win this battle.

(Exit all)

 

Act 3:

Scene 1

(A dark lane. The general and the females are walking. The general showers upon the females a series of harsh comments, which they are capable of reciprocating- with dignity and calm.)

General: This way please, ladies! Let me be your guide, for I’m certain that you’ll need a man’s support at every step of your life.

Abigail: No, thank you, kind sir. We are quite capable of doing anything and everything that you are capable of. And certainly even more.

General: Oh yes, for certainly you are capable of coining marvellous jokes, even at such grave times as this. But war is no joke. And if you were to win it, for whatever reason your meagre mind thought of, the least would have been not getting caught in the apparel of warriors. You have already proven yourselves unworthy and weak.

Abigail: Is our disguise the only proof of our strengths? Cannot we fight the battle just as we are, as females? Our strength lies not in our apparel, but in the body and soul that lies beneath, sir. And if you think otherwise, we can assure you just the contrary, right here.

General: I’m afraid I do not lay my hands on mere women.

Abigail: And I’m afraid I do suspect that you, noble sir, are afraid.

General: Hahaha…you are rather marvellous in your art of jesting, there are no second thoughts about it now. But if you may please, this way… I pity you, and so I pardon you for having uttered so.

[♫

Lucy: We are ladies but we need no pity.

Emma: We’ll not lose hope even in adversity.

Jane: We’ll fight for freedom till eternity.

General: Well, ladies, you cannot go away like this. You have come here now, I will not let you dismiss.

Abigail: Listen clear, we do not fear. You call us ladies, but we’re not mere.

General (Bloom): Listen clear, if you do not fear, full of hope ladies are you. But there is one thing I must tell, that I am just as you all too.

♪]

(Bloom had apparelled herself as the general, and now her true identity was revealed in front of the females.)

 

Scene 2

Lucy: It cannot be the young lady Bloom, can it be?

Emma: Hush up, for it certainly is the young lady, without a doubt. But what can be the reason of your harsh words towards your own kind? Do you, in any way, consider us unworthy or weak?

Bloom: Forgive me, what I said was just a way to test your soul. You have gone beyond all limits, freedom flows within your core.

Abigail: How could we have possibly failed when we know that there is no force in this damn universe that can confine us anymore? My only dream now is to witness the day when we’ll all be one.

Emma: And that is my dream too.

Lucy: And we’ll see it coming true.

[♫

Bloom: I know the dream that we all have will very soon be seen. They’ll have to give us back the rights that once our own had been. (Bloom climbs up a barricade and Emma hands her over a flag representative of freedom.) The future that we wish to see, which will tomorrow be. Waving high the flag of liberty…

All: We will fight back for our rights; we want freedom day and night. Darkness of despair will end with the brightness of the rising sun. When the walls will fall back to the ground and one day we will all be one.

All: We’ll work as hard, we’ll persevere, we’ll walk a thousand miles. Till there is not a thing’s that left, we’ll work some more and smile. The future that we wish to see, which will tomorrow be. Waving high the flag of equality…

(Lady 1 and Lady 2 enter the scene to seek forgiveness.)

Lady 1: To seek your forgiveness, we came.

Lucy: We know what you had done.

Lady 2: We bow with shame.

Emma: Don’t. Sisters, we are all one.

(All embrace each other with love. They reunite with the female force (B+A+L+E+J) and make up their mind to fight for their rights.)

All: We will fight back for our rights; we want freedom day and night. Darkness of despair will end with the brightness of the rising sun. When the walls will fall back to the ground and one day we will all be one.

♪]

(Exit all.)

Scene 3

(The long night before the day of the battle. This is a scene wherein all the separate scenes and their respective characters merge. However, individual scenes and characters are oblivious to each other’s stage presence. Every character makes an entry into the darkened stage with a candle. Slowly, the darkness of the night fades away into glorious day.)

[♫

Mother: When my heart is far away from fear, when eyes they see tomorrow’s vision clear. My child showed me what’s freedom and tomorrow’s dawn will purge all our sins.

Gentlewoman + Lucy: To end tonight’s darkness; I will keep this candle burning.

Abigail: My life, it matters so little, gladly hemlock like manna I’ll drink. All the laws will break apart, when into the battle field I will march.

Emma + Man: I will bring an end to darkness, with this candle’s burning.

Chief: Brothers the day is by and near, fight with all your strength brave warriors. Our duty is for this nation alone; our mere lives don’t matter at all.

Bloom + Mathew: Within our souls lie darkness, it will die with candle’s burning.

Girl: My heroes will win for us all, the freedom my soul craved for long. I will one day follow their footsteps and be as brave and courageous.

Mother + Abigail: The light shall never darken; I will keep the flames burning.

Emma: My soul is restless, cannot wait for tomorrow, where the battlefield shall witness a new beginning. Every woman will have her rights and every woman will be a King.

Girl + Lady 1: I have lived a life in darkness; I will keep this candle burning.

Lady 2: When my support to my own kind was needed, I stepped aside and saw them bleeding. This is the time to make amends for past mistakes done by my hands.

Bloom + Jane: Light will kill all darkness, with this candle’s burning.

Gentlewoman: The dawn of the battle has come at last, sweet God your blessings is all I ask. Give them strength and give them hope, and in your loving arms envelope.

Lady 2 + Mother: The dawn is by yet this darkness- will soon purge with my candle’s burning.

Mathew: Let my nation advance, my freedom last. I will tear to pieces all who stand in my way. But this freedom demands, sacrifice of life, for freedom happily my life I will give away.

Abigail + Bloom: I cannot live a life in darkness, I will keep soul’s candle burning.

Lady 1: I will live up to the purpose of my being, a life full of injustices I have seen. And been a medium of evil myself, my guilty soul now turns up for justice.

Chief + Mathew: Not longer will live this darkness, I will keep this candle burning.

Jane: I do not want to live a die wasted upon lifeless life. What is living when I cannot even follow my own will? I shall life for liberty, I shall die for freedom.

Abigail + Chief: This is the last night of darkness, so I will keep this candle burning.

Man: My heart it dies a million deathless deaths, with the injustices my men inflict. This battle I will fight for my nation and its freedom, one day I will fight another for the liberty of women.

Emma + Lucy: I will burn away all darkness, with the flames of candle burning.

Lucy: With the end of tomorrow’s battle, another battle shall end. And if we lose, we will never surrender. I am fearless, like before and no fear can now weaken my soul.

Girl + Mother: This will be the last of darkness. I will keep this candle burning.

Bloom: The night is dawning into fair day; I know our dream is not far away. There was a day I rebelled and fought, to see the freedom…now is the day!

All: Now is the day!

Males: Now is the day new fires will break.

Females: Now is the day humanity will awake!

All: To end all darkness, I will keep this candle burning!

♪]

 

Act 4:

Scene 1

(The day of the war has finally dawned upon everyone. This is a parallel scene between the males and the females as they march towards the ground where the battle is to take place)

[♫

Chief: Brothers let us go to the battle field; we’ll fight the enemies for our own nation.

Mathew: We will give in all that we can, for the country and for its freedom.

All (Males): We will not surrender; we will fight till our very end.

All (Males): And we will show the enemies, we are stronger, we’re braver than them.

Bloom: My friends we will go to the battle field, where we all will fight for our nation.

Abigail: We will give in all that we can, for the country and for its freedom.

All (Females): We will not surrender; we will fight till our very end.

All (Females): And we will show the males, we are in no way less than them.

♪]

 

Scene 2

(The warriors form the ranks of the war and take their positions in the battle field. A trumpet is blown to mark the beginning of the war.)

[♫

Chief: Attention! Attention! Brothers it is our chance to do. With bravery, and with strength, this is our chance to prove.

Bloom: This is the only time, to give in all that you have. Fight bravely, die with pride. Don’t you leave any regret.

♪]

Chief: Attack!

(The battle is only shown from one end, as the warriors rush with naked swords towards the other end of the stage. Battle sound is heard in the background. Most of the warriors disappear backstage, except for Lucy and Chief, who are in full action onstage. During this time, Abigail, in an attempt to save Lucy, comes in front of a bare sword herself. She falls to the stage, blood gurgling through her mouth, a sword piercing through her chest. Lucy holds her in her arms and runs her hand through her hair.)

[♫

Lucy: Abigail, my sister, wake up, it’s yet not the end. Look at me, dear Abi, I know you have more strength.

(Emma comes rushing in and shakes Abigail to consciousness. Abigail smiles, looking at the familiar face of Emma.)

Emma: Abi my dear, there is nothing to fear. I am by your side; promise I won’t let you die.

Abigail: My friend, you mustn’t jest, at such grave times as this. Light’s fading, but sister, promise me you’ll win our rights.

♪]

(With this, Abigail coughs herself to eternal sleep. Peacefully at last, with a smile.)

Emma: I will, dear Abigail. I will.

(Emma shuts Abigail’s eyes and brushes away her tears. Chief witnesses the entire scene; however, he does not react at that time. The battle continues. The stage refills with warriors. The female warrior’s identities are revealed as they stand in their true form sans disguise.)

 

 

 

Scene 3

(The contribution of the females (B+A+E+L+J+L1+L2) in the war and finally in the victory stood priceless. However, instead of being honoured, they were immediately captivated. They are walking through the streets as prisoners.)

[♫

Mathew: You all are ladies; this isn’t the place to be. Committed a grave mistake, you will now have to repay.

All (Males): The King shall do us all, justice in every form. Take them there for their fate, he shall punish them all.

Chief: Any last words that you would like to say? Say them fast, out loud, don’t waste our time, I pray.

Bloom: What is our mistake? Pray, tell us that at least. We will embrace your swords, if you point where we went wrong.

L+E+L1+L2: The battle that was fought; was our battle as well. We helped you win the war and that truth you cannot ignore.

Chief: Listen, ladies, I asked your last wish, not your thoughts. Look at them, fellow women, they are not in your support.

(The other females swallowed all humiliation in silence, and their eyes lay transfixed upon the female warriors. Yet, they did not dare take a stand. When all hopes were left behind, Bloom and Abigail speak their final words.)

Bloom: When the world had turned its back, it’s your support that also lacks. We will be gone in pain, if you let our efforts in vain.

All (B+L+E+J+L1+L2): They say that we aren’t brave, as we’re heading towards our grave. Prove them wrong when we are gone, let new ray of hope be born.

♪]

 

Act 5:

Scene 1

(A trumpet is blown, signalling the King’s arrival. A thousand souls await the declaration of the predestined fate of the female warriors.)

All: All hail the King. May the odds be ever in your favour.

(The king arrives and seats himself on the golden throne. He carefully listens to the words of his men.)

Mathew: Declare death sentence for the ones in front of you!

All (Males): Do us justice, kind King. Punish the wrongdoers.

[♫

Chief: My Liege, the one’s who’re standing in front, those are the ones I call traitors. They are the ones who played with our faith; they are the ones who stepped into the war.

All (males): Open your eyes, open your mouth, declare their punishment out aloud. So that no one in future would care, to do what these ladies had dared.

(Males demand death sentence. In the midst of such havoc, the courageous little girl steps forth, and tucking at the mother’s clothes, speaks out her mind without any fear.)

Girl: Mother, the ones who’re standing in front, those are the ones I call hero. They are happily ready to die, for the cause that we all ignore.

Ch (B+ L+E+J+L1+L2): Open your eyes, open your heart, you too have to play a faithful part. And join me in this battle, your own, I can’t do it alone.

Female (Some): Don’t you see their sufferings, their pains? Don’t you see the darkened lanes? Don’t you see that they’re dying for us? Can we let this all go vain?

Ch:

Females (All): We were the ones who swept around; we were the ones who knelt on ground. But we were the ones who clung on to hope, when the ray of hope was drowned.

Ch:

Mother: Now the time has come for us to say, that we fear nothing, we’re not afraid. This is the time to do or die; we no longer will live this darkened life.

Ch (Females): Open your eyes, open your heart, you too have to play a faithful part. And finish this battle of blind faith. Say women are equal to the males.

(King steps forward. Anticipation and fear and excitement occupy the atmosphere.)

King: I saw them go against our faith, which no other has dared till date. If they’ll live they’ll corrupt the rest, their death shall mark the fall of the quest. (Laughter.)

All (males): Open your eyes, open your mouth, declare their punishment out aloud. So that no one in future would care, to do what these ladies had dared.

King: Execute the villains by the command of your King!

Man: My Liege, with shame I call you so!

Girl: You were to be the saviour of our soul!

(The female warriors break free from the chains of oppression.)

All (Females): This is the time; this is the day when we won’t be suppressed by the males. This battle must end at last; with our rights being ours.

All (B+ L+E+J+L1+L2): (Bloom starts and everybody joins in.) Beyond the flames of injustice, new fires will awake. Today we all will die here with pride, tomorrow new revolts will break.

All (Females): Why do you hush, you were the unjust, our criminal who tried to curb. The rising power of female will drown you like a justice seeking wave.

King: I declare punishment of death!

♪]

(The male warriors clasp the females within chains once again and they are dragged to their death. They, however, fail to curb the power of the female force. )

Scene 2

(In the final scene, an act of rebellion thunders once again. No chains can bring down the female warriors or the women supporters. Their starving souls, at last, succeed in bringing forth the motif of their revolt. They lose their lives; however, they, to a large extent win the battle of rights. Once again the stage witnesses an upheaval of female powers.)

[♫

B+ L+E+J+L1+L2: I know the dream that we all have will very soon be seen. We’ll have to snatch away the rights that once our own had been. The future will now dawn its light to end the misery. Waving high the flag of unity…

All (Females): We fought bravely for our rights; we’ll earn freedom day and night. Darkness of despair will end with the brightness of the new born sun. When the walls will fall back to the ground and one day we will all be one.

♪]

(During the entire length of the scene, the males fail to hold back the revolt. At the end, however, the female warriors are arrested once and for last. They walk towards their death, chained limbs, bleeding bodies, yet smiles of pride and victory adorned their faces. Execution of the female warriors. Lights off.)

 

Epilogue:

Narrator: What ended here shall in future continue,

With the fires their toils ignited in them and in you.

Their deaths marked their victory, a jubilee of freedom.

Yet, amidst this jubilee, shall remain a stain of evil.

Must their sacrifice go vain?

Must they fade away in pain?

No.

For waves, in an effort to tame, will into rebellion break,

When beyond the flames of injustice, new fires will awake.

I know there will arise fresh waves in freedom’s ocean.

My statement shall only prove false if your heart is sans emotions.

(The end.)

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Armoured Corsets

  1. So you wrote this whole thing? So far all I’ve read is the opening narration, but that’s amazing enough already. We have the same feelings about revolution, that is true from what I read here. If I am correct, you are the cousin of famous actress Divyanka Tripathi. I wish you all the best in you career, you are definitely carrying the right message with you. I only ask that in so much as you have power, spread my name and message as well so people in your country can see that there are people from the United States who care about revolution and the rest of the world and who will fight (socially speaking) for their entire lives to ensure that the right things get accomplished on this earth. I am sick of the lies and corruption of my government, and I know many others as well. A time of great chance is coming upon us, I did not ask for any of this to happen, it simply has begun occurring already and I have no way of stopping it, so I might as well try to lead this society down the path of righteousness, freedom, and morality.

    Like

    1. Long comments make me gloriously happy!

      I wrote this piece around two years back when I was in grade 12. This is the most polished version of the original script. I feel intensely about freedom, in every sense of the word. By reading your words, I think we’re more alike than we could possibly guess in that aspect of our being.
      I appreciate you sharing with me a piece of your mind.
      And I could only confess to being ignorant about being a certain actress’ cousin.

      Like

      1. You are a beautiful person for caring about freedom so much. I can tell you care a lot about your fellow countrymen and want the best for them, same as I do. I have always believed more are more alike than they are similar, most of us deal with the same issues at different points in our life. I thought you wrote a comment about encouraging revolution in India, which I think would be a great thing if you determine your country truly needs it to advance and progress as a state and as a societal nation.

        Like

        1. I don’t think that I can ever contain myself to the coincidence of birth, geographically speaking. This piece of work defies boundaries between nations and talks of revolution, not in India, but in the world at large.

          Like

          1. I totally agree, and I believe these ideals do transcend the boundaries of nations. Together, regardless of our physical location in the world, we can help to build a better future thanks to the internet since we can all be connected this way. Every positive action we do in life can help to make the world a better place. There is no reason why people should be taken advantage of or manipulated by others in society. I feel the only reason this happens is because some people feel a lack of true love from others so they instead fill that void by taking power and control over others and basically telling them how to live rheir lives down to the last detail.

            Like

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