Scene: 3 friends at a cafe.
Characters: Sonya sits on the sofa, hair pulled up in a bun, dressed in white cotton top and loose pants, feet up on a chair.
Avinash lounges low in an armchair, and frowns at Sonya across the table, mulling over their conversation.
Jai sits next to Avinash, struggling to understand the conversation.
Jai (to Sonya): So, you’re telling me that even if you murder some poor innocent chap, you know, take his life… then just because you don’t have a conscience, you’ll get away with it?
Sonya: I’m not talking legally here. Ethically, yes.
Jai: But why should you get away with it? Murder is wrong; it’s the highest degree of evil. You’d be taking someone’s life.
Sonya: Assuming that I am able to carry out the perfect murder, you know, one where I take care of the body, and no one ever finds me. Then if I have absolutely no guilt, what happens to me?
Avinash: I’m sorry; these are just a lot of assumptions. We have a legal system in the first place, to punish wrong-doers and to make sure there is free will. One person does not have the right to take another person’s life, and he should be punished. As simple as that.
Sonya: Free will? (Snorts loudly) There is no such thing as free will.
(speaks agitedly, waving her hands) When you’re a child, they preach you these things, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’, or, ‘Anything you set your mind to, if you work hard for it, you will get it.’ So naïve! Humans have always believed that on a specie level, they are free. That their actions are resuts of their own grasp over the way they should lead their lives. But that in itself is such a micro, narrow and yet a superior sense perception to this gift of life.
You know what, let’s NOT get into that argument.
Jai: Save it for another day. Coming back to this murder discussion, my point is, I believe in Karma. So even if you, Sonya, are really a perfect-murderess who has us all fooled with your charm and personality – (Sonya takes a mock bow) – someday, you’ll have something bad coming your way. It’s the universe’s way of setting things right.
(Waiter comes up with their coffees)
Avinash (squinting at Sonya): I can just see it. I bet she already has bodies stuffed into the water duct on the terrace of her building – no wonder that place has creepy noises at night. It’s haunted!
(The waiter throws them all bewildered looks and goes off)
Jai: I agree. She’s devilishly deceptive, plus there have been nights when no one knows where she was and she wasn’t home…
(Jai goes into his dramatic zone)
So one day… she just gives in to all her pent-up, dark, evil, angry, twisted thoughts… puts on some scary, gothic makeup, stashes her gun in her…uh…
Avinash (with big eyes): Where? Where DO you stash your gun, Sonya?
(Sonya rolls her eyes at him)
Sonya (laughing): Look. Karma is just correlating good things against bad things that have happened to you. Maybe the bad things were just bound to happen to you, like the result of a random probability distribution. And because of your conscience, you end up assuming that it was because of something you did!
Jai: That’s crazy! It’s just plain crazy to imply that Karma can affect only those with a conscience. Someone without a conscience is already a bad person – I say ‘bad’ because we seem to be assuming the world is split into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things happening to us – but then, my point is, such a person, through his immoral character itself, is leading an unhappy life. A person cannot survive on committing evil deeds in society; even ethically, the very society he feeds on will make sure he pays.
Avinash (starts clapping): Well done, my friends. Both very good points. I half agree with both. But… I’m afraid I need proof. Proof, in the form of the highest degree of evil.
Jai (solemnly): I do have an acquaintance I wouldn’t miss terribly if he disappeared from the face of the earth. In fact, not a lot of people who would miss him… (looks at Sonya) I vote thee for this highly esteemed task…