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Screenplays

The Music Is Worth Paying For

This screenplay is actually inspired from an experience my wife had with our son when they went for a trip to Mysore. I have blogged about it in another post here.

You can either read the screenplay below or download the PDF for a later read.

I began learning about writing screenplays when I took my first screen-writing workshop with Director Rohit Padaki about 2 years ago. While I was able to start writing almost immediately after the workshop, I did not find myself able to write something that I felt was good enough to put on my blog. I recently tumbled upon a book called “Screenplay from Syd Field.” I am yet to complete reading the book, but have started writing as a way of learning from that book. I am grateful to Director Rohit Padaki for helping me start and also for his feedback. His Basic Screen Writing Workshop, in which I participated, was super-useful.

Please leave me a note once you read the screenplay. It could be a comment, feedback, criticism or just an acknowledgement. I am grateful for all the feedback, critical and otherwise, that I have already received. I would love to hear from you as well. Please leave me a note once you read the screenplay.

Jump to scene: 1 2 3 4

[1] EXT. JUST OUTSIDE MYSORE PALACE – LATE EVENING

A private mini bus stops just outside the Mysore Palace. When the bus door opens, 7 women and 8 children get down. Once they all get down the driver closes the bus door. Women and children talk to each other, as they walk towards the palace.

Just outside the palace is an old man, his back against the compound wall of the park, who has spread hand made music instruments around him and is playing one of the music instruments. The children stand around him, mesmerized by his music.

The women pull out their phone cameras and start taking pictures.

SARITHA

(after a few minutes)

OK, come on lets go. The light and music show in the palace is about to start.

The mothers gently nudge their children to start moving towards the palace. One child, Krishna, stays put near the old man and continues to enjoy the music.

AMBIKA (KRISHNA’S MOTHER)

Come on, lets go. Others are waiting.

KRISHNA

Just one moment, amma!

He continues to listen to the music intently. Saritha walks towards Ambika and looks at Krishna.

SARITHA (TO AMBIKA)

He seems to like that instrument so much. Why don’t you buy it for him?

AMBIKA

Yeah, he is enjoying it very much. If he asks, then I will consider buying. Let him ask first.

Krishna listens to the music performance from the old man until he finishes the song he was playing. He then smiles, turns around and joins his mother and Saritha.

SARITHA

You liked the music?

KRISHNA

(smiling)

Yes, very much!

SARITHA

Shall we go for the light and music show now?

KRISHNA

Yes!!!

AMBIKA

(as if wanting to check if he wants to buy the instrument)

That instrument he was playing was good?

KRISHNA

Yes!

He doesn’t say much else, but takes Ambika’s hand and walks towards the rest of the gang along with Saritha.

Saritha and Ambika look at each other. They look at Krishna, who is now looking towards the palace. They talk nothing more about the music or instrument. They simply walk towards the palace.

[2] EXT. MYSORE PALACE – LATER

Saritha buys tickets for everybody and they head into the light and sound show at the Mysore Palace. Lights come on and off, dancing along with the music revealing the shape, dimension and majesty of the palace. The kids, their mothers and everybody else who has bought tickets for the show are in awe of it.

[3] EXT. MYSORE PALACE – ONE HOUR LATER

The show completes and the entire group walks out.

SARITHA

Did you guys enjoy it?

KIDS IN UNISION

Yeeeesss…

SARITHA

Yay (claps)

KIDS IN UNISION

Clap

They begin to walk towards the bus, with mothers and children talking to each other along the way.

[4] EXT. JUST OUTSIDE MYSORE PALACE – NIGHT

They walk past the old man once again. He is playing another song. Krishna stops to listen to him play once more. Ambika walks a few steps ahead, towards the bus, turns around and waits for Krishna. A few moments later, Krishna joins Ambika.

Krishna looks at Ambika as if wanting to tell her something, but then decides against it.

AMBIKA

What is it?

KRISHNA

Nothing

AMBIKA

Tell na..

KRISHNA

Nothing

AMBIKA

Tell me, there is something on your mind.

KRISHNA

Hmmm.. Actually I want to pay some money to the old man. He is playing that instrument so well.

AMBIKA

Do you want to buy the instrument?

KRISHNA

No, I don’t want to buy. I want to pay him money just for his performance.

AMBIKA

I see. How much money do you want to pay him?

KRISHNA

Hmmm..

Krishna looks at the old man, who is still playing some music. Then he turns back to Ambika

KRISHNA

I think 100 rupees?

AMBIKA

So, you just want to pay him 100 rupees for his performance and not buy anything?

KRISHNA

Yes. Is that ok?

AMBIKA

Sure. Its Ok. But…

Ambika takes a hundred rupees note from her purse and hands it over to Krishna.

AMBIKA

what will you tell him while paying the money? I am not sure if he will accept the money just like that…

Krishna takes the money, doesn’t answer Ambika but walks over to the old man. Ambika walks behind him.

Krishna reaches near the old man. Waits for him to complete the song. Looking at the 100 rupees in Krishna’s hand, the old man stops playing music. He turns to Krishna preparing to make a sale.

KRISHNA

(stretching his right arm out towards the old man, with 100 rupees in his hand)

Uncle, you play the music instrument so well. I liked it very much.

OLD MAN

Thank you!

Old man takes 100 rupees from Krishna’s hand.

OLD MAN

What would you like to buy?

KRISHNA

Nothing. Thank you for playing so well.

OLD MAN

(understanding that Krishna paid him for the performance, he is visibly moved)

Thank you my dear!

The Old man folds his hand and does a namaskara to Krishna and to the money. Krishna returns the namaskara.

The old man keeps the money in his pocket, smiles at Krishna once more, before continuing to play another song.

Krishna turns around and joins Ambika.

KRISHNA

Amma, he took the money.

AMBIKA

I saw that. That’s great!

KRISHNA

But I don’t understand why he did namaskara to the money.

Ambika fondly holds Krishna near her, appreciating her son for the kind gesture he just made to the old man. She feels pride and love for Krishna. They walk to the bus. Her face is lit up with joy and her eyes are welled up.

Scene blurs as the group boards their bus. We reveal the title of this short film.

THE MUSIC IS WORTH PAYING FOR