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Bengali short film

Laughing Buddha

Daughter's wishes change mother's life!

Written & directed by Sanjib Nath

 

SCREENPLAY

 

A) INT. DRAWING ROOM - EVENING

Neelima takes the  divorce form from her bag,  looks at it.  Then she tears the form into pieces and throws it into the dustbin.  One pack of cigarette and lighter are kept inside dustbin. Torn paper pieces fall inside the dustbin in slow motion and it gets overwritten by the text -

"LAUGHING BUDDHA"

B) INT. DRAWING ROOM - MORNING

Neelima is sitting on a sofa,  sipping her morning green tea  and  confidently playing sudocu with a kid's pen (a Mickey mouse is attached in the upper side of the dot pen with black ink color). Discovery channel is on in her LED TV in low volume. TV remote is kept near TV stand at a distant place from the sofa.

One pencil sketch frame with Rinki's signature (poor drawing, by some kid) is hanging on the left side wall near sofa.

[  --- Neelima's maid servant, Lalita (age 30), is dusting Rinki's room with a broom. The room is full of dolls and toys. She is trying to clean the laughing Buddha statue with a piece of cloth. After cleaning it, she tries to clean the nearby wall with the broom. While doing so, the statue falls down on the floor and gets broken into pieces. ---  ]

Neelima hears the sound and asks Lalita,

NEELIMA

Lalita, kiser awaz holo? Kichhu

pore gelo naaki?

LALITA (REPLIES HESITANTLY)

O didi, khub kharap kaj hoye gelo go didi. jei Rinki sonar putul-ta

haat diyechhi, omni kirakam ekta jhatka laglo haate.

r tarporei, ami jei abar otake poriskar korte gelam,

omni putul-ta kaat hoye niche pore gelo go.

amake mere phelo go didi.

C) INT. RINKI'S ROOM - DAY - FLASHBACK

Neelima gives the buddha statue to Rinki. Rinki opens the gift wrap and smiles like the buddha statue by seeing it. Neelima starts explaining Rinki about the laughing buddha and wishes.

D) INT. DRAWING ROOM - MORNING

NEELIMA (WITH ANGER)

natok bandho kor. chup! toke

kotobar bolechhi je Rinki'r jinis sabdhaan-e clean korbi!

Idol-ta bhaange ni to?

LALITA (ALMOST CRYING)

ami sabdhanei korchhilam go Didi.

tarporeo eto boro pap-ta amar haate holo!

putul-ta niche pore bhenge gelo go Didi.

NEELIMA (WITH ANGER)

what!

E) INT. RINKI'S ROOM - MORNING

Neelima immediately leaves the drawing room and enters into Rinki's room (top view - camera near roof). While entering, from the door, she sees the Buddha statue has broken into pieces on the floor. She finds some folded papers are also fallen down near the broken statue. (Camera on Neelima's shoulder and dolly effect)

A bunch of morning bright sunlight falls onto the chits.

LALITA

Didi, ami satyi bolchhi...

NEELIMA (SHOUTING)

ekdom chup! ekhan theke jaa

ekhon.

NEELIMA (FIRMLY, LOW VOLUME)

r, kalke je quickfix-er tube-ta

kinechhilam, gaarir bhetor theke o-ta ber kore diye jaa.

Neelima takes the car key from the key holder and presses the unlock button. The black car makes central locking unlock sound with blinking lights. Lalita leaves the room immediately with a big sorrow in her face.

Neelima sits on her folded one knee, keeps car key on the floor and takes one piece of of folded paper and opens it hesitantly.

PENCIL (4 - GREEN)

"God, please make me first in

class this year also."

F) EXT. TRAVELLING (INSIDE VOLVO BUS) - DAY

Neelima is traveling in a volvo bus (preferrably, school bus) sitting in front of her daughter. Rinki shows her marksheet to Neelima. Neelima looked at the marksheet, kissed her and gives the Mickey mouse pen to Rinki from her bag. Kissing and pen giving scenes are shown in shadow.

G) INT. RINKI'S ROOM - MORNING

She looks curious, sits properly on the floor and picks up another paper.

PENCIL (1 - PINK)

Ria Dadda has car. God, give my Dadda car.

H) INT. DRAWING ROOM - DAY

Rinki enters into drawing room from outside. She looks very happy and dances all over the drawing room with a car key.

RINKI

akidulia, akidulia, akidulia.

I) INT. RINKI'S ROOM - MORNING

She looks at the chit and looks at her car key and kissed it with a mild smile. Then she noticed that Lalita kept her foundation bottle instead of quickfix tube.

NEELIMA

eta ki Lalita? eta niye giye

dressing table-e rekhe de,

r amake athar bottle ta diye ja.

Then she picks up the third chit. One violin is being seen as kept inside box and standing supporting the wall.

PENCIL (5 - BLACK)

Don't know why I’m not able to

concentrate on my study! God, please help me.

Her eyelids get wet and she closes her eyes (camera - inside eye view).

Rinki is sitting on the floor with the violin.

NEELIMA (V.O.)

Kothay mon thaake tomar? How come

you’ve got so less in maths and creative writing compared to last year?

She opens her eyes, picks up the next chit and opens it up.

J) INT. RINKI'S ROOM - LATE EVENING - FLASHBACK

Rinki over phone talking to Neelima (showing only Rinki's side, almost completed painting is kept on the floor along with drawing board, pencil, etc. - the same painting is hanging on the wall now, but with signature).

RINKI

Hello Mom.

NEELIMA

Yeah honey, tell me.

RINKI

Mom, when will you come home? aaj

raat-e amra ki eksonge khaabo? Please Mom...

NEELIMA

Baby, I’m busy. onek kaaj baaki aachhe!

Don't wait for me.

Lalita-maasi ke bolo tomar aar Dadda'r khabar diye dite.

RINKI

Ok, Mom.

Rinki cuts the call and takes a pencil and paper. Camera shows the house from outside in night view. She writes down...

PENCIL (2 - BLUE)

God, give Mom big promotion so

that she can come home before I go to bed.

Rinki starts folding the paper. (Scene transits to Neelima's half folded chit)

K) INT. DRAWING ROOM - LATE MORNING

Neelima keeps the chit and picks up the next one.

PENCIL (6 - RED)

Oh God, these days I get headache quite often.

Please do something;

I’m unable to take it anymore!

L) INT. STUDY ROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Camera moves to the computer screen showing the symptoms of disease as headache, loss of concentration, etc. After some time, computer screen goes blank (due to screen saver with Rinki's name) and it shows that Neelima is searching something in internet.

Neelima’s worried face is seen in the computer monitor.

[ --- After sometime, Neelima takes the awater bottle and drinks water. Camera shows the water coming out from bottle (close view) and monitor in off focus. Camera moves to Neelima's 'best employee award'. --- ]

M) INT. DRAWING ROOM - LATE MORNING

Neelima picks up the next chit, while reading the chit goes off focus and her tear drops on the chit and then the chit comes in focus again.

PENCIL (3 - BLUE)

I do not want Dadda to go to

Jungle. Please God, ask Mom not to fight with him.

N) INT. FIRST FLOOR - BALCONY

Neelima's husband takes out the car from the parking area and leaves.

NEELIMA (SHOUTING)

what do you want? How long can I

keep trust on your doctors?

Neelima stands still in balcony. The car goes out from the parking area.

O) EXT. TEMPLE - MORNING - FLASHBACK

Neelima goes to temple to pray for her daughter’s cure. Temple’s agarbati smoke transits to Neelima's cigarette smoke.

P) INT. DRAWING ROOM - LATE MORNING

Neelima bends toward the last chit kept around 1ft away and picks up the last chit from the floor while smoking. Her cigarette smoke goes up towards her daughter’s ‘ta ta’ hand photo frame on the Wall. (dolly effect)

Q) EXT. CHILDREN'S PARK - AFTERNOON

Younger Rinki smiles and shows “ta ta bye bye” with her little hands.

R) INT. DRAWING ROOM - LATE MORNING

Neelima bends towards the last chit from around 2ft distance, sits properly on her both knees and unfolds the last chit.

PENCIL (7 - BLACK)

My Lord, please give Mom enough

strength to bare my death.

Neelima smokes a puff but doesn’t inhale. She exhales the smoke from her mouth and put off the cigarette on ashtray. She slowly gets up, stands close to the window, and throws the cigarette pack and lighter inside the dustbin.

She stands there holding the window rod looking towards the sky without a movement. The sunlight gets lighter and lighter. Window shows a evening sunlight.

Scissor sharpening tool is shown to be sharpening a knife with full volume noise.

Simultaneously Neelima starts crying and shouting - "aa aa aa aa" holding the window rods. Her mouth is widely opened and her eyes are tightly closed.

S) INT. DRAWING ROOM - EVENING

She takes out the divorce form from her bag. pieces of form starts falling inside dustbin and the dustbin cover gets closed. (Camera is kept inside dustbin while shooting)

Display director's name.

BLACKOUT

Neelima sits on the floor and starts fixing the broken statue pieces with quickfix.

Display other credits.