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Minister

I affirm the Govt.’s intention to build the Casino. In style and quality it would rival the ones at Las Vegas… Not just the D’Gama mansion, but the slums nearby too shall be demolished … and there .. .. huge malls and modern hotels shall be built. This place will turn into a tourist paradise… bringing in business and jobs …

 

Meanwhile, Barroz is placing a marble under the minister’s empty chair. As he does that, Barroz notices Isa seated in the front row. She has one of Barroz’s marbles in her hand  .. and she is .. .. looking directly at Barroz! - curious, as to what he is upto. Barroz turns around to make sure that there is no one behind him whom Isa is staring at. No, nobody there! Yes, surely, she is looking at Barroz.

People clap. The minister has finished his speech.

Minister (CONT'D)

Jai Hind… Jai bharath…

Barroz realises that Isa can see him. That very moment the minister sits back on his chair and the chair topples. There is pandemonium all around… Ron tries to help the minster get up. Security staff come running to the stage… toppling few other things in the commotion…

Isa points at Barroz and shouts loudly…

Isa

I saw it… I saw you do that… you filthy old dog…

Barroz panics

Isa (CONT'D)

Don’t let him off… he is the rogue… he did it

Isa runs towards Barroz…

Barroz runs out of the hall… Isa gives chase…

Isa (CONT'D)

Stop… you rogue…

SCENE 140 EXT. DAY gaTe  CHASE

At the hotel gate… Isa is right behind Barroz… Chotta comes on his cycle... and yells to Isa..

CHOTTA

Hey Sis, No need to go looking for the Ghost! I have the latest on him … The ghost is out of the cellar...

Isa is oblivious to this... but Chotta sees the SP coming after her…

CHOTTA (CONT'D)

Aiyyo, Not only that the ghost is out… there he is ... coming after you...

Barroz asks Voodoo

          BARROZ

Who is this coming after me?

 

          VOODOO

One of those demons .. in the form of a girl. …  I warned you … coming to re-entomb you.

 

Barroz flees in fear.

SCENE 142 EXT. DAY STREETS

The CHASE ... streets... market..

Isa

Stop… stop… If you have the guts, stop there… you scoundrel... come, fight like a man...

Barroz does not stop running. Isa takes out her skating board and chases him… when she almost catches up with him, from Barroz's bag, the voodoo doll starts throwing marbles at Isa path. But she dodges the marbles. Then the marbles regroup and make a face at Isa… she hits them with a flying kick on her skate board.

Seeing that, Voodoo swallows one of the coloured candies that helps overcome fear. The marbles come around, swipe the skate board from under Isa’s feet, and fly away. Flat on the ground she takes out her anger by banging on the road. Then, there comes Chotta on his cycle. Followed by SP Unnikrishnan.

Chotta

Where to Sis?… Look behind... the danger is behind you...

Instead, Isa gets on Chotta’s cycle and gives chase... 

SCENE 142 ext / day PANJIM CHURCH SQUARE

As Barroz climbs the steps, Isa pounces on him.

Isa

You think you can topple my Appa’s casino plans… Do you? I will kill you…

From Barroz's bag the voodoo doll pops his head out

Voodoo

Just whack her … whack her down!

Barroz

What do you mean? She is a mere child…

 

Thats when Susan comes behind Isa… (the fantasy mode ends here)

What Susan sees is Isa grappling with an unseen assailant. She pulls Isa back, restraining her violent antics…

SUSAN

What's happening Isa? What's wrong with you? ….. Right in the middle of the road?

ISA

I will kill you… I will kill you

SUSAN

Isa please... please stop… there are people watching.

Ron Madhav, meanwhile, sitting in the car is speaking on phone

Ron

Please.... please... my daughter is emotionally unstable..... Can you find whether she has contacted any of her friends?

That is when he sees Susan grappling with Isa on the square. On the phone voice from other side “hello?, hello?” Traumatised by what he is beholding, Ron bows his head down - hiding his face within his palms.

Meanwhile, Isa’s goggle falls and Barroz recognizes.

BARROZ

          Isabella!

 

At this turn of events, Voodoo tries to flee. But seeing a cat cross the road, he jumps back to Barroz's shoulders. Barroz tries to call the cat “… tsk… tsk… tsk”

Defeated, voodoo hands over Isa's mobile phone to Barroz… seeing the photo of Isa and her mother Theresa, Barroz remembers Isabella.

SCENE 142 (Insert A) int / day D’Gama's palace

Dressed like a queen, the 12 year old Isabella D’Gama stands in front of a mirror. Behind her is a throne. Isabella turns from the mirror. Brandishing a royal staff, she commands …

Isabella

Genie in the pot… come out… Queen Isabella commands!

With a broken pot around his neck, Barroz rises up into the frame… with two fake fangs in his mouth, he growls. He offers Isabella a crown on a platter. Isabella picks it up and wears it on her head. Isabella blows (Ash Wednesday) holy ash from the sceptre and makes Barroz ‘disappear’. At this, children’s hands arise in the camera foreground, clapping…

SCENE 142 ext day church square and streets - contINUOUS

Barroz

That seems to be my child, Isabella.

Voodoo is silent

Barroz (CONT'D)

She is a descendant of D’Gama … heir to the treasure? Right?

The voodoo doll nods, agreeing to the statement Barroz turns to see Isa being pulled by Susan into the car. Isa is still thrashing like a wild cat.

Isa

Let me go… let me go

Barroz runs towards Isa…

Barroz

Stop my child, stop! Waiting for you 400 years, I am Barroz Papae…

Voodoo

 387, Not 400…

Isa is now inside the car. Barroz reaches her and laments…

Barroz

Child, you are the … 1,2,3… (counting with his fingers)… the 12th generation descendant to my Isabella… These centuries, I have been waiting for you… safekeeping a treasure meant for you … I am Barroz papae… Child, I am a ghost… … only you can see me…

Isa scoffs at that…

Isa

You madman, get lost!

The car moves forward… Barroz runs behind…

Barroz

Stop… please stop… woe me, how could I flee from the one whom I ought to be seeking!

He raise his arms skywards and laments…

Barroz (CONT'D)

Woe me!

 

 

 

                           INTERMISSION

Scene 205 EXT. DAY WATER BODY

A 14 storey high cruise ship crosses the water channel. Beyond, Isa is also there in the tour group lead by Ron. They are walking towards the Jetty. Isa is examining the contents of her phone. Suddenly, there comes a message. She is startled. It denotes ‘Mamae’ - her mother, as the sender! She opens and finds a set of GPS coordinates. She gets sidetracked from the tour as she points her phone and follows in the direction indicated. As in an AR (augmented reality) playout, atop a bollard beyond the waterfront, she sees Barroz sitting. Barroz is looking skywards and whistling to the seagulls hovering above him.

Anger fumes within her. She shouts at him above the sound of a nearby trawler…

Isa

So there you are .. enjoying yourself .. after shoring up additional problems for me. You devil… thanks to you, now I am the one who tripped the minister. you scoundrel… you old retard…

From Barroz's pocket the voodoo doll emerges, offering advise

Voodoo

Sit tight… just ignore her.

Isa

You… you, you … hacked my phone!(almost in tears)... and now you send messages as if from my Mamae… Insensitive devil…! (To her selves, in a hushed voice) Yes, you ghost! … Just come over .. I shall whack you with these garlics!

 

Isa is gnashing her teeth while in her pocket she is clenching a fist full of garlic she has come armed with.

Voodoo

Great pedigree!! That’s what I’d call a sweet lassie!

Barroz

Shut up!

Isa

(to herself)

Seems a nutcase… talking to himself… like me.

In his palms, Barroz is yo-yo-ing magic marbles like a spring rainbow. At the end of the rainbow is the ‘missing’ Isabella Mughal earring.

Despite herself, Isa is fascinated…

Isa (CONT'D)

Hey… old man

Barroz turns around to look at her, and gesticulates "Who? Me?"

Isa (CONT'D)

Yes, You…!

Yet, Barroz turns around to make sure that there is no other ghost perched on a pillar - none other than himself - who Isa could be addressing.

Isa (CONT'D)

Yes, you yourself… (under her breath) see the dog playact!

Barroz again gesticulates 'what is the matter?'

Isa (CONT'D)

How did you reach there?

Barroz makes a tiptoeing action with his fingers to indicate that he walked over water … from the jetty to the pillar. Quite simple, Barroz shrugs.

Isa takes time digesting that.

Now it is Barroz's turn to enquire

     "Why do you ask?" He puts the question in sign language.

Isa is still silent as to what her intention is. So, Barroz asks helpfully "Would you like to come here?" His again, is sign language.

Isa reacts unimpressed, yet nods 'yes'…

‘wait a moment’ shows Barroz, and he jumps off the bollard…

‘sploosh’ he goes under water… Isa hoots out laughing.

Like an air-filled balloon held under water, Barroz bounces up to the surface, spits water out, and starts walking towards shore.

Isa stops in mid-laugh.

As Isa watches, Barroz walks gingerly over the water … stepping over the wavelets without disturbing them … and reaches her. Isa, hiding her awe, seems just about impressed.

Barroz extends his hand to guide her. She extends her hand to his proffered one .. .. and half unwittingly, drops the fistful of garlic into his.

As she watch in full raptness, Barroz retorts

          Barroz

’Garlic? Always a good mouth freshener!’

Barroz throws them into his mouth and starts chewing. He again extends his hand

Barroz

Come, my child…

Isa

(With apprehension in her eyes)

Is it safe?

Barroz

Of course dear, … you saw me do it, didn't you?

She holds his offered hand and gingerly steps down from land onto the water. There is a spark within both the erstwhile enemies,(goose bumps?) as their hands come together. 

(Into fantasy mode)

The surface, without breaking, holds her weight. Both of them are now standing on water. Isa is gently swaying atop the waves. She looks up at Barroz and as if having accomplished a feat, beams!

Lullaby Theme. Holding Isa's both hands, making one dainty step at a time, Barroz with baby steps is leading her towards the pillar. Barroz brings up an unpleasant recent-past as he comments ..

Barroz (CONT'D)

My child, You called me ‘Hey old man!’

Isa (nonchalantly)

Nope. I called you ’Hey old dog’

Suddenly a wavelet jumps up and give slaps Isa’s face… she shakes off the water and looks pointedly at him. He wipes the water from her face and comments…

Barroz

      (laughingly)

These naughty waves…

Oh yes, I do remember now … you called me ‘hey old dog’ …

Well, my sweet child Isabella used to call me 'Barroz Papae’… and that too, with much affection!

Both Barroz and Isa are walking towards the bollard. A silver fish jumps up to peck on Isa's foot. She leaps back giggling. She looks down to see schools of colored fish swirling around them. She bursts out laughing .. .. abandoned laughter!

Looking up, she sees seagulls hovering around. She pauses for a moment to savour the delicacy of the moment, closes her eyes and breathes deep. She sings a line in Portuguese. The tune - which Barroz had whistled.

                   Barroz (CONT'D)

Nice girls shouldn't address the elderly, 'old'

Isa

I do the same with Appa … under my breath.

Suddenly, 'bloop ... splash'. Isa slips, falls and goes under water ... scattering the school of fishes!

Helped by Barroz, she emerges and comes up sputtering  …

Furious, Isa spits out.

Isa (CONT'D)

Bloody oaf… You did that on purpose

SCENE 206 EXT evening CRUISE SHIP DECK

Isa comes out of water abusing Barroz… but she emerges completely wet from the swimming pool atop the top deck of the 14 storey cruise ship. The guests and Isa herself, are surprised. Ron was on the stage, addressing the guests. He signs to his stewards .. and they escort Isa - embarrassed, wet and dripping.

                   Ron (getting things back on track)

Please, attention, everybody! .... As I was saying ... this Cruise Ship is brought here to show that Casino is a fun destination .. for every family... for every child .. a place to showcase their talents... let the talent show begin. 

The crowd cheers...

Scene 207 Ext evening cruise ship deck

TALENT SHOW HAPPENING

Isa sits in a corner… occasionally glancing at the happenings on stage… her wet clothes changed, she is now in a bath robe. Bored, she takes her phone to play her ’Bare & Dare’ game … and she finds that deleted! That damned ghost!! But there is a new ‘Chase the Ghost' game…  it loads up.

The game is a digitized version of Isa chasing Barroz… very thrilling. When Barroz with a loud splash falls off the ferry, Isa bursts out laughing.

Suddenly she stops. Barroz, she finds, is sitting beside her. She feigns anger.

Isa

Why did you delete my favourite game?

Barroz

Game? Strangers - faceless and placeless, make you do all sorts of things .. and you call it a game? I would call it a shame!

Isa remains silent.

Voodoo (V.O.)

For a ghost … well said, Barroz.

Dismissing that, Barroz continues

Barroz

Your mother, my child, should have told you these! Where is your Mamae?

Isa looks at her phone wallpaper…

Isa

Mamae has left… and Appa is as good as not being around.

Her eyes becomes moist… Barroz understands her pain.

Kakkanad - Kerala, India | ©2017 Navodaya Studio | navodayastudio@gmail.com

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