Amazing Feet, Devil Hands and Boat 91

ind.igenous partnered with Projekt, the film, photography, and scriptwriting society of Lady’s Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi, for their annual fest, Tarang. Projekt organized a scriptwriting competition, Staccato, at which Pragya Pai, a second-year English student from Miranda House, Delhi, won first place. ind.igenous is delighted to publish her script.


Inside a Delhi metro. All seats are occupied, a few people stand. A toddler runs around. Under a seat lies a single airpod, hidden from view by a youngster’s legs. The airpod is black, with white letters on it that read BOAT 91.


Feet! They’re amazing, aren’t they? No, wait. I didn’t mean it in the fetish way. I mean, if you take away the person and leave the feet, well, you’ll still have people.

(deep sigh)

That’s how it feels from here, anyway.
I know what you’re thinking — ‘what would an earpiece know about feet?’ But if you lay at my present vantage point, you too would only think about feet. Believe me, the floor under a metro seat is not my first choice of a resting place either, but one gets used to it fairly quickly.

(A child wearing shoes that squeak runs through the coach. The person blocking the airpod’s view has been aggressively bouncing their leg.)

Ah, ah, ah—look at that little thing! Those squeaky shoes can’t sit still for a minute, can they? Must you run from one end of the train to the other, baby-feet? And must you—foot that blocks my view—must you bounce your heel in that unbecoming manner? Where I come from, in the higher parts of the body, this chaos would never be tolerated. No sir! But you could expect it from the middle portion. The hands, you see, are the real troublemakers. You think you’re doing a good job playing Taylor Swift; one quick movement and you’re out of a job, and stuck in deafening silence. I hate them—those devil hands.

(Metro stops. Two people from the seats opposite to BOAT 91 leave. A couple takes their place. The new sets of legs are placed close to each other, touching. The hand of one caresses the knee of the other.)

Hmph. PDA. Get a case, you two. A nice, smooth black one with a portable charger. Yes, that would do nicely.

(A moment of silence.)

You know, I have a pretty comfortable case myself. The insides are made of the softest silicone, the outside a fashionable black; you can imagine the luxury. But take away all that richness and I would still be happy in it, for the best of all is the company. There’s no better company than the one specially designed for you. Even when we’re working, and he’s out of my sight, the blue bulb on my back glows and I know he’s near. What wouldn’t I do for a hint of that blue right now!

(Another moment of silence.)

It’s a hustle of a life—working all the time, me in one ear and him in the other. Sometimes, I don’t even know if he’s working or resting. I just read my little signals and turn them into audio for hours and hours till I’m allowed back in my case. Oh, worst of all are the times when he is put to work and I’m left in the dark all alone. What’s a lonely airpod to do alone in a case? At least, there are some feet to watch here.

(Some seats over, wired earphones fall to the ground as its owner dozes off.)

Look at those old timers. To have your partnership be validated by an actual string! Sometimes, I wish I was born in the olden times. Anybody pairs with anybody these days.

(Deep sigh.)
(A pair of legs from the opposite seat leaves. The legs left behind stand still, no longer tilted towards another. No one occupies the other seat.)

Hmph. What do you do now, all-alone-feet, now that your partner’s gone? Do you think they’ll come back for you? Do you think they can come back for you?

(The owner of the wired earphones wakes, and their hand reaches down in search of it.)

Oh, oh, is it you? Have my beloved hands come for me?

(The owner picks up the wired earphones.)

Never liked those hands anyway. Troublemakers, they are. Probably dropped me here on purpose.

(The person on the seat above the airpod leaves. The child has stopped running, and is now jumping nearby.)

Of course, a new nuisance. Feet are no less troublemakers, are they? At least that bobbing heel is gone.

(Metro halts. The child stops jumping and bends down to look at the airpod.)

Aah! A monster!

(Child picks it up.)


(A tiny fist shakes the airpod. Another, bigger pair of hands grab the tiny one and take the airpod away. In the distance a ‘thank you’ is heard.)

Devil hands!

(Blue bulb on the airpod flickers and glows.)

Oh, hands. Oh, these wonderful devil hands! I always trusted them, you know—these devil hands.

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