- A Musical Dance Drama
“Mother and Motherland are greater than the highest heavens,” said Lord Rama in the Treta Yuga, and now, the same Sai Rama reiterates this by saying “The Mother is your living God…Try to win the wealth of your mother's grace, only then your life will be sanctified.” In this month of May, when we celebrate the memory of the Mother of the Avatar of this age, Mother Eswaramma, here is the script of a beautiful play “Amma” enacted in front of Bhagavan Baba by the Bal Vikas children of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh on July 11, 2007.
It begins with a touching scene where a poor devotee of Lord Venkateshwara, Venkanna, is searching for medical help for his mother, the play then centers on Ram, a busy modern youth who has no time for his devoted Mother Parvatamma. The characters depict the two contrasting outlooks of the youngsters, which is a reflection of our modern society, and concludes with a eulogy of Motherly love.
Tirupati Venkanna - Illiterate but devoted son
Tirupati Gangamma - Venkanna’s mother
Ram - busy modern youth
Srinivas - Ram’s boss
Hospital boy: Oh! Disgusting! What are you murmuring? This is a hospital! Keep quiet!
Venkanna: What! Is it unpleasant to utter God’s Name? My mother Tirupati Gangamma asked me to repeat the name of God always. He will protect us from all difficulties.
HB: What is your name?
Ven: Triupati Venkanna.
HB: I am not asking the name of the Lord of Seven Hills! Tell me your name.
Ven: That is a long story.
HB: What? A long story for your short name?
Ven: Yes! My mother is a great devotee of Balaji. Every year she used to go on pilgrimage to the Lord of Seven Hills. She was trekking the whole distance barefoot to have a darshan of the Lord. However one year, she came to the holy shrine but not on foot.
Ven: She was very upset with the Lord. She prayed: “Oh Lord! You are on top of the hill enjoying the daily processions and celebrations. You don’t care for me. If you are really God, please bless me with a child.” As a protest, that particular year she did not take the trekking route. You see, the Lord is so compassionate. With His blessings, I was born. I was lovingly named as Tirupathi Vankanna. That is the story behind my baptism.
HB: OK. Go and wait inside, the eye doctor will come to check your eyes.
Ven: No, it is not for me but for my mother. She has cataractS.
HB: Is it so? Then deposit 10,000 Rupees at the counter and bring the receipt. She will be operated upon today itself.
Ven: What! Ten thousand rupees!
HB: Yes! An operation is not a joke. We use German equipment and medicines imported from Japan. The operation will be done in an air conditioned Operation Theater.
Ven: Sir, I am a poor man and cannot pay ten thousand rupees. Please request the doctor to be considerate to us and reduce the fees.
HB: Don’t teach us compassion and generosity. At best we can reduce by a thousand rupees.
Ven: Sir, sir, please be kind to us. My mother is my god. If she cannot regain sight, what is the use of my existence? I can pay a thousand rupees. Please get her operated. I will be indebted to you.
HB: What! One thousand rupees! You see, you will not be allowed even to step into the operation theatre for that amount. Get out. How dare you come to beg for an operation?
Ven: Oh! Mother why of all the world you chose to become my mother - who is incapable of providing even essential heath care to you. Oh Lord of Lords, Venkanna! Please help my mother get back her sight.
(A voice from behind)
Brother! Don’t worry. The Lord will surely listen to your prayer. Your mother will surely get back her sight.
Ven: How! I don’t have ten thousand rupees.
Stranger: Don’t worry. Even without a single penny, your mother can get operated. Can the Lord be a mute witness to the pangs of His ardent devotee like you?
Ven: Brother! What am I hearing? A free operation! Can I believe what you are saying?
Stranger: Yes! It is true.
Ven: Brother, who are you? Are you an angel?
Stranger: The all-merciful Lord Venkanna has come down to earth. In place of conch, lotus, mace and discus - He now carries Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema - Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love. The crown of Lord Venkanna is replaced by a crown of dark hair. In place of gold ornaments the present form is wearing the ochre robe. He adorns an indelible smile. We are the angels of that Lord in human form.
Ven: Is it so? Has the Lord incarnated in human form? Where is He Sir?
Stranger: He is Sathya Sai Baba. His abode is in Puttaparthi. He runs Super Specialty Hospitals in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh and in Bangalore in the State of Karnataka. He is Compassion Incarnate and the patients are treated there without any fees. Even diet is provided to the patients without any charge. In fact there is no bill counter in the Hospital. Get your mother treated there by specialist doctors. She will definitely regain her sight.
Ram: Mummy, Mummy!
Mother: When did you come Ram?
Ram: Ten minutes back. First I went home to see you. You were not there. What are you doing here Mummy?
Mother: Ram why don’t you call me mother? What is this mummy? It reminds me of the Egyptian mummies.
Ram: If you cannot understand modern life, what can I do. But why are you here?
Mother: You see those lovely children playing there. I was engrossed in watching them. Let us go home.
Ram: Be quick. I have no time. I have so many urgent engagements.
Mother: Dear, don’t you usually stay for at least four days at home?
Ram: Oh no! I have no time even to stay for 4 minutes. Back in Hyderabad I earn 4 lakh rupees in 4 minutes.
Mother: Don’t you feel the mother’s longing to be with her son for a couple of days?
Ram: Oh mummy! You have seen me here for 25 years. Why this attachment?
Mother: If you cannot stay for 4 minutes even, why at all you have come here?
Ram: It is to repay your debt.
Mother: What debt?
Ram: That you incurred on my upbringing. I calculated to the last pie. It has come to 3,30,000 rupees. Here is this cheque.
Mother: So nice. When did you start computing parental love in terms of money? Have you worked it all out meticulously without any omissions?
Ram: I haven’t left out anything.
Mother: Don’t think otherwise. What is the rent you worked out for your cozy stay for nine months in the mother’s womb and for the breast-feeding for the initial 3 years? As a mother, I attended your every single need. What is the fee for that? While you were sick, I spent anxious and sleepless nights praying for your speedy recovery. Can you calculate this in monetary terms? As a mother, I showered my love and affection on you. Have you included them in your payments?
Ram: Sorry mummy, these aspects were not included. Ok! Let me add a lump sum of 3 more lakh rupees for all these. Have another cheque. Are you happy now?
Mother: Dear! With this money, you believe you have cleared your indebtedness to your parents?
Ram: Yes, totally and completely.
Mother: You are right. You don’t have any value for the living; why should I have any value for these lifeless papers.
Ram: Mummy, mummy don’t tear them! These are cheques worth more then 6 lakhs! Oh! Why did you tear them?
Mother: I am not educated like you. How can I understand the value of these papers? But I can see that lifeless paper is worth more to you than human feelings.
Ram: It seems with age you have become senile.
Mother: Yes, dear. The moment you worked out the love and affection of your parents in terms of money, I lost my balance of mind. Now you can go happily… Oh, Lord Ram, kindness incarnate; pardon my son for his intemperate behavior and for the disrespect shown to his mother. Please make him realize the sacredness of mother’s love.
Venkanna (enters): Mother!
Mother: Who is there? Oh Venkanna! I thought it was my son Ram calling me.
Ven: I too am your son. Why not? I love you dearly.
Mother: I wish. But how can you be my son without being born to me.
Ven: Why? Though not by birth, but by my love and affection towards you I can be your son.
Mother: Venkanna you are right. With your selfless love and affection truly you are more than my son.
Ven: Please come to our house. I will take care of you.
Mother: Venkanna! How did this thought of caring for me come to your mind?
Ven: My mother used to narrate the epics Ramayana and Bhagawata, in my childhood. She used to tell the stories of Shravan Kumar and Pundarika and their devotion to their parents. She always impressed upon me to take care of the elderly and treat them as your own parents.
Mother: I now realize that if I would have narrated such stories to my son Ram in his childhood, he too would have imbibed such noble qualities like you.
Ven: Don’t be disheartened. Pray to Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. Your son will surely return to you with love.
Mother: Have you seen Baba?
Ven: Yes! Not only did I have His Darshan, I could also listen to His nectarine discourses.
Mother: What did Baba say?
Ven: Swami tells, “Mother is the first God. He showers the love of thousand mothers on His devotees.”
Mother: Venkanna, you are a true devotee of Baba. How may educated youth have such a kind heart like you?
Ven: Mother, let us go home.
Ram: Good morning Sir.
Officer: Good morning, please be seated.
Ram: Sir, there is no time to sit. This contract is worth lakhs of Rupees. I have prepared all papers and rates have been quoted considering all aspects. Please sign it.
Officer: Ok! Keep the file.
Ram: Sir, it is very urgent. This is to be posted with in an hour.
Officer: What do you mean? Am I not to go through the documents before signing? I will thoroughly study the pros and cons of the deal before signing. You can go.
Ram: I am working here for 2 years. Never did you doubt my ability. It seems you are suspecting me.
Ram: Do you doubt my integrity?
Officer: Why not? You are not truth personified!
Ram: Oh God! All these years of dedicated service of mine has gone to waste.
Officer: You have been paid for that.
Ram: Please sir, don’t insult me that way.
Officer: Are you hurt?
Ram: Yes, I am really hurt. I served the company with such dedication as I serve my mother.
Officer: Is it so? One who cannot love his mother, how can he love his company?
Ram: Sir, what are you referring to?
Officer: Don’t you know that I am always concerned about the welfare of my employees and their families?
Ram: I am sorry sir.
Officer: Ram! When you were toiling day and night in the office for the betterment of the company, I was proud that I got a manager with integrity and sincerity. But I was disappointed to hear that you do not consider the mother’s affection as something sacred but stooped to the level of returning your mother’s love in the form of money. Ram! You were upset by my just saying that you got paid for your work. Then can you realize the agony of your mother when you tried to return her love and affection in the form of money?
Ram: This thought never occurred to me sir.
Officer: Now ponder over this: You are born in a land that gave the world the sacred Vedas which declare mother as God (matru devo bhava). You are brought up in a land which was ruled by compassionate and virtuous Lord Rama, you studied in a land that give birth to Mahatma Gandhi, you are living in the times when the Lord himself has incarnated as Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Still if you cannot love your mother, what is the use of such a life?
Ram: Sorry sir, I committed an unpardonable sin.
Officer: Ram! It is not your fault. It is the fault of the system, which fails to grasp the importance of education for higher goals. We consider education merely as a means of earning our livelihood. Frankly, I am blessed to be a student of the educational institutes run by Sathya Sai Baba, which produce good citizens. Baba says that God resides in every home in the form of our mother. I take care of my mother as an eyelid protects the eye.
Ram: Now, I am able to understand the value of the mother.
Officer: To respect your mother means to live in accordance with her wishes. Bhagavan Baba showed it by example. When Mother Easwaramma asked Bhagavan for a school in Puttaparthi, He set up a University. When she requested for a well to provide water for the villagers, He undertook several projects to provide water to thousands of villagers including the inhabitants of the metropolitan city of Chennai. When His mother requested for a dispensary, Swami set up Super Specialty Hospitals of international repute, one at Puttaparthi and the other at Bangalore. See how much of importance was given to the wishes of Mother Easwaramma! We have to learn how to respect the mother from Bhagavan’s life.
Ram: Sir, I committed a sin by neglecting and insulting my mother. I will immediately go to my mother and beg her pardon.
Officer: Ram! I know you are honest and truthful. I remember my mother saying, “I don’t mind if you don’t posses cars and mansions, money and authority, but I will be hurt if there is dearth of love and affection in you. Now onwards develop love and respect for others.
Ram: Sir, you have opened my eyes.
Officer: Loads of money cannot give your mother the joy and happiness she otherwise derives from your love and affection. Let me show it to you.
Officer: Is this Parvatamma’s residence?
Parvatamma: Yes, I am Parvatamma.
Officer: Are you Ram’s mother?
Parvatamma: Yes. Who are you Sir? Is there any problem with Ram?
Officer: Nothing happened to him. He is perfectly alright. I am the chief of the company where your son Ram works.
Parvatamma : Please be seated Sir.
Officer: No, I have not come for sitting. I am very much pained to say that the integrity of your son is in doubt and as such I have decided to dismiss him from service.
Parvatamma: How dare you say so Sir? He is as pure as a crystal. His integrity is beyond doubt. I am his mother. I know him better than anyone else.
Officer: All mothers say the same thing about their children.
Parvatamma: Integrity and honesty is in our blood.
Officer: If he is so good how can he insult his mother?
Parvatamma: It might have happened on the spur of the moment. Out of childish pranks, the child may punch his mother but that doesn’t mean that he dislikes the mother. Please don’t doubt his honesty and sincerity. He served your company with total dedication. I have full faith in my son. He will surely realize his mistake and return to me. But, these are family matters. I don’t understand why you are poking your nose into the affairs between a mother and her child. If you remove him from your company, I bet he will surely get a better job.
Officer: I salute you for the motherly love towards your prodigal son.
Ram: Mother! Mother! Please forgive me!
Officer: Ram! Have you understood the mother’s love for her son?
Ram: Mother, he is our company manager Srinivas. He made me realize my mistake.
Officer: Madam! Pardon me for speaking harshly with you. I wanted to bring home to Ram what a mother’s love is.
Parvatamma: I am glad, you brought my son back home. I can never forget your help.
Venkanna: Mother you see your deep prayer to Lord Sai has brought back your son. Our Lord is so compassionate. He made His devotee an instrument to make a disobedient son realize the significance of motherly love.
Parvatamma: Ram, though Venkanna is not my son by birth, he took care of me as his own mother and helped in forgetting the pangs of your separation. I am indebted to him.
Officer: Ram learn from Venkanna’s example. Let your love flow in all directions. Be devoted to your mother and propagate motherly love. That is the real service you can render to the society.
Ram: I shall surely follow your advice. Mother! Come with me.
Mother: Let us first go to Prashanthi Nilayam to seek the blessings of our benevolent Lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba who was instrumental in dispelling the dark clouds from our lives. Let us prostrate before the Lord and take a vow to spread the light of love to every home.
- The original Telugu script by Mr. M. S. Prakash Rao
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