Treat Your Parents Well

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    TRACK 1:

    Durga:             What is karma?  Karmas are actions we do.  If we do good actions, we will reap good rewards, if we do bad actions, we will suffer the consequences.


    Bharat:             According to Hindu philosophy, the reason why we have the life we have is because of our previous life’s karma.  In this way much of our suffering is not really in our hands.


    Durga:             Sai Baba says that there is only one karma though, which will show us its reaction in this life and that is how we treat our parents in this life.  Our children will treat us in the same way.


    Bharat:             The following play depicts this point in a slightly surprising and enchanting manner:

    After his wife passed away, a frail old man, Anand went to live with his son Prasad, daughter-in-law Leena and six year old grandson Rishi.


    Durga:             The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred and his steps faltered….

    One day when the whole family was sitting together at a meal:


    TRACK 2:


    Scene 1:


    (Anand eating noisily, dropping food, dropping spoon, hands shaking)….


    Prasad:            Dad can’t you eat with your mouth closed.


    Anand:            I’ll try beta.  You see with most of my molars gone, closing my mouth and eating makes it very difficult.


    Leena:              You keep dropping your spoon!  It’s dirtying my new tablecloth!


    Anand:            Sorry betee, my shaking hands just can’t seem to get a firm grip on the spoon.


    Prasad:            Dad, you keep bumping me with your elbow.  Can you move over a little.


    Anand:            Sorry beta.  I’ll move over.


    (Anand reaches over to get the bread basket and drops a few pieces out of it).


    Leena:              You’re so clumsy!  Can’t you ask us to pass a bread roll to you.


    Anand:            I didn’t want to bother you dear.


    Prasad:            Oh Leena what a wonderful meal you’ve cooked.


    Anand:            Betee, the meal is good, but could you kindly add fewer chilis to the dishes that you prepare, I suffer from heartburn.


    Prasad:            Stop criticizing my wife’s cooking!  You don’t like the food, then why don’t you cook for yourself!


    – 2 –

    (Anand reaches over to get his glass of water when he spills it)


    Leena:              Aargh!  My tablecloth is ruined!  That does it Prasad!  I’m just fed up!  I’ve had enough of your spilled drinks, noisy eating, broken dishes and food all over the floor! (Leena throws down her napkin) and rushes out of the room.


    Prasad:            Now look what you’ve done!  You’ve upset poor Leena.  Prasad gets up and leaves the table.


    (little Rishi is just watching the whole scene).


    (Anand wipes a tear and starts cleaning up the table)


    Rishi:               I’ll help you Dadaji.


    TRACK 3: Transition music from Scene 1 to 2


    TRACK 4:

    Scene 2:

    (living room scene)


    (Leena sitting on the sofa in a huff)


    (Prasad enters and pats her on her back)


    Prasad:            Oh Leena dear, I’m so sorry.


    Leena:              Ever since your dad came to live with us – it’s been an absolute nightmare!


    Prasad:            I know dear.  What could I have done?  He had nowhere to go after mother died.


    Leena:              Well you’ve got to come up with a solution because I just can’t take it anymore!


    Prasad:            How about if we set up a separate table in the corner for Dad.  We can give him a wooden bowl so he won’t be able to break anymore of your expensive Noritake plates.


    Leena:              Great idea!  Then we won’t be able to hear him chew loudly and he can drop all the food he wants!


    Prasad:            Maybe I’ll go buy one tomorrow just after work.  They’re having a sale at Rooms To Go.


    Leena:              We don’t need to be spending any extra money.  Remember that old table in the attic?


    Prasad:            The one we couldn’t get rid of during the garage sale!?!


    Leena:              It’s not that bad!  We can just put a cloth or something over it.  He’ll never know the difference anyway!


    TRACK 5 – Transition music from Scene 2 to 3


    TRACK 6:

    Scene 3:


    (dining room scene again – this time with a separate ugly table in the corner)


    (Prasad, Leena & Rishi are at the table eating a lavish meal, while Anand is in the corner eating alone)

    (show them laughing eating, enjoying) (Anand eating alone – with tears in his eyes)

    Prasad:            (To Leena)  Where’s the cloth?  I thought you said you would find a cover to put over the table?


    Leena:              I couldn’t find anything that size.  We can always just find something later.  It doesn’t REALLY matter anyway.


    Rishi:               Why is Dadaji eating alone?


    Prasad:            That’s just best for him Rishi, now eat your dinner.


    Rishi:               What if he gets bored?


    Leena:              Old people never get bored.  They just don’t have much to say – that’s why they keep repeating their stories.  It’s better that we let him be alone.


    (Anand dropped his spoon again)


    Anand:            Betee, I dropped my spoon, can I get another one.


    Leena:              What do I look like to you your maid?


    Prasad:            Just wipe the spoon on your napkin Dad.  You’ll be fine. Besides if we get you another spoon, you’ll probably drop that one too!!


    TRACK 7: Transition music from Scene 3 to 4


    TRACK 8:

    Scene 4

    (living room scene)


    (Rishi on the floor with wood scraps, glue etc). (Prasad and Leena on sofa – Leena doing her nails and Prasad

    reading newspaper)


    (Anand walks in)


    Anand:            Prasad beta, will it be possible for you to buy me a new mattress.  The springs on this current mattress are sticking out and hurting my back.


    Prasad:            Oh Dad, you think money grows on trees?  Mattresses are expensive.


    (Anand walks out sadly)


    Prasad:            Hey Leena,  Haverty’s is having a sale this weekend.  You were saying you wanted to buy a new bedroom set right?


    – 4 –

    Leena:              Uh huh….do they have any interesting ones?


    Prasad:            We can go this weekend and take a look.


    Leena:              I’d love that Prasad.


    (Prasad looks over at Rishi)


    Prasad:            Rishi what are you making there?


    Rishi:               Oh, I’m making two little wooden bowls for you and Mama to eat from when you get older.


    Durga:            This short yet potent statement coming from an innocent six-year old’s lips stung Prasad and Leena.


    (Prasad looked at Leena)


    Prasad:            Leena what are we doing?


    Leena:              Oh Prasad we’ve been so horribly mean to Dad.


    TRACK 9: Transition music from Scene 4 to 5


    TRACK 10:

    Scene 5: (dining room scene)


    (two tables set up) (Prasad, Leena & Rishi sitting at table).

    (Anand walks in and goes to sit at his corner table) (Prasad stands up and takes his father’s hand and leads him

    to the big table).


    Prasad:            No Dad, you are going to sit here with us.


    Anand:            But son, I thought you said….


    (Prasad bursts into tears)

    Prasad:            I’m so sorry Dad.  I was such a fool!  I don’t know if you can ever forgive me.  Prasad bows down to his dad.


    Leena:              (bows down too) – Dad I’ve also been so terrible to you.  I’m really sorry Dad.


    Anand:            You’re my children.  When a child makes a mistake, the parent always forgives.  I love you two very much.  (everybody group hugs) Now let’s eat!  I’m hungry.


    Leena:              Dad I made this vegetable without any spices especially for you.


    (Anand starts eating noisily).


    Anand:            I’m sorry son…


    Prasad:            Oh Dad…please don’t worry.  We understand your molars make it difficult right?


    – 5 –

    (Anand dropped his spoon)


    Prasad gets up from the table and gets his dad 10 more spoons


    Prasad:            Just in case you need them  (they all laugh)…


    (Anand spills his cup)


    (Leena rushes to wipe it up)


    Leena:              Here Dad a fresh new cup of juice.  (in a spill-proof coffee cup)


    Prasad:            Dad, I’ve ordered a new mattress for you – it’s coming tomorrow.  Today you sleep on our bed.


    (Anand smiles and pats his son on his back)


    (End the scene with everyone pretending to talk and having a good time)


    TRACK 11


    Bharat:             There is a lesson in this for both parents and children.  Firstly all parents out there:

    Children are remarkably perceptive.  Their eyes ever observe, ever listen and their minds process the messages they absorb.  Thus we see in Rishi’s case.  If children see us patiently providing a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.


    Durga:             The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child’s future.

    Let’s be wise builders and role models.


    Bharat:             Now the lesson for children:

    Whatever way you treat your parents today, your children will treat you in the future.  Remember how Rishi was planning to serve his parents food in wooden bowls in the future.  That is the one karma that will come back to us in this lifetime.


    Durga:             It’s no coincidence that the number of people in nursing homes has increased these days.  This is the direct result of how these old people had treated their parents while growing up.


    Bharat:             Treat your parents well.  You may not appreciate it them now, but we assure you that you’ll miss them when they’re gone.


    Durga & Bharat: Be good, Do good and See good. Take care of those you love, today and every day! Sai Ram



    Don’t Let your future be like this…Love your Parents Today!


    When you came into the world, they held you in their arms….. You thanked them by wailing like a banshee.

    When you were 1 year old, they fed you and bathed you…. You thanked them by crying all night long.

    When you were 2 years old, they taught you to walk….. You thanked them by running away when they called.

    Parents:                        Sweetie come here…

    When you were 3 years old, they made all your meals with love….. You thanked them by tossing your plate on the floor.

    When you were 4 years old, they gave you some crayons…..You thanked them by coloring the dining room table.

    When you were 5 years old, they dressed you for the festivals… You thanked them by plopping into the nearest pile of mud. Parents:         Oh no you dirtied your new outfit!

    When you were 6 years old, they walked you to school…. You thanked them by screaming, “I’M NOT GOING!”

    Parents:            Have a nice day at school.  Here’s your school bag.

    Kid:                 I’m not going

    When you were 7 years old, they bought you a baseball…You thanked them by throwing it through the next-door-neighbor’s window.

    When you were 8 years old, they handed you an ice cream… You thanked them by dripping it all over your lap.

    When you were 9 years old, they paid for music lessons…. You thanked them by never even bothering to practice.

    Mother:                        Have you practiced your guitar today?

    Kid:                 Oh mom….I don’t feel like it.

    When you were 10 years old, they drove you all day, from soccer to gymnastics to one birthday party after another…. You thanked them by jumping out of the car and never looking back.

    Parents:                        Have fun at the birthday party!

    Kid:                 Yeah…bye….rushing along..without looking back.


    When you were 11 years old, they took you and your friends to the movies…. You thanked them by asking to sit in a different row.

    Kid:     Mom, dad, do you mind sitting in another row – so I can be with my friends.


    When you were 12 years old, they warned you not to watch certain TV shows.. You thanked them by waiting until they left the house.

    Parents:                        We’ll be back at 9:00 pm.  Be good.

    Kid:                 Ok (great! Now I can watch that show)


    When you were 13, they suggested a decent haircut … You thanked them by telling them they had no taste.

    Parents:                        You need to get a good haircut.

    Kid:                 Mom, Dad this is in fashion! You guys don’t know anything.


    When you were 14, they paid for a month away at summer camp…. You thanked them by forgetting to write a single letter.

    Parents:                        It’s been 1 month since Neena went to camp.  I wonder how she is.  We haven’t heard from her at all.


    When you were 15, they came home from work, looking for a hug….. You thanked them by having your bedroom door locked.

    Parents:                        We’re home.  Kumar where are you?

    Kid:                 I’m in my room. Don’t bother me, I’m busy.


    When you were 16, they taught you how to drive their car… You thanked them by getting into a wreck.

    Kid:  Ahhh….(crash sound).

    Kid:     Mom, Dad, I’m sorry I wrecked the car.

    Parents look concerned:  Are you all right?


    When you were 17, they were expecting an important call…. You thanked them by being on the phone all night.

    Kid on phone – blah blah blah…


    When you were 19, they paid for your college tuition, drove you to campus, carried your bags… You thanked them by saying good-bye outside the dorm so you wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of your friends.

    Kid:     Thanks Mom, Dad.  You can leave now.  I can take it from here.


    When you were 21, they suggested certain careers for your future….. You thanked them by saying, “I don’t want to be like you.”

    Parents:                        You should think about pursuing medicine.

    Kid:                 I don’t want to be like you Dad.


    When you were 22, they hugged you at your college graduation…..You thanked them by asking whether they could pay for

    a trip to Europe.

    Parents:                        Congratulations, we’re proud of you son.

    Kid:                 Thanks Dad and Mom.  What are you going to give me as a gift?  Can you pay for my trip to Europe?


    When you were 23, they gave you furniture for your first apartment…You thanked them by telling your friends it was ugly.

    Kid’s friend:    Where’d you get that sofa?

    Kid:                 My parents gave it to me.  I think it’s so ugly just doesn’t go with my style.


    When you were 25, they helped to pay for your wedding, and they cried and told you how deeply they loved you.

    You thanked them by moving halfway across the country.

    Parents:                        We love you.  There’s a house vacant in our subdivision.  Why don’t you move in there?

    Kid:                 I think we need our space Mom & Dad.  I’ve taken up a job in San Francisco.

    Parents:                        That’s so far away son.

    Kid:                 A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.


    When you were 30, they called with some advice on the baby. You thanked them by telling them “Things are different now.”

    Kid:     My baby keeps getting the hiccups mom.  I don’t know what to do.

    Mom:   Give her some gripe water dear.

    Kid:     Mom, things are different now.  The experts say that gripe water is not good for the babies.

    Mom:   Well it always worked for you.  You turned out just fine.

    Kid:     Oh mom! I think I’ll take her to the doctor tomorrow!


    When you were 40, your mom called to remind you of your dad’s birthday. You thanked her by saying you were “really busy right now.”

    Mom:   Dear, it’s daddy’s birthday tomorrow.  Don’t forget to call  him at work to wish him – he always loves hearing your voice at work.

    Kid:     I’m really busy right now Mom.  Gotta go…bye.


    When you were 50, they fell ill and needed you to take care of them. You thanked them by reading about the burden parents become to their children.

    Parents:                        We’ve become old now.  We fear that our end is near.  Can we move in with you dear?

    Kid:                 It’s going to be very difficult for us.  We don’t even have proper health insurance for ourselves.  Besides I really don’t have time to look after you.  I do work part-time you know.


    And then, one day, they quietly die. And everything you never did, came crashing down like thunder!!!!  Don’t let your future be like this…Thank and love your parents today.



    Prop list for Treat Your Parents Well – Play


    STAR SONG:  Star heads, ponchos, angel wings, star sunglasses, guitar strapped on.




    Scene 1 – table set up, 4 chairs, cushions on chairs


    Scene 2 – two chairs with leopard blanket to look like sofa

    • car for Kirthi






    1. Cereal box
    2. Stop sign & road safety sash on Himesh
    3. Backpacks on girl’s backs







    1. Prayer detergent box
    2. Stained shorts


    TREAT YOUR PARENTS WELL – play continued


    Scene 3:

    1. table set up, 4 chairs, cushions on chairs
    2. Wooden table with bowl and spoon and napkin, plus chair at table.



    Scene 4:

    1. two chairs with leopard blanket to look like sofa
    2. Nail file in Asha’s hand
    3. Magazine in Vishal’s hand
    4. Kirthi on the floor with hammer, two wooden bowls, toy tools etc.







    1. Ramayan dolls





    1. Chewing Gum stick
    2. Leather jacket, sunglasses for Jignesh



    Scene 5:


    1. table set up, 4 chairs, cushions on chairs
    2. Given wooden bowl to Deepak to walk in with.
    3. Wooden table and spoon and napkin, plus chair at table
    4. Extra spoons behind Vishal’s chair
    5. Extra cup behind Asha’s chair





    1. Harmonium
    2. Dholak
    3. Kids wearing hats and scarves
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