Winner (ONE ACT PLAY) - September, 2021

The Retreat by Maham Naveed - Pakistan

Scene 1

Neelam Mahal, the central palace of Kingdom of Resaalpur, Sultan Shah Zawaar Hashmi is returning home from the Northern Mountains of Hatimpur with his new wife, Bulbul Beghum, the daughter of the chieftain of Hatimpur after three years.  In his absence, the responsibility of running the kingdom from the central palace fell on the shoulders of Malika Zerfishan Hashmi. She had efficiently run the royal household as well as the Kingdom of Resaalpur in absence of her husband, but kept nursing a serious grudge against him for deserting his kingdom, forcing her to step in as the Interim Ruler of Resaalpur. Sultan Shah Zawaar Hashmi is now entering the palace with Bulbul Beghum.

Attendant: Attention Everyone! Extremely respectful, Sultan Shah Zawaar Hashmi the proud ruler of Kingdom of Resaalpur is now entering the Neelam Mahal with his esteemed wife, Bulbul Beghum.

He enters with all the fanfare, his new wife and infant son tailing behind him, half hidden behind his broad frame. If he is shocked to notice Malika Zerfishan Hashmi standing with her entourage to welcome him, he does not let it become apparent.

Malika Zerfishan Hashmi(bows before him, kisses his right hand) Welcome, My Sultan. It seems like with your arrival, light has returned back in Neelam Mahal and Kingdom of Resaalpur. Greetings to you too, Bulbul Beghum and young Shahzada. I have arranged your chambers in the south wing, have some rest, the young Shahzada looks quite restless. My Sultan must be tired after the long journey.

Sultan Shah Zawaar Hashmi: Bulbul Beghum, why don’t you go with the entourage of Malika and retire in your chambers and rest. I would not be able to join you for some days, I have some pressing matters to oversee.

Everyone, disperse.

Bulbul Beghum pouts at his admission, but promptly curtsies before the Sultan and Malika, taking her leave. The rest of the attendants and servants also take their leave. Malika Zerfishan also tries to leave, but Shah Zawar holds her hand.

Sultan Shah Zawaar Hashmi: Malika Zerfishan, Where are you going?

Malika Zerfishan Hashmi(she stands near him and whisper yells) I did my duty as the Malika of Neelam Mahal by coming here and welcoming you and your new wife. Now, I need to go and do my duty as the Royal Mother, take care of my household.

Sultan Shah Zawaar Hashmi: I am your husband! First you are my wife and then the mother of my children. Is this how a Malika treats her Sultan?...

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