A pay


Shankar- a poor fisherman

Lakshmi – his young and beautiful wife the king of sea servants

Scene: - a small mud hut near the sea. Lakshmi is cleaning out side the hut. Shanker enters carrying a basket with two small fish.

Shankar- Lakshmi, I am sorry is all the fish I could catch today.

Lakshmi: - only these two small fish? What will we do with this? It’s hardly enough even for our own food. Why can’t you hardly enough even for own food. Why can’t you catch more fish so that we can sell it and get some money? Oh, what bad luck! Oh, how unhappy I am!

Shankar- why are you so unhappy, Lakshmi?

Lakshmi- you know why I am unhappy. We have nothing we can call our own –just this mud hut and hardly enough food to eat.

Shankar- there is other people like us, Lakshmi.

Lakshmi- but there is many who are better than us. Look at those village women. They all have gold ornaments. Even the barber’s wife has a gold necklace. How I wish I had at least one gold ring! I would be so happy.

Shankar- oh Lakshmi! What a useless man I am! I don’t earn enough money for nothing! I can you nothing.

Scene 2

A by the sea, Shankar is trying to catch fish. His fishing net is empty.

Shankar- oh, what shall I do? The sun has begun top set but I have not been able to catch any fish. My poor Lakshmi! What will she eat today?

A few moments later

Shankar- I can feel a pull on my net. I think I love got a big fish Shankar pulls his net. There is one small gold –colored fish in the net.

Shankar- alas! There’s only one fish-and it’s just a small little fish. Not enough for even the two of us.

Voice- I am not a fish. I am the king of the sea. You must save me and throw me back into the water.

Shankar- (frightened) - the king of the sea!

Shankar opens net lets the fish drop out. The king of the sea appears.

Sea-king: - thank you fisherman. Thank you for your kindness you three wish. You can ask for whatever you want.

Shankar: - thank you, king of the sea. I just want to make my Lakshmi happy. I know she wanted gold ornaments like the other village women, so can you please let her have some ornaments?

Sea-king: - go back. Your wish has come true.

Shankar walks away.

Sane 3

The mud hut near the ea. Lakshmi is standing outside the hut. She is looking at her gold bangles and smiling happily.

Lakshmi- Shankar! Look I love got so many gold ornaments. I wonder where they came from.

Shankar- Lakshmi! It’s all because of the king of the sea. He came into my net today. I put him back in the water and saved his life. He said he could grant me three wishes in return so I asked him to give some ornaments.

Lakshmi- o Shankar! I am so happy.

A few days later

Lakshmi- it’s almost a week since you saved the king of the sea and he granted you three wishes, but here I am still working like a fisherman’s wife. Why should I do that? Shankar, go and ask the king of the sea to give me some servants.

Shankar- that’s a good idea! Then I will be able to rest. The servants can catch fish for me.


Shankar- oh, king of the sea! Please let us have some servants.

The king of the sea rise up

Sea-king: - your wish is granted. But be careful. Do not become too greedy. Remember, you have only one wish left.

The king of the sea disappears and Shankar walks away.


(Inside the mud hut)

Lakshmi is lying is lying on a mat. A servant is combing her hair while another massages her feet. Two servants are doing housework. Another servant forward and lays down a mat as soon as Shankar enters. Shankar lies sown on the mat, while the servant takes off his slippers.

Lakshmi- O Shankar! Is not this life wonderful? All the villagers will be so jealous of us.

Shankar- Lakshmi, you are really clever! Now I can also enjoy life.

A week later

Lakshmi- Shankar, this hut is too small for us with all these servants. We need a bigger house. Ask the king of the sea to give us a big house.

Shankar- you are right, Lakshmi. That’s exactly what I too was thinking. We do need a bigger house. After all, now we have so many servants.


(The sea)

[Shankar enters]

Shankar- king of the sea, we want a bigger house.

The king of the sea rises up.

Sea-king: this wish too is granted. But I warn you again. Greed will only make you unhappy.

The king of the sea disappears as Shankar walks away quickly.


(A five big house near sea at the same place as the mud hut)

[Lakshmi is standing outside admiring the view as Shankar enters]

Lakshmi: - look at our beautiful house, Shankar. Now we have everything.

Shankar: Lakshmi, I am so happy.

A few weeks later

Lakshmi- we have such a fine house and so many servants. But, Shankar, do you know, the village women still call me a fisherman’s wife. I don’t like that. I hate being called a fisherman’s wife. Go and tell he king of the sea to make me a Maharani.

Shankar- Lakshmi, I am afraid to go back again. The three wishes are over and the king of the sea warned us not to be greedy.

Lakshmi- doesn’t be stupid. Do not you want too be a Maharaja? You saved the life of the king of the sea. He will surely grant you this one last wish.

Shankar- yes, that’s true. I did save the live of the king of the ea. He should really grant me one more wish.


(Shankar is standing by the sea)

Shankar-king of the sea! You have to grant me one last wish. Make me a Maharaja and my Lakshmi a Maharani.

The loud roaring sound of thunder is heard. The king of the sea rises up.

Sea-king: (angrily) go back! You are both too greedy! You will lose everything. But I hope you will both learn a lesson.

(Shankar looks frightened and backs away slowly)


[The mud hut by the sea, Lakshmi is standing outside wearing her old torn saree. She is crying.]

Shankar- O Lakshmi! What can we do? We were too greedy. The king of the sea had warned us.

Lakshmi- Shankar, this is all because of our greed. We should never be greedy again. I promise you I shall never again ask for more. I shall be happy with whatever little we have.








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