Character List 

Rama a.k.a “Appa”–  male, 60-year-old man, is a ghost now  
Ravi, a 30 years old Indian man – works as a data scientist, the son of Rama

Scene 1. 

Lights up. RAVI is standing in centre stage, in front of a backdrop that resembles the Fort  Canning hill’s ‘gothic gate’. There is a banner that says Renewal Day. There is a  chattering soundtrack playing and there are flower petals of different colours scattered around the stage. The chattering dies down and the lights dim while a spotlight appears on  RAVI.  

Ravi I-I got the letter, Appa 1 ( RAVI says this whilst pulling out a flower from his pant pocket. The flower has bright orange streaks coming in from the edges of the petals and there is an ombre pattern of red in from the middle of the flower) I brought the ‘rosli’ as you told me to… ( he says this while lifting up the flower to the audience) I came to Fort Canning on the  1st of December as you told me to…  

RAVI walks down to the downstage right and kneels and stares at the floor  But-but-do I change my mind now? I- I don’t know- if-if I’m ready to see you.  RAVI abruptly stands up and raises up the Rosli  


RAVI slowly plucks a petal from the ‘Rosli’ flower after taking a deep breath. The lights start flickering and RAMA walks in to upstage left. RAVI looks at the petal fall down onto the floor  

I wasn’t here for you when you were still around. I need to at least be here for you for the one hour that I get to see you again…  

RAVI looks left and right and doesn’t see RAMA and therefore seems disappointed and falls to his knees.RAMA places his palm on RAVI’S shoulder. RAVI turns to see RAMA and is flabbergasted. RAVI quickly stands up hastily. He wipes away his tears and instinctively wraps his arms around RAMA.  

Ravi Appa! It-it’s really you! You-you actually came back.  

RAVI places his palm on RAMA’s cheek and just stares at him. RAMA slightly chuckles whilst  RAMA places his palm on RAVI’s cheek.  

Rama How are you, son? I haven’t seen you in a while. ( chuckles) 8 months right? 8 months and so much has changed. Yet so little has changed.  

RAMA releases his palm from RAVI’S face and looks and slightly walks around the stage with awe.  

It’s still nice though to walk on earth’s grounds.  

Ravi Yea…uh appa?  

RAVI hesitates and is about to start saying something but the words do not come out of his mouth. Then without hesitation, he confidently speaks.  

Ravi How’s the afterlife? Tell me all about it.  

1 Appa – Father (in Tamil) 

Rama I was hoping that there would be wonderful heaven where I get everything and anything and I can finally get to meet your ma after 23 years. ( He continues in a disappointed way). But it’s not. You basically just can’t move and you’re just left there.  

RAMA says this as if everyone knows what happens after death. However, RAVI looks extremely confused.  

Ravi Huh? I don’t understand.  

Rama Aish. Basically, you know how I passed away in my sleep. So, I just lay there the way I did when I was sleeping and I just slept. When you pass away you just sleep, that’s for everyone, be it whether they die in a car accident or just pass away in their sleep because of old age. But you sleep forever… That is until the 1st of December, for an hour from when the unique family flower has a petal plucked off of it. This is only on the year you passed or the next depending on whether the 1st of December has already passed by the time you die. I  don’t know how to describe it honestly. You just go numb. You cannot meet anyone else either. Dead or alive.  

Ravi Oh. So you don’t have any thoughts?  

Rama No? Why do you ask?  

Ravi I- err- just wanted to you know, know. If you’ve been like thinking about the things I said…  

RAVI looks embarrassed. RAMA acts as if he did not hear him and tries to quickly change the topic.  

Rama Haha remember coming to Fort Canning when you were 8 years old? Then ah, I  remember you being so interested in the canon. You even acted like you were firing it. Your imagination was so crazy. (Smirks) Of course, we bought Auntie Maryam’s curry puff on the way to fort canning.  

RAVI smiles and there’s a little awkward silence for a while.  

Ravi I was obsessed with her curry puffs. I had one after school every day on the way home.  

Rama They really were one of a kind.  

RAMA looks slightly sad and in deep thought. RAVI looks at him with concern and holds his hands.  

Ravi Yes appa. Are you ok? You seem down all of a sudden.  

Rama Yes, yes. Just thinking about your mother.  

RAMA sounds like he is about to cry. RAVI turns to the audience and talks to the audience whilst RAMA is sniffling.  

Ravi (In a slightly monotonous voice he says) My mother passed away while giving birth to me. I never got to meet her, but my father always talks about her. He told me that they would go on dates in the curry puff stall. Never knew why but it doesn’t matter.  

Beat. He continues in a softer voice that has a tinge of sadness to it.  

Whenever I see my friends and colleagues going out with their mothers, inviting them to dinners, or celebrating Mother’s day I always feel so left out. I always envied them. Even though  I never got to meet her it felt like she had a place in my heart that was now just empty and dark.  

Beat. With a sad smile, he continues.  

I wonder what she really was like. I wonder what it would have been like to have a mother of my own with me. Even though I’ve missed out on so much because she died I still have learnt to kind of move on. To appreciate the people left with me.  

Silence. He stops smiling and continues in a slightly annoyed way.  

Sometimes I think that he has to just get over it. It’s been around 35 years. He’s dead and so is she. He can just spend the time that he has left with me right? Why doesn’t he see that I am all he needs?  

RAVI turns back to RAMA. RAVI looks down at his watch then back up at RAMA.  Ravi 5 4 more minutes…Why don’t we talk about something else?  

RAMA wipes his tears away and looks at RAVI.  

Rama Like what?  

Ravi I was hoping that one hour that I get to see you after your passing that we should try and put our misunderstandings aside by forgiving me.  

Rama Misunderstanding?! The things you said were misunderstandings? Please.  

Ravi Well I mean 

RAMA seems visibly uncomfortable and slightly irritated and hence cuts RAVI off and tries to change the topic while walking to centre stage left and looking around.  

Rama Is the curry puff auntie still around selling curry puffs? Also, what are you working on now? How’s your wife and daughter? Why didn’t you bring your daughter with you tonight? 

RAVI quickly cuts RAMA off and stands in front of him instead of standing next to him and blocks him from waking.  

Ravi Yes yes appa. I know you have a lot of questions gathered from these 8 months. The job has been quite stable and I just you know…wanted some time for just the two of us without anyone else. I thought that you would want to talk more about the way things were left off. I really am sorry Pa. For 

RAMA pushes RAVI aside and continues walking  

Rama What happened happened, now tell me all about how your daughter is now  RAMA says this in a joking manner but RAVI doesn’t smile.  

Rama Aiya, why pull a long face on me? Reminds me of that one time the curry puffs ran out and you did not want to leave the store until you got some. They only sold one batch a  

day so they would not be getting more till the next morning, But you still stood outside her shop and pulled a long face just like you’re doing now.  


You’re not getting answers, ok son?  

Ravi Appa? உங்கக் ரிதா இல்ைலயா2? Do you understand how important your ‘it’s ok son’ is?  

Rama …  

Ravi Sometimes it feels like I was never important to you. Left me alone in a boarding school and now for the one hour you get to come back to earth you barely talk to me. You find it more important to question how life has changed rather than how I feel. Rather than comfort me about all the regret I’ve been feeling ever since you left.  

Rama (He has a little small sad grin) I cared.  

RAMA stares at the ground. Lights dim out.  

Scene 2. 

Spotlight on RAMA who is laying on a bed. There is a side table next to him. On the bedside table, there is a glass of water and a picture frame of a young boy and a younger-looking version of RAMA. There is also another picture of this young lady around her early thirties.  He pulls himself up with a grunt and sits up. He looks at the audience.  

Rama You really do become a big baby when you grow up. You can’t do anything for yourself. You become an ( in a softer tone) burden… At least that’s what he said I was. Just a  burden…  


Rama It’s funny how when you’re younger, your parents do everything and anything for you. Watching you grow is exciting to them. But when you become old, watching you slowly die becomes a burden to them…  

RAMA looks down at his hands and twiddles his fingers.  

Rama I guess that I should be grateful for him. He put me in an expensive $ 800-per-month nursing home. They give me food, it is quite ‘meh’ but still better than nothing and I get to sleep in a comfortable bed with massages whenever I want! But ever since Ravi left me here… he hasn’t visited, written, called. He just left.  

He tries to stand up and go to the other side of the side table that has a glass of water. He takes up the glass and looks at it for a few seconds.  

Rama Even drinking this glass of water drains so much energy out of me. Life seems so pointless.  

RAMA gulps down the water with a bit of pain.  

2 உங்கக் ரிதா இல்ைலயா- do you understand or not 

Rama Every month he pays for my stay at this nursing home but other than that nothing.  Kids these days ah, find their parents embarrassing especially when they get older.  

Puts the empty cup on the side table and stares at it for a while and talks while staring at the empty cup.  

Rama I was not embarrassed when Ravi would cry and wail in public when he was younger. I was never embarrassed by him. Never. Like he was of me.  

RAMA looks up at the audience with a bit of confusion  

Rama Did I do something wrong? Why doesn’t he want to talk to me? I promise that I  won’t be a burden, Ravi. I will do everything for myself somehow. I promise. Just write back to me. Just talk to me. Just, just come back to me. Or was it because I didn’t do these things for you when you were at boarding school? I promise I cared. I promise that I wanted to be there for you but I just couldn’t. I was working day and night to make sure you could get a  better life than I did. Sending you to boarding school seemed like the best way to do that…  

RAMA sits back down on the bed and takes the picture frame and the picture and stares at it.  He sadly chuckles.  

 Rama If only Jaya was still here with us. With me. If only she did not just leave me at 25.  She gave birth to Ravi in exchange for her life. But Ravi does not even care. Not like I do.  

RAMA looks up at the audience with a sad expression and the lights dim out.  

Scene 3. 

Lights up. There is a bus stop backdrop. RAVI and RAMA are both in centre stage, looking in different directions whilst looking very anxious.  

Rama Are you sure that they’ll be fine with me visiting?  

RAVI laughs but stops when he sees RAMA’S serious expression.  

Ravi Are you actually serious? Of course, they would be fine with you visiting. It’s the only day that you will ever get to be on Earth anyways. If they weren’t ok with it, I would sign off the divorce papers. ( he says this in a joking manner)  

Rama ( in a mumbled soft way) If only you actually would…  

RAVI looks at his father, surprised and slightly bitter.  

Rama What? It’s what I honestly feel. If you only prioritised me and not your wife and daughter. If only you did not just leave me at a nursing home and go off to happily live with your family instead of taking me in. If only you did not see me as a burden right?  

Ravi Do you hear yourself?! I have a daughter and wife to look after. A family that depends on me, Pa. I wish that I could just drop it all for you. But I can’t. You know that. Even if I  could, it’s too late to change the things I did…  

Rama Then what’s the point of asking for an apology? There’s no point.  Beat  

Rama (His voice cracks while saying this) Why didn’t you write back to me? Why didn’t you visit me? Why didn’t you call me? Why?  

RAMA looks up straight at RAVI. RAVI turns his head away towards the audience, ashamed.  

Ravi I-I don’t know appa. I guess part of it was that Vaishnavi thought it was hard enough to manage a newborn. She felt that you were just an added err stress 

Rama Ya that’s what she thought.நீ என்ன நினசெச்3? You felt the same way huh?  RAVI uncomfortably looks away to the side, no longer looking at the audience or RAMA.  

Ravi No. No, of course not. You know. Of course, I did not feel the same way.  

Rama I don’t think I’m convinced. If you really thought that it was worth keeping by your side. If you thought that I was not just added stress. If you really felt that way you would not let anyone else change that thought and you would have let me live with you.  

RAVI brashly turns towards RAMA and looks him straight in the eye with an angry expression.  


With every word, RAMA seems more and more broken. He’s desperately trying to hold back his tears and anguish. RAVI stuffs his face into his palms. He starts crying hysterically.  

Ravi I didn’t mean that Pa! I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean it. I promise.  

He frantically tries to grip RAMA’S hand while RAMA tries to walk away angrily. RAVI  gives up and digs his hands back into his hands. RAMA storms off stage. RAVI is left alone in centre stage.  

Ravi I messed up.  

RAVI looks up at the audience, his hair is now all messy.  

Ravi I had one chance. One change to straighten things out the last time that I would see him. But I messed it up like I always do.  

RAVI looks at his watch. He suddenly looks more frantic and restless.  

3 நீஎன்ன நினசெ்ச- What did you think 

4 இன் நான்ஏன்உங்கைள உலற் ெகாண்  வந்ேதன்- Why did I bring you back to earth today 

Ravi It’s already 6. There are only 20 minutes left. I need to quickly make up with him. I can’t bear just, leaving him without straightening out our issues.  

RAVI looks up at the audience with hope and a bit of worry.  

Ravi I need to use up the one chance that I have to make things right. But I just messed up the entire situation by saying the things that I said.  


Ravi I need to figure something out. I will figure something out. Or else, he will never know that I loved him back just as much as he did. I loved those moments we spent together when I was younger. I loved it just as much as him.  

RAVI looked at the right dreamily. A small and wholehearted grin appeared on his face.  

Ravi I would give anything to go back to those days. Days when life was carefree. Days when pa and I would laugh together all the time. The days before boarding school when our relationship slowly started falling back. Definitely, not like now. Not like now when all we do is argue. Not like now when I keep hurting him. Which keeps hurting me…  

RAVI suddenly looks left and right and snaps out of his reminiscing.  


He frantically looked left and right. He looked worried and clueless.  

Ravi I should have run after him!  

RAVI scolds himself with annoyance.  

Ravi (sounding broken) Why do I just keep messing up?  


Scene 4. 

Lights up. There is a small coffee shop setting in centre stage with a few plastic chairs and tables. RAMA is sitting on one of the chairs with a plate of curry puffs and he is looking off into the distance. RAVI enters in a hurried running manner and looks around the entirety of downstage. Running from downstage left to downstage right constantly.  

Ravi He has to be in the curry puff shop. I searched the places around the bus stop but I  could not find him. He loves this dang curry puff shop so much. At first, I thought it was simply a place that he was fond of because of our memories. But it seems to hold a lot more memories for him than I thought it did. Well, it does not matter. I just need to find him.  

RAVI looks down at his watch again and is visibly more panicky.  

Ravi Oh no, oh no, oh no. Where’s the shop?! I remember that you need to take a left turn and I already did, it should be right here. WAIT. Maybe it’s a lane behind.  

RAVI turns around and runs. His worried face turns very happy as he looks up at the sign.  Then he looks down and sees RAMA on the chair and runs towards him excitedly with arms flung open to hug him.  

Ravi (says this in an excited manner) APPA! You’ve got no idea how worried I was!  

RAVI tries to hug RAMA but RAMA pushes RAVI’s hands away. RAMA looks annoyed and unwilling to talk to RAVI.  

Rama (in a very monotone voice he says) What do you want?  

RAVI looks down at his watch again a lot more worriedly. He gets more anxious.  

Ravi Appa we only have 15 minutes left together 

RAMA cuts RAVI off and stands up, pushing his chair with force to get up and he looks very irritated in the process.  

Rama SO WHAT? I am not going to waste my last few minutes. ப்பாக உன்னிடம் ேப அைத ணாக்க ேபாவல்ைல5! LEAVE ME ALONE!  

Ravi moves 2 steps away from him in shock.  

Ravi I-I- I’ve really been a horrible son, haven’t I…  

RAVI drops to the floor with him leaning onto the curry puff stall plastic chair for support.  Ravi You don’t even want to spend your last minutes with me,நான் ஒ ெகடட ் மகனாகதான் இக்ேறேன6.  

RAMA looks down at RAVI with pity and slowly he seems to get visibly sadder and he reaches his hands out to RAVI to make him stand up. However, RAVI doesn’t pull himself up with  RAMA’s hands and instead just looks at RAMA straight in the eyes. RAMA sits down next to  RAVI and grips his hands whilst looking at RAVI with a sad smile.  

Rama No, you were never a bad son Ravi and I was never the best father. Being a single parent was tough.  


 Rama I did not know how to give you the love that your mother would have. I did not know how to do a lot of stuff Ravi. I wish that I gave you a better childhood where you could have gotten the same experience that all children did. I wish I did not have to work two jobs to give you a proper education. I wish that I could have instead spent more time with you.  


Rama I guess that as you got older you learnt from the things I did. Leaving me in a nursing home just like how I left you in a boarding school because I did not have the time to care for you and could only pay your bills. I did not write letters to you or visit because I did not  know what a proper father and someone who also has to play the role of a mother would even  write or say  


5 ப்பாக உன்னிடம் ேப அைத ணாக்க ேபாவல்ைல- Specifically, I am not going to waste it by talking to you 

6 நான்ஒ ெகடட ்மகனாகதான் இக்ேறேன- I am a bad son 

Rama But more importantly, it was because I wanted you to learn how to be independent and not always lean on me for support and help. I did what I did to give you the best and to raise you up well but you didn’t see that.  

Ravi I-I didn’t know… I was just giving you back what you did for me. I thought you didn’t care so I acted like I didn’t either when you were at the nursing home. I didn’t want to admit that but that’s how I really felt appa. But I did care. I always did even if I didn’t show it.  

Rama I guess we both got it wrong.  

Both RAMA and RAVI chuckle as they stand up with each other’s support and hold their hands together tightly while looking at each other fondly. A fizzling sound is played. RAVI  and RAMA turn back to look at the shop.  

Ravi This is the last fizzle of the curry puff shop that you’ll hear…  

RAMA turns his head back to RAVI and speaks.  

Rama I forgive you…  

Ravi I’ll miss you…  

Both RAMA and RAVI start crying as they embrace each other in a hug. They wipe away their tears and hold hands as they look up at the audience. They smile sadly.  

Ravi Goodbye forever appa.  

Rama Goodbye forever son. Just don’t forget me.  

They both chuckle sadly. Ravi looks down at his watch.  

Ravi Two more minutes…  

Rama One last walk down the curry puff lane together? Just like me and your mother did.  

Ravi Of course.  

Both of them walk off the stage together as the lights dim out. 

Although Dikshita Rajendran (Class of 2026) enjoys reading a variety of genres, she often limits herself to non-fiction prose; therefore, having the chance to explore various genres and writing forms in class has been very enriching for her and has allowed her writing to expand. She hopes to continue exploring and improving.