Aishwarya Marathe: The Irritation of Exits

Hello Readers, it’s Aishwarya again with another witty and vacuous work of writing. Blame it on the rain or the political fog emerging on us all (which I refuse to get within a mile of, for fear of getting lost in it), but I’ve been reading a lot of plays lately. Short plays, long plays, one-act plays, plays that have no point whatsoever but still the world tries to dissect them and flings them around like a frog cadaver in an eighth-grade biology lab. 

In each and every one of these plays, no matter the general mood, no matter the morbidity or the boundless joy, whenever any character exits, they’re irritated. Someone could be sobbing, or arm-in-arm with their lover, or screaming bloody murder as they run from a crime scene, but their exits hold a certain agitation.

I don’t know why this is, but I notice it. Even a character that lingers and mopes as they exit, not really wanting to leave the scene at all, is irritated in their departure and they leave a cloud behind. No one can see the cloud, but it’s there, hanging over the others, or conversely, hanging over an empty stage and the audience beyond it. 

Could it be that, to avoid finding another reason to stay, a character must leave quickly, with forceful footsteps? Or can we attribute it to the mechanics of theatre: that is, the expulsion of superfluous beings and objects as soon as they have exhausted the potential energy of their existence on the stage? 

Strangely enough, last week I wound up looking at The School of Athens by Raphael (the one with the Plato, Aristotle et al. in their intellectual tunics and wise beards and general Greek appeal), and I observed that Plato and Aristotle are on their way out, deep in conversation. They may not feel irritated, but they are leaving the scene of this painting to another undisclosed location, and their movement, frozen, still exudes force that stems from exasperation.

I admire them, and all those characters in the plays I read! If only I left rooms like that. It would declare my presence—yes, Aishwarya was here, and she changed this room in some way until neither she nor the room needed one another. Just for today, I’ll relish the theatrical delight of an irritated exit, and I hope, as a brief distraction, you will too. 

(PS: The Pathos Team has extended the submission deadline to November 13th!)