The Moral Implications of Time Travel – by Sarovar Banka
Synopsis: The Moral Implications of Time Travel takes place in the early nineties, on the semi-rural/suburban outskirts of Detroit where Anil Das, an Indian immigrant to America now in his sixties, lives with Pranav, his thirty year old son who has never moved out.
At the outset of the play, Anil announces that he has discovered a part for a car that he owned twenty five years ago and he begins to reassemble it in the garage. As he does so, Anil loses touch with reality, believing that Pranav is a little boy again and visited by memories of his wife Priya, who seems to be absent.
Meanwhile Pranav contemplates his sense of purposelessness, blaming it on a savage beating he suffered in high school that left him with a permanent limp. Under pressure to make something of himself from his friend Tim and his girlfriend Lucy, Pranav instead dwells on what happened to him.
Rage is sparked in Pranav when Anil is working on his car in the garage and is struck by a volley of eggs from unseen assailants. Pranav believes it to be the young men that beat him up in high school.
As construction of the car nears completion, Anil recedes further into his own past, re-living the conflicts between himself and Priya. Lucy discovers the truth about Anilâ s violent history with her while Pranav seeks revenge against the young men who crippled him.
The Moral Implications of Time Travel is a surreal story of a failed father and son, as they try to move on from the violence that defined their past and continue with their lives. The play defies the notion of South Asians as â model minoritiesâ and dramatizes the complexities of their existence in America.
Setting: Suburbs of Detroit
Time Period: Early 90’s
Cast Size: 3M, @W
Casting: Anil Das, an Indian living in America. About sixty.
Pranav Das, Anil’s son. An Indian-American boy almost thirty.
Priya Das, Anil’s wife. A ghost.
Tim Schmitt, a white boy almost thirty. A hick.
Lucy McGuiness, a white woman in her mid-twenties. A dreamer.
Design Needs: Brief Overview of Set and other Design Needs
This Play Is: unpublished
Production History: Capstone Honors in Creative Writing, Brown University, 2002. Developed in workshop and consultation with noted playwrights Aishah Rahman and Ruth Margraff
Winner of the Weston Award for best undergraduate play, 2002, Brown University.
Workshop and Staged Reading at The Lark Theatre by the Indo American Arts Council as part of 2002 Indian Diaspora Playwrights Festival.