I do Tea

Tidbits on the script

A short script written by myself, Anjali Shibu, for an assignment on magic realism. 

Yes, I am a tea drinker, though I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with tea. A lot of my writing comes from a slightly personal aspect before building on. To a certain extent it goes by the saying “One of the hardest lies to find is one where there is truth mixed in”.

The script ‘I do tea’ emphasizes on the senses of the character as well as the process and observations the character goes through, which is why the script itself has a wonderful hold on the reader. Do take the time to read it!

i do tea

Scene: Dark room (no specific time)

Narrator [V.O]

Some people do drugs, others alcohol [a light flickers and the rim of a glass can be seen with a liquid swirling inside]

Me? I do tea.

Fade out.


Cut to: Title plays on screen.


Scene: Int. Kitchen, Evening time [4:00], Raining outside

A low window illuminates the scene as the rain comes down lightly, tapping at the window, as if asking to be let into the house like a friend asking you to come out to play without letting your parents know. The window seems to gaze impassively at the kitchen slab on which some sort of modern stove is placed.

There is the sound of a knob turning in time with a loud puff. A clear glass kettle sits peacefully on technology as the water in it is slowly being brought to a boil. Just as soon as small bubbles begin to form along the rim of the water’s surface, with practised ease a hand swipes the knob, switching it off.

Leaves are then sprinkled from above as an unseen figure waits, watching the liquid turn from a transparent colour to a tinted light pink, waiting, watching, as the colour from the leaves on the surface of the water seeps and mushrooms towards the bottom of the kettle.

The peaceful scene isn’t disturbed despite a small strainer scooping the leaves up and out of the water, only perhaps a slight turbulence, and the water’s protest at being disturbed. The stain of the tea continues unhurriedly as the kettle is picked up and poured into a porcelain pot.

There is a quiet swish as the liquid hits the bottom of the pot, steam rising to make its escape, cut off by a deftly and gently slid on lid. A slight clanking of porcelain on porcelain is heard as the lid snaps into place, sitting innocently almost as if it had always been there.


Cut to: Shoulder of a person carrying a tray in hand. On said tray is the same porcelain pot and a glass teacup.

Scene: Ext. Porch, Evening time [4:10], still raining.

A wooden porch, un-weathered, almost untouched by time, stands proudly as the rain comes down around it, unafraid of being stained, the shiny polished wood gleaming it’s joy as the figure sets the tray down on a cold marble table, before settling beside the table in a wrought iron chair.

The two sit side by side, the figure’s arm resting casually on the table, head tilted to the side as if listening to what the silent tea pot had to say. Slowly, the arm moves, lightly tracing patterns on the side of the pot, fingers dancing away as the heat prickles, but coming close again like a moth drawn to fire. Eventually, the fingers reach the edge of the handle and slowly walk up the handle before clasping it and pouring tea into the cup.

The figure sets the pot back down gently, reverently and picks up the cup, imagining roses blossoming from the steam that rises. Slowly, the figure brings the cup to its lips, lips quivering as the too hot cup is forced to touch the soft sensitive flesh before liquid rushes to meet its tongue.

The figure rests its head backwards, waiting for some revelation, meeting only disappointment, but just as the figure lets out a breath, roses curl around his tongue fleetingly before disappearing. Once more the figure brings the cup to its lips, drawing in more of the steaming liquid and sighing rose buds as the flavour that the figure so longed to taste curls around his figure as if in warning.

Once more the figure brings the cup to its lips, unable to put the cup back down, bolstered and encouraged by the vine gently holding its elbow up, vines and tendrils curling along his head, gently running across his cheeks, slowly brushing its eyes shut as the figure desperately gulps down the hot liquid, burning through his throat, prickling like thorns on the way down as if the tea wished to explode further and far beyond.

The figure lets out one last breath as it pants, sucking in breaths in heaving, panting gasps as it watches roses come into bloom in the air before him, before the wind blows, scattering the petals.

Fade out.

Copyright © Anjali Shibu 2018. All rights reserved.