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This play is the story of an intruder. He breaks into a lonely house. A man named Gerrard lives there. He is a playwright. The intruder is a criminal. He has killed a policeman and is now on the run. This man has some physical resemblance to Gerrard. His plan is to kill Gerrard and live there under his name. But Gerrard is smarter than the criminal. He tells the intruder that he has also killed someone and the police are after him. He offers to take the intruder in his car to safety. He opens a door and tells the intruder that it goes to the garage. As’ soon as the intruder enters, Gerard locks the door. In fact, it is not the way to a garage but the door of a cupboard. Then he phones the police to come and arrest the intruder.
“If I Were You” by Douglas James is an interesting play that has mystery, suspense, surprise, and humor. It is a story in which an intruder intends to kill Gerrard and impersonate him to escape the law but the tables are turned on him as he is trapped due to Gerrard’s presence of mind. The play thus brings out that intelligence and presence of mind can help us come out of the trickiest of situations.
The theme of the play emphasizes the significance of intelligence, presence of mind and a cool head in situations of crisis. Panic complicates matters but cool temperament can help one wriggle out of the tight corners with ease. Criminals, who mastermind most deceitful crimes, can also be outwitted because they have a fear of getting detected and caught by the law. Hence, tactful planning and handling of a situation can trap even the so-called smart criminals.
“If I Were You” is a very appropriate title. It refers to the wishful thinking of the intruder who wants to assume Gerrard’s identity in order to escape the law. His idea of eluding the police by living on a borrowed identity remains unfulfilled as he is trapped by Gerrard and outwitted before he assumes his life. His dream to impersonate Gerrard is quashed and the ‘If’ in “If I Were You” looms forever with no hope of becoming a concrete reality. The title, therefore, hints at the basic idea of the story, and is, therefore, very apt.
The play gives the message that overconfidence can lead to disastrous results. One should never consider oneself to be smarter than the opponent as is done by the intruder who thinks that Gerrard is no match for him. The play also conveys that intelligence, the
presence of mind and cool-headedness can help us overcome the gravest of problems that we may encounter.
Lonely = solitary, अकेला ; cottage = a small bungalow,छोटा बंगला ; intruder = one who enters forcibly,घुसपैठिया ; criminal =one who commits crime, अपराधी ; bears = maintains, कायम रखना ; resemblance = similarity,समानता ; interior = inner part,आंतरिक भाग ; entrance = door, दरवाज़ा ; curtained = covered with curtains, पर्दों से ढका ; practical = of daily use, व्यावहारिक ; consisting = made, बना हुआ ; divan = a kind of bed, दीवान ; upstage = on the the side of the stage, स्टेज के पीछे का भाग Rimmed = frame,फ्रेम वाला ; lounge = sitting room,बैठक ; cultured = refined,सुसंस्कृत; count on = depend on, निर्भर होना ; engaged = busy, व्यस्त ; flashily = in a gaudy manner,तड़क –भड़क से ; bumps = strikes, टकराना , accidentally = by chance,संयोग से ; put those paws up = raise your hands, हाथ ऊपर करो ; Melodramatic = sensational,सनसनीखेज ; original = genuine ; मूलभूत nonchalant= careless manner,लापरवाह ; smart = clever, चालाक ; crawl = creep, रेंगना Funny = humorous,हास्यप्रद ; motions = gestures, इशारे ; sympathetic = kind, दयालु ; audience = listeners, श्रोता ; gypsies = nomads,खानाबदोश ; inflection = change of voice,लापरवाह ; unfamiliar = not intimate, परिचित न होना ; emphasis = stress,जोर देना ; hurt = injured, घायल ; guy = man,व्यक्ति ; imitation = copy, नकल assist = help,सहायता करना ; garage = covered space for parking cars,गैराज ; rarely = very infrequently,बहुत कम ; baker = one who bakes,बेकर ; greengrocer = vegetable seller,सब्जी वाला ; charming = attractive,आकर्षक Considerable= a lot of, बहुत अधिक ; modest = humble, विन्रम ; plenty = much, अधिक ; precisely = exactly,एकदम ; require = need, आवश्यकता होना ; to break into = to intrude,घुसपैठ करना ; figuring = appearing,नजर आना ; embrace = have adopted,अपनाना ; treat = joy, प्रसन्नता ; dandy = excellent,शानदार ; jewels = diamonds,हीरे ; cops = policemen,सिपाही ; retire = live in comfort,आराम से रहना ; trifle =a bale,कुछ I harsh = cruel,क्रूर ; sarcasm = bitter satire, व्यंग्य; taken a fancy = have started liking,चाहना आरंभ कर देन ा; grave =serious, गंभीर; hunted =chased, पीछा करना ; gratuitous = without good reason,बिना कारण के ; admitted = confessed,स्वीकार करना ; at the sight of = on seeing,देखने पर ; melodrama = sensational drama, सनसनीखेज नाटक ; villain = bad character, खलनायक ; frustrated = disappointed,निराश Posh = belonging to the upper class,उच्च वर्ग का ; stuff = material,माल ; pantomime = silent imitation,खमोश नक़ल ; decorative = fine looking,अच्छा देखने वाला ; specs = eyeglasses, चश्मा ; tribute = praise,प्रशंसा ; intelligence = wisdom,बुद्दिमत्ता ; on your mind = in your thoughts,तुम्हारे विचारों में ; conversation = talk,बातचीत ; elude = escape,बचना ; dodge = escape, बचना ; queer = strange,अजीब ; mystery = strange/ unexplained, रहस्य ; propose = suggest,सुझाव देना ; invested in (here) = adopted,अपनाया Crook = rogue, ढंग; disguise = hiding in a false identity, भेष; musingly – thoughtfully,विचारशीलता स े; muddled = confused, परेशान; leans = bends, झुकता है Slams = shuts, बंद करता ह ै; cupboard = almirah, अलमार ी; rattles = knocks, खटखटाता ह ै; props = lines spoken in a drama, नाटक में बोली गई पक्तिया ँ; probably = perhaps,शायद