Take, Ianke And Cadir

excerpts CADIR: What you do?IANKE: Linger around!CADIR: What about the children? This is big trouble! Here you stay in the house so calmly and the children stay there crying.IANKE: I knew it! Didn't I tell you? They are crying and waiting for the train! Luckily there's no train until tomorrow morning…CADIR: Ianke, such a shame you joke. Ana-Aniki all day long crying. Break my heart, her crying, fire in my chest, ill in my chest, I get sick because of her crying…IANKE: Shut up, won't you? What would you like me to do?CADIR: Give them your blessing. Relent for once! Not be afraid of the foul mouth gossiping on the other side of the fence… in the lane. There all dog barking, all is nothing but filth… take care keeping your house clean. Ianke, you afraid to become the talk of the village?IANKE: It's not only about the village.CADIR: What the fear about, then? Your family folks? IANKE: I don't have any. CADIR: What fear about, then? Fear about your own God? Do tell me!IANKE: Won't you stop pestering me? Why, have you turned into a judge? Why didn't you marry the Christian girl you were once in love with?CADIR: Too right, Ianke! That story tore my heart out! Cadir don't want Ana die because of this! Cadir already dead because of this. Cadir know, felt, been there already. Cadir don't want, neither Ianke want nor Take want! Listen, Ianke, you get upset if the girl love son of Leibovici, who Christian is? IANKE: Damn them! It's their business. Let them be in love if they want to!CADIR: The boy Christian is, the girl Jewish is.IANKE: So what?TAKE: Your Jewish soul not mad at this? Good! What if the girl not yours? What if your wife the mother and you not the father?IANKE: Stop talking nonsense.CADIR: You, Ianke! Let's say: Take, dead. Cadir come to you and say: "You not the father, Take the father."IANKE: Are out of your mind?CADIR: Let's say! Beautiful wife you had, Take handsome. You ugly. Your wife in love with Take.TAKE: Give it up, Cadir!IANKE: Such balderdash makes you either go wild or collapse with laughter.CADIR: Not laugher, Ianke, answer! What you do? Then the girl half Christian, right? Answer, Ianke!IANKE: I won't! I can't answer to such gibberish!CADIR: You left, conscripted in the army. Wife left alone. Take alone with your wife…TAKE: Stop jesting, Turkish chatterbox! Or else I will get angry!IANKE: Well, well, wait a minute, let him speak!TAKE: That's nice! I like it!IANKE: Why, so what? I should be the one to like it, it's about me…TAKE: Well, it sounds like it is more about me…IANKE: So why should you be so upset about it? Well, that's strange! Why are you so interested in him shutting up? TAKE: Be my guest, Cadir!IANKE: Thank you! Well, Cadir, go on now, go on, the boyar allowed us to talk about my wife.TAKE: You are crazier than he is! Suit your self! Talk about what you want!IANKE: This is precisely what we want! Go on, Cadir! What about the time I was in the army? You were not married indeed, and Cadir was around back then.TAKE: Well, what do you mean? So what if he was around?IANKE: Be so kind and stop yelling! You either let him speak, or I get the meaning of this by myself! And then I'll send you to hell, girl and all!CADIR: Good! Good! Good! You, Ianke! This is what Cadir want tell you! The girl can marry Christian boy.IANKE: Forget about that! Tell me right away what was that gibberish about…CADIR: No, you first! Can girl marry Christian boy? Girl half Christian. Do tell!IANKE: This is none of my business! Give her to whom you like! Let him give her into marriage since she is his, not mine!TAKE: All right, Cadir, tell us, what plan are you concocting?IANKE: Be so kind and keep your mouth shut! You are dead. TAKE: You are crazy!IANKE: It's my business, not yours. Cadir, please, tell me what you know! You must know something. Tell me! What do you know?CADIR: Calm down, Ianke. Cadir don't know nothing.IANKE: What do you suspect, then?CADIR: Cadir don't suspect nothing. IANKE: Then why are you saying there was something going on?CADIR: Cadir don't say it was nothing.IANKE: Can you swear on your Mohammed?CADIR: Oh, no! Only Take can do that!TAKE: You stupid old fool, can you believe such a thing?IANKE: Don't you "old fool" me! Do swear! On the grave of your wife and on the grave of my wife!TAKE: I swear! Are you happy now?IANKE: You will swear even if there was something between you and her…TAKE: You, Ianke! Look me in the eyes! There are thirty years of friendship in my gaze, do you understand? IANKE (one moment, then spitefully, violently to Cadir): And even if she were his daughter, she still can't marry Ion, since she is his sister, you sinful gossip! IANKE: Here, do you see what ideas can a Turkish rogue fill your head with?CADIR: Allow the girl to marry Ionel! You, Ianke! Cadir love you all! You all, the apple of Cadir eye. Cadir speaking in jest, Cadir trying. Cadir want to show Ianke: Christian, Jewish, Turkish, all the same. Neither Ianke nor Take said, even once: "the girl Jewish, the boy Christian". Only angry at cheating, not his own child. Listen to Cadir, where tears shed, where heart beat strong, where kernel inside life, there is human, not Jewish, not Christian, not Turkish… that is shell, good shell, but not kernel… Cadir know Allah word: shame not for kernel without shell but for shell without kernel. You, Ianke! Understand Cadir old heart?IANKE: What do you think. Take?TAKE: I for one would be glad to shed light on this story. IANKE: I agree, but what about the people in the neighborhood? I foresee that I will get the same cold shoulder that poor Herscu got. Nobody would buy from him any more. Everybody went shopping to the merchant next door. What if I come to have no penny to my name?TAKE: He is right!CADIR: You are the only two merchants in this neighborhood. Nobody else come. Christian if angry, he buy from Ianke, Jew if angry, he buy from Take. Same money!IANKE: I don't agree to this. TAKE: Why, what's the problem?IANKE: I know my Jews will buy from you, 'cause they are spiteful, but who can guarantee that all your Christians will buy from me?CADIR: You both earned the same till today, right? Then, one shop for both of you… and profit half for each of you!TAKE: That is a very good idea!IANKE: Well, that's much better! He is a smart clod, isn't he? We were thinking about a sort of association, anyway. TAKE: So we do away with the wall between the shops.IANKE: Which is very thin and costs nothing…TAKE: The shelves are painted in the same color.IANKE: The houses needed painting anyway.TAKE: And so we will have such a lovely shop.IANKE: Similar to those downtown. Take, Ianke and Cadir (1933), a classical Romanian comedy about ethnic identity and tolerance in the world of the petty bourgeoisie, with the Muslim Turk Cadir acting as an interceder in favor of a marriage between Christian Take's son and Jewish Ianke's daughter, has enjoyed tremendous box-office success with almost every generation of theatergoers.

by Victor Ion Popa (1895-1946)