Mr.XXXXXX, Director of Intelligence Bureau, has a bad week

1. In which a complaint is firmly dealt with:

28 Oct. 19XX / XPM

Caller: Hello? Is this the Telecom Ministry?

D.I.B. Mr. XXXXXX: Wrong number. [Hangs up]

X:05PM

Caller: Hello? Is this the Telecom Ministry?

D.I.B.: I told you, you have the wrong number! [Hangs up]

X:10PM

Caller: Hello?

D.I.B.: Hello?

Caller: Who am I speaking with?

D.I.B.: This is DIB XXXXXX speaking. Who is this?

Caller: Ah. So this isn’t the Telecom Ministry then?

D.I.B.: No, it isn’t! [Hangs up]

X:15PM

Caller: Hello? Is this the Telecom Ministry?

D.I.B.: [On intercom to Sec.:] Mohan, pick up the parallel line. Yeh call trace karo. [On telephone:] Yes, that’s right, this is the Telecom Ministry. What can we do for you?

Caller: Yes, well, I am calling to make a complaint. All my calls to the Telecom Ministry keep getting forwarded to the office of the Director of the Intelligence Bureau. It’s most annoying.

D.I.B.: [On intercom] What? Traced? Good. Have this joker arrested, locked up and beaten mercilessly. [On telephone] Sorry, wrong number. [Hangs up]

2. In which a violent death is reported:

31 October 19XX, XXPM

D.I.B.: Hello?

D.G.P. Mr. XXXXX: Directorji, hello! This is XXXXX speaking! I assume you have got the news by now?

D.I.B.: Hello, XXXXX-ji! What news are you referring to?

D.G.P.: That Mrs. GXXXXX has been shot, of course. I called to ask if…

D.I.B.: My god! Mrs. XXXXXX has been shot?? XXXXX-ji, I have to hang up, I’m sorry. I must speak with the A.D.! [Hangs up]

D.I.B.: Hello, XXXXXX?

P.A. Mr. XXXXXX: Yes, sir?

D.I.B.: Connect me to Mr. XXXXXXXX immediately.

P.A.: Yes, sir. Please hold the line.

[Shehnai rec. plays for approx. 15 seconds]

A.D. Mr. XXXXXXXX: Hello?

D.I.B.: Hello, am I speaking with XXXXXXXX?

A.D.: No, sir. This is Cutts, sir.

D.I.B.: What? Who?

A.D.: Cutts, sir. The butcher, sir.

D.I.B.: What?? Who??

A.D.: Hahahahaha! I fooled you again, XXXXXX-ji! Hahahaha! A little Hergé humour there! How do you like that?

D.I.B.: You idiot! You [expletive deleted] idiot! Mrs. XXXXXX has been shot at! Haven’t you heard??

A.D.: Hahaha! Good one, XXXXXX-ji! Good one! But I’m not so easily fooled! Haha!

D.I.B.: This is no joke, XXXXXXXX! It’s a genuine emergency!

A.D.: Aahahahaha! That’s good! An emergency, indeed! That’s priceless! Hahaha!

D.I.B.: [Expletive deleted] your worthless [expletive deleted], XXXXXXXX! [Hangs up]

3. In which a large order is executed:

2 November 19XX, XXAM

D.I.B.: Hello?

Caller: Hello! Hello, sir! [Static] six kilos [static] sent!

D.I.B.: What? I can’t hear you! Six kilos of what? Sent where?

Caller: Yes! Six! The purest grade of [static]… It will be a [static] explosion of [static] sir! Aapke mehmaan sab [static].

D.I.B.: What? An explosion? Where? [On intercom to Sec.:] Mohan, pick up the parallel line. Yeh call mein trace lagao, jaldi!

Caller: Sir? [Static] Sorry, cannot hear [static] hope it will [static]. It has been [static] for hundred heads, as [static] ordered.

D.I.B.: What? Who is this?? I repeat: WHO am I speaking with?

Caller: This [static] from [static] Chandni [static], sir. Where we [static].

D.I.B.: [On intercom] Traced? No? Hurry, Mohan! [On telephone] Er… Hold on. [On intercom] Mohan, do we have a unit in Chandni Chowk? [Expletive deleted] it, I cannot understand if this is our person or theirs. [On telephone] Please explain yourself! Are you making a threat or identifying one? Hello?

Caller: [Static] your house. [Static] sent. I will call [static] bad line [static] okay. [Hangs up]

D.I.B.: Hello? Hello? [Expletive deleted] hung up. Trace mila, Mohan?

SEC.: Location is Ghantewala Sweets in Chandni Chowk. That was the proprietor, one Mr. Jain.

D.I.B.: Oh. Him. Ah… I was expecting his call. The four hundred besan laddoos for the party. I forgot.

SEC.: So there is no bomb threat?

D.I.B.: [Expletive deleted] up your [expletive deleted], Mohan. [Hangs up]

—-

Vinayak Varma

(First published in Cyclostyle, Issue 1, 2012.)