There are two men in the room. Natwar Rateria, Assistant Personal Secretary, on the phone on the left side of the frame and Minister of State for Forest Dilip Singh Judeo on the sofa on the right-hand side. He is watching television and munching snacks. Rateria is exploring the possibility of getting a news item published in the papers.
Dilip Singh Judeo pours his first drink on camera, Rateria is still on the phone. In the second call, the secretary gives away his identity. News on the TV about the Safdar Hashmi trial indicates the conversation happened in the first week of November.
Long pause, both Dilip Singh Judeo and Rateria watch TV. Rateria gets another bottle of liquor.
Looking towards his right, Natwar Rateria (NR) starts talking to somebody.
Natwar Rateria: Rahulji kya keh rahein the ...diamonds ke barey main. Kya bol rahe hain Rahulji. (What was Rahulji saying... about diamonds. What is he saying.)
Uska mujjhe kisine kaha. Kisi ne batayan...(Someone told me about him. Someone informed me...)
Dilip Singh Judeo: Kis ka beta? (Whose son)
Rahul: ... Woh DDA mein lease ke liye apply kar chuka hai. Aapan ko voh doosra...Australian company, jis se hum logon ki baat chal rahi hai. Voh apply nahi kar sakti. Usne legally bahut samjjhaya hum logon ko. Voh us company ka India mein advisor hain. Hum ne kaha hamare yahan inse relations hain. To hum kar sakte hain. Kaafi badi party hai. (He has applied for a licence with DDA. Our other... Australian company, with whom our talks are going on. They cannot apply. He counselled us a lot legally. He is that company’s advisor in India. I told him that we have relations with him (Judeo) here. So we can do it. They are quite a big party.)
Natwar Rateria: Chhattisgarh ki baat kar rahe ho? (Are you talking about Chhattisgarh?)
Rahul: Orissa aur Chhattisgarh dono (Both Orissa and Chhattisgarh).
Natwar Rateria: Chhattisgarh mein kya hain (What is there in Chhattisgarh)?
Rahul: Chhattisgarh mein to abhi, to jaise election ki baad hi dekhte hain. Aapka chunav ho jane dete hain. To vohi mein soch raha tha. Aap milke is matter ko badhva dijiye thoda thoda. (We shall wait for the elections to get over in Chhattisgarh. In the meantime, why don’t you meet them and push the case forward.)
Natwar Rateria: Zaroor, Zarror. Aapne kagaz diya hai. Aap log kal ja rahain ho. Aap mujhey ek working day dijiye. Mein aapko Action Taken Report de doonga. Aur boliye. (Sure, sure. You have given the papers to me. You are leaving tomorrow. Give me one working day and I will get you the Action Taken Report. Tell me more?) Dekhiye, Impossible, hamare liye koi word hi nahi hai. Aur boliye? Aur Chhattisgarh mein humlog aa jayenege toh koi bhi kanoon ... sab nipat lenge. Kisiki kya chalne vali hai. (Look, impossible is not a word in our lives. Tell me more. Once we come to power in Chhattisgarh, then no law....we will deal with everything. Nobody can touch us then.)
Dilip Singh Judeo looks away, as if distancing himself from the conversation.
Natwar Rateria: Orissa mein bhi sthiti vaisi hi hai. Apna kafi command hai... Nau hazaar (9,000) crore ki relief Naveen Patnaik ko apne mantralay ke project se... us se kuch bhi karva sekte hain. Main yeh keh sakta hoon, Orissa Government .. thodi hi der bahar hai. (Situation in Orissa is the same. We have a lot of influence. We gave relief worth Rs 9,000 crore to Naveen Patnaik from Ministry’s projects. We can make him do anything. I can tell you this, Orissa Government... is outside only for a while.)
Rahul: Uska pata kijiye (Find out more).
Natwar Rateria: Time nahin hain (There is no time).
Natwar Rateria: Jab aap free hon to (When you are free).
Natwar Rateria: Chief Minister ban ne ke baad...is desh mein athayees (28) Chief Minister hain. Chief Minister to Chief Minister hota hai. Apna personal relationship hai. Aur Chhattisgarh mein elections ke baad...ab koi kuch nahi karne wala. (After becoming Chief Minister...this country has 28 CMs. After all a CM is a CM. We have a personal relationship. And after elections in Chhattisgarh... Right now nobody will do anything.)
Takes a drink and continues talking.
Natwar Rateria: Orissa mein tasalli banayon. Jo chahenge voh hoga. Chunaav nipat jaaye. Dilli mein Patnaik ke saath baith ke apni sari consultants bulva lena. (Rest assured about Orissa. Whatever we want will happen. Just let the elections get over. Then we will sit with Patnaik in Delhi and you can call all your consultants then.)
Rahul: Usko thoda sa milke...Apan ko thoda kaam aage badhana hain...(He has to be met with...and further our work)
Natwar Rateria: Aapko agar vahan koi kaam aage badhana hai, toh hum forward ker dete hain CM house mein. Aap unse jaake milo. Aapko voh poori tavajoo denge. (If you want to get some work done, we will forward it to the CM’s residence. You go and meet him. He will give you proper hearing.)
Rahul: Jo roda hota hai, voh official hota hai. Kahin bhi jo kuch hota hain woh adhikari log hi karte hain. (The obstructions are all official. Wherever something happens, it is the officials who do the needful.)
Natwar Rateria: Meri baat suno. Orissa ke mamle mein agar aap kisi ko bhi bhejoge Vikram Singh (the minister’s OSD) ke paas, voh 100 point verified hoga. (Listen to me. If you send someone to Vikram Singh on the Orissa matter, it will be verified 100 point.)
Rahul: Official language karvayye. (Get the official language in.)
Meanwhile, Dilip Singh Judeo again leans back and tries to cut himself off from the conversation. Gazes at the TV, which can be seen as a reflection in a photo frame behind him.
Natwar Rateria: Mein keh raha hoon, paanch mantri ko to Vikram Singhji phone kar sakte hain unke saamne bethe bethe. Dus paanch mantriyon par toh Vikram Singhji ka itna vahan ka command hai, kyon ki vahan unka service tenure raha hai. Dus Paanch mantriyon ki instant aapko jaankari de denge. (I am saying that Vikram Singh can call five ministers while he is sitting there. Vikram Singh has enough command over 5-10 ministers because he completed a tenure of his service there. He can give you instant information about 10 ministers.)
Aap bhej dijiye hamari daftar mein. (Send it to my office.) Rest assured...
Abhi yeh samay nahi hai... Naveen Patnaik ka jab bhi koi baat padegi, ek minute mein karva denge. Apne pehle aahsaan hain uske upar hai. Aur relationship bhi badi purani hai. (This is not the right time...Whenever we need work done from Naveen Patnaik, we can get it done in a minute. He is already indebted to us and our relationship is quite old.)
Rahul: Aap nahi lad rahen hai? (Aren’t you contesting elections?)
Natwar Rateria: (laughs) Mera to unke saath wahi jhhagda hota hai roz. Isiliye to hum alag alag gaadi mein aaye hain. (I always have a fight with him (Judeo) over this. That is why we have come in separate cars).
Dilip Singh Judeo: (Inaudible)
Natwar Rateria: Aur yeh jo aapne diye hai na. Aap jald baaji mein aaye nah. (And this that you have given. You have come in hurry, isn’t it).
Rahul: Mera kissi ko contact karwa dijiye (Get me in touch with someone).
Natwar Rateria: Mera mobile pe bol dena. Unko poori tavajoo milegi, working day... fully aware kara denge. (Tell me on my mobile. One working day...we will apprise him fully).
Rahul: Mein kooch karva deta hoon.. (I will get something done).
Dilip Singh Judeo eats the snacks.
Natwar Rateria: Aab toh...kuch dehi dena.. Samay bhi paryapt hain. Koi problem nahi hai. Aap bhej do bus. (You...just give something...time is appropriate. No problem. Just send him).
Looks at the Dilip Singh Judeo.
Natwar Rateria: Inka kuch karna padega Sir. (We will have to do something for them, sir).
A long pause follows and both the Dilip Singh Judeo and aide watch TV.
Rahul: Kitney rakh doon paanch sau waley. (How many 500 ones should I keep?)
Long pause watching TV.
Natwar Rateria: Bahut achi baat hui hain sir. Solar Singh ki Baragarh se baat huwi hain ki mein puri tarah se satisfied hoon. (Sir, there’s been a good development. Solar Singh talked with Baragarh, that he was fully satisfied).
Tape inaudible while the minister and his aide talk to each other.
Natwar Rateria: (turning to the Dilip Singh Judeo): ...Aap ku Jashpur betna pada ga. Raj Pariwar ka rasta nikal na padee ga. Aap ki baat koi nahin talega. (You will have to go to Jashpur. You’ll have to take out the Raj Pariwar’s way. No one will ignore you).
Rahul: Aap ke state mein CM kyun nahin declare kar rahein hain. (Why is no CM being declared in your state?)
Natwar Rateria: Mukhya Mantri declare aap kisi bhi channel pe dekh lo, sab ko pata hain mukhe mantri kaun hain. 500 channel mein yahi hain. Party declare nahin kar rahien, public declare kar rahee hain. (Watch any channel, everyone knows who the CM is. 500 channels are showing the same thing. Party has not declared but the public has).
Dilip Singh Judeo: Public declare kar rahee hain. (Public is declaring).
Rahul: Opposition declare kar rahee hain. (Opposition is declaring).
A person carrying wads of notes is seen entering the frame from the left side. Rateria tries to shoo him away but he hands the notes to someone in the right corner.
Natwar Rateria: Aisa nahin karo please. Rahul Bhai aap roz roz aisa karte hain. Idhar ajayee baat suniyee. (Don’t do this please. Rahul Bhai you do this everyday. Come here and listen to me).
Rahul: (hands over the notes): Aap ke pass to paisa hoga. (You will have money).
The Dilip Singh Judeo takes the notes and raises it to his forehead. He turns to his right and keeps it on the sofa.
Natwar Rateria: Yeh acchha tariqa nahin hain. (This is not right way).
Natwar Rateria: Yeh roz roz achcha nahin lagta. (This doesn’t look proper everyday).
A lot of rustling of paper is audible.
Rahul: Apka aashirvad hai...aaj kal to jo bhi...(It’s your blessings, these days whatever...)
Dilip Singh Judeo cuts him off.
Dilip Singh Judeo: Paisa khuda to nahin par khuda ki kasam khuda se kam bhi nahin. (Money isn’t God but, God promise, it’s no less than God).
Natwar Rateria: Aaj tak jo kisi ke liye nahin kiya woh karne ka man karta hai...main mazaak nahin kar raha hoon...(I feel like doing today what I haven’t done for anybody so far...I’m not kidding). Aap is prakar mat kiya kariye...(Please do not keep on doing this...)
Dilip Singh Judeo: Yeh mere beta ki umar ke hongeye. (He must be my son’s age).
Rahul: Ghar pe jo mila tha ek baar? Woh to bada hain. (The one we met at the house once? He is older).
Natwar Rateria: Nahin lagta hain. 1976 born hain. August 5 1976. (Doesn’t look it. He’s 1976 born).
Rahul: Woh bhi lad raha hain election? (Is he also contesting elections?)
Natwar Rateria: Nahin Nahin (no, no). (laughs)
Dilip Singh Judeo: Inke candidate ke khilaf (Against his candidate).
Rahul: Kaun hain inka candidate? (Who is his candidate?)
Dilip Singh Judeo: Woh Vijay Agarwal (That Vijay Agarwal).
Long pause. The conversation is inaudible.
Natwar Rateria: Sach hum ko aap se ek hi shikayat hain.. Kaam nahin karwate hain. Aap keh rahain hain, aap bhej denge unko. (Seriously, we have only one complaint against you... You do not give us an opportunity. You are saying you will send them. Send them.
Rahul: Mein bhej doonga kal (I will send them tomorrow.)
Natwar Rateria: Aap hum ko perform karney ka mauka to dijiye. Aap rukiye aur ek din unke saath aayee. (Give us an opportunity to perform. Wait for a day and come alongwith them).
Rahul: Aap kab tak hain yahan? (How long are you here?)
Natwar Rateria: Mein aap ki wajah se kal ke working day karwa raha hoon. Ek din roke rakha hain. Kuwar Saheb (minister) ki bhi election committee ki baithak ko defer kar diya hain. Inke samne unko bulwa dena. Aur bolo. (For you, I have made tomorrow a working day. Have stopped it for one day. Minister’s election committee meeting has also been deferred. Call him when the Minister is there. Tell more.)
Rahul: Multinational bhi hain. (there is multinational also).
Seems to be speaking to someone outside the camera frame.
Rahul: Nahin hain kya. Phone kardo (Isn’t it there. Shall I phone).
Natwar Rateria: Aap itna kyon dar rahein hain? Aap unko ley awoo. Meray ko time batawoo. main aap ko time, date deta hoon. Mantralay main unko bhi le aana. (Why are you so scared? You bring them. Tell me the time. I will give you the time and date. Get them to the Ministry too.)
Rahul: Main unko leke aa jata hoon aap time bata do. (I will get them. Just tell me the time.)
Natwar Rateria: Mantraley main woh attend kareyge. Ek aad ghante main inka nirakaran ho jayega. Inka confidence high kar denge. Unke saamney CM se baat ho jayegi. Aap hamare time ke hisaaab se adjust karlegeyee. (They can be attended to in the Ministry. In a matter of hours, their problem will be sorted out. We will increase their confidence. We will talk to the CM in front of them. You adjust your timings according to ours).
While the conversation is going on, the minister turns to his right and starts speaking to somebody out of the frame.
Dilip Singh Judeo: Koyii laundry bag hoga? (Is there a laundry bag?)
A man enters the frame and puts the notes into the bag.
Natwar Rateria: Hum aap ko milne wale nahin the aaj. Aagar aap ek din rukh sakte hain...Aapke liye rakha hain unka ek aur din. (We were not going to meet you today. If you can wait another day...we had kept another day for you.)
Watching TV, Rahul turns to the minister and starts talking about somebody (judging from the conversation, it seems to be Madan Lal Khurana) referred to in the news.
Natwar Rateria: Yeh to bhayankar jadoogar hain. Yeh nali wali saaf karkey, tandoor wandoor kar ke dekhna kaise jitayega. Mujhe is par pura bharosa hain. Inke competence pe. (This man is a magician. He will clean drains, raise the tandoor issue and see how he will win the election. I have full confidence in him. In his competence.)
Natwar Rateria: (turning to the Dilip Singh Judeo): After Kuwar Saheb, he is the most competent.
Number one Kunwar Saheb. Number two yeh. Number three Umaji aur number four Vasundhara Rajeji. Competence ke hisaab se. (Number one is Kunwar Saheb. Number two this (Khurana). Number three Umaji and number four, Vasundhara Rajeji. In terms of competence).
Rahul: Aap ki party main woh hain na. Woh Taj waley...Jagmohan? (Isn’t he in your party? The Taj one...Jagmohan?)
Natwar Rateria: Hamare party mein ek se ek asset hain. (Our party has the choicest assets)
Dilip Singh Judeo offers snacks to someone.
Dilip Singh Judeo: Aur kya haal chaal hain Bhai (So what is the news Bhai). Bhai saheb (almost yelling). (The person comes in the frame and takes what is offered.) How are you?
Natwar Rateria is visibly embarrassed and starts praising the minister.
Natwar Rateria: Aap believe nahin karogay. Paanch baje soyai hain yeh. Aap inki ankhe dekhiye. (You won’t believe. He slept at 5. See his eyes)