Saturday, December 6, 2008

World's best crank call, a war that almost was

Time: 2 am IST
Place: Somewhere in New Delhi

Caller A: Haallo haallo!! Operator? Please put me through to Jordaari, immediately.

Operator: Who is this? Who do you wish to speak to?

Caller A: Jah shala! didn't I just say? Jordaari Jordaari! It is a matter of bhery much importance.
Operator: You must have the wrong number. There is no Jordaari here. This is the President House.

Caller A: Yes, yes, I know. I must get Jordaari. Aarey, he is your President or no?

Operator: Ah I see. Just wait a moment while I connect you please. And Sir, my apologies for the delay.

Time: 2:30 am
Place: President House, Pakistan

(Hectic conversations between intelligence officials and presidential aides)

Official 1: It can't be Mukherjee. It just can't, I don't know, call it my ISI experience, or plain intuition, it can't be him.

Official 2: Has your ISI experience taught you when to shut up?

Official 3: Guys, guys, this is not the time for argument. I have checked the call details. They bloody match. It must be him. We have to wake the president. These are drastic times.

Official 2: On your shoulder be it then

Official 1: I knew I should have taken up the offer with the FBI when it came. This could be something major.

Time: 2:25 am
Place: President's bedroom, Pakistan

Operator: Sir, putting your call through

Caller A: About time!.......Hallo hallo Jordaari?

Caller B: (stifles a yawn) Namaste! To what do I owe this very late pleasure?

Caller A: Pleasure! Mumbai is burning and you talk of pleasure! Have you no conscience?

Caller B: (startled out of slumber) Yes, it is very unfortunate. I have sent my condolence via fax, didn't you get it?
I tell you M, the state Musharraf left things in here is simply disgusting. Nothing works. Can you believe it, I don't even get to keep my Blackberry. Although I'm not complaining, I heard Obama also gave up his. When you become president (hint of pride in his voice) what's a few material things, eh old chap?

Caller A: Listen Jordaari, if I had to do tete-a-tete at this time of the night, I would wake up Manmohan no? I have called to lodge serious complaints about you.

Caller B: Me? What did I do now?

Caller A: I am sorry to say you have again, ki jeno kothata, (what's the saying?) ha, 'dropped the ball.'

Caller B: (getting angry now) Look if this is again about Palin, I must tell you I am fed up of this. I only complimented Palin, I swear I never laid a finger on her. She is like a sister to me.

Caller A: DHUR CHHAI! (dammit) who is talking about Palin? I don't like the way you let your ISI do whatever damn well they please. Ui are bhery bhery angry about Mumbai. And let me tell you ui will take sturn action. Ui will make war, yes, Jordaari, NOT LOVE, BUT WAR, with you.

Caller B: (completely awake by now) Wait a second! wait a second! this is not the diplomatic briefing I got! Who is talking about war? We are bhery (dhur chhai!) very sorry it happened. But there is no need to arm twist me.

Caller A: (chilling laughter) He he he, you will see. (Disconnects)

Caller B: (to officials who were eavesdropping outside the bedroom)
Immediately call the White House! Wake up Rice! (looks under the bed), wake up Bush! we are at war! India is attacking us! WHERE ARE MY SLIPPERS WHEN I NEED THEM!!!

Time: 3 am
Place: Somewhere in New Delhi

Caller A: Damn. I ran out of coins. I knew I should have got 20 bucks more in loose change.

The next day is history. Indians living near the Line of Control woke up to see heavy troop movement on the Pakistani side, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew in to Delhi to "reassure India of its continued support", the media went berserk and the Indian Foreign Minister maintained that India is appreciative of Pakistan's support.

This piece is a figment of my imagination. But the incident is true. A prank caller pretending to be Pranab Mukherjee to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had both nations almost on the brink of war with few minutes of a midnight conversation.

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