Heat and Dust (1983) Movie Script

- Mr Rivers.
- Oh, good morning Matron.
- Good morning.
- How is your patient?
Dr Saunders would like a word with you.
Is something wrong?
The doctor's waiting in his office.
Ah, Rivers, good morning.
I've been waiting for you.
How is my wife?
Your wife is no longer in the hospital.
Your wife has left our charge.
She's disappeared.
When Sister went in this morning,
she was gone.
Are you trying to tell me that
she went home by herself... in her state?
I'm trying to tell you, Rivers,
that she left of her own accord.
We don't know when, we don't know where.
I knew she was rotten
from the first day I saw her.
Douglas was married again
soon after the divorce
and to someone far more
suitable than Olivia.
He produced a whole lot of
little empire builders I believe.
That was the trouble with Olivia,
he kept telling her she wasn't
enough of an empire builder,
she wasn't a proper memsahib.
You don't look like one either,
not that they breed them anymore.
I say is this thing still on?
Oh no, the tape's run out.
Yes, I suppose nowadays
you just go out there
to follow some guru or something.
Is that what you are doing?
No of course not, of course not.
See, she was outraging
two con ventions,
those of her own people,
and those of the Indians,
whose con ventions are,
if anything, e ven stronger.
And of course you can 't do anything...
Thanks awfully, Harry,
you've been absolutely wonderful.
God knows what
indiscretions I committed,
what beans I've spilt.
Not that it matters a hoot anymore.
Oh, look, this is you.
You've kept all those letters
Olivia wrote to Marcia, have you?
Yes, of course.
You know, you don't
look like Marcia used to,
not one bit.
No, I suppose women have changed,
it's not like it was.
Your grandmother carrying on in Paris.
Olivia in India.
My goodness but they were romantic,
all for love and that sort of thing.
You've got better things
to do now I dare say, hmm?
I don't know.
- Speak up.
- Well.
The same, you'd better
be careful out there.
I hope you've had all those
injections one has to have.
I wouldn't like to see you
going to Satipur without them
or to Khatm.
Anne, always remember,
every old India hand
will tell you the same thing...
no water, ever, anywhere.
That's golden rule number one.
And no uncooked foods,
no fruit, no salads...
golden rule number two.
I always wanted to research,
search out what happened to Olivia.
She was my grandmother Marcia's sister
and wrote long revealing letters
which my grandmother gave
to my mother, and she to me.
But now I'm getting involved
not only in Olivia's life,
but in others,
like the family I board with.
And sometimes
the two are difficult to reconcile.
We're beginning to
look slightly civilised.
Mrs Crawford, the collector's wife,
the Burra Memsahib,
came to inspect me in my nest today.
I don't think she thinks much of me...
or the nest,
but she's very tactful.
She told me she knows how difficult
the first year always is
and if there was any little thing
she could possibly do
to ease things for me,
well, I must just consider
her to be always there.
I said "thank you", demurely.
Actually, her being there
is the only difficult thing,
otherwise everything is just too perfect.
If only I could have told her that.
Sir Rufus Mackleworth,
Mr James Crawford,
Major Arthur Minnes.
It's not what you're used to.
Oh, it's far better
than what I'm used to.
But don't you like a chair
or a table, some curtains?
I'd much rather look out.
- Did you understand that?
- No.
She said the food is ready.
"Bhojan" means food.
"Bho" - it's like with a "bo" and a "huh" -
- Please take your rent.
- Oh, there's no need really but...
So bhojan...
The social circumstances are such...
We really have no choice.
I'd be interested in knowing your opinion
on early marriages.
I don't know anything about it,
why don't you ask Ritu?
She's not used to talking
with people very much.
Oh, that's better, that's lovely.
This is very good, very good,
loose, it's good.
How do I look?
You don't have to come
with me, I am all right,
really I am.
I... oh, dear.
I was going to the post office
and I thought I'd wait for you.
- Here.
- No thanks.
You know, I can't get over the fact
that your office is in Olivia's bungalow.
In fact, I think...
...that you're right in what
was her drawing room.
Uh huh, come on let's go.
- What's wrong, Inder Lal?
- It's okay.
Look, I know there's something wrong.
- Do tell me what it is.
- It's nothing Anne.
- It's nothing.
- Oh, you must please.
Look, there's so much
I want to talk with you about
but these people they're just ignorant,
they don't know anything.
They just, you know,
they think the reason
you've been waiting for me all this time
is that it's sexual,
that's all they know.
Oh, my goodness,
I didn't even think about that.
I'm so sorry.
Why should you be sorry?
They should be sorry.
They're just ignorant fools.
Just the other day
I heard of an incident
with an English lady in Muzzafarnagar.
It was her dhobi, Mrs Rivers.
Her own washerman.
He was ironing her undies.
Of course, got excited.
In a way you can't blame them,
it's their constitution,
and all that spicy food they eat,
it heats the blood.
Well, what is it now?
Oh, my goodness.
They only have one thought
in their heads Mrs Rivers,
and that's to...
you-know-what with a white woman.
Have you seen our darling's grave?
- No.
- Come.
We got the statue, that angel over there,
from an Italian marble
cutter settled in Mirat.
It's beautiful.
My baby was beautiful, too.
Every day I tell Willy, "let's go home".
I know I can't have my baby back,
but let's go.
Come, come, Joan.
You mustn't do that.
This is the worst season for it,
that's when then heat's starting.
As soon as we get her off to Simla
she'll be as right as rain,
won't you old girl?
My mother keeps asking,
"Why isn't Anne married?"
I don't know what to tell her.
What should I tell her?
Well, oh well, I can tell you.
I did want to, only...
the person I was with,
he was married
and he kept saying
he was going to get a divorce.
Then he finally did...
only he married someone else.
I mean, someone different, not me.
Well, no matter,
we'll find you an Indian husband.
- Ah.
- A very nice, rich Indian husband.
And then you can live here
and have a lot of Indian children.
- Would you like that?
- What, children?
No, you know an Indian husband.
Someone like me.
But you think I'm very ugly, don't you?
- Oh, horrible.
- Oh.
Begum Sahib welcomes you.
She is very happy to meet this...
Angelic girl.
- Angelic girl.
- Thank you.
Mrs Rivers is the wife
of our assistant collector,
and we are privileged indeed
to have so charming a couple in our midst.
The assistant collector...
- Have you been to India before?
- No.
This is absolutely my first time,
and I couldn't be more thrilled.
How long have you been married?
Six months.
We were married in England
but I only followed my husband
out here a few weeks ago.
Any children?
We were married in September.
She hopes that the durbar
wasn't too tiring for you.
Oh, I loved every moment of it.
It looked splendid and was so well done.
It was thrilling to see your son, the Nawab.
I've always like to hear
the Khatam national anthem.
You must be terribly proud of him,
he's terrifically handsome and...
How does it go?
He'd cause a sensation
in any London drawing room.
You know, they think
they're frightfully clever,
but really they're so transparent.
- Who?
- Indians.
All of them.
From our mali
right on up to the Nawab, there.
They're like children.
They look like very grown up men to me,
certainly the Nawab does.
Where's his wife?
Oh, she's not here,
she ran away and left him.
Oh really? Tell me.
Oh, I don't know.
He eloped with her to Paris.
Her family didn't like it
so they broke it up,
something of that sort.
I say, did you see
that new memsahib,
did you notice her?
That tall blonde?
Oh yes, yes.
I thought she was a distinct improvement
on the others.
- Not that that's saying much.
Listen, I remembered another
memsahib joke.
It's about this Englishwoman
that went to the races in Calcutta.
Her shoelace came undone
and when she bent down to tie it up
a jockey came along
and plonked a saddle on her.
Exactly, because she looked like a horse.
And when her friends all asked her,
"My dear, whatever did you do?"
She said, "What could I do, my dears?"
"I came third."
Oh, I was talking to Beth Crawford today.
Now they're leaving for Simla
at the end of next month
so I asked her to book you
a berth at the same time
on the Kalka Mail.
It's over night but it won't be too bad,
I promise you.
Now the journey up to the mountains
is another four hours, but what a journey.
You'll love it.
The scenery,
not to mention the changing climate.
You don't for one moment
think I'd go without you?
But Beth will be there,
and Mary Minnies.
They'll take care of you.
Oh, that's just silly Olivia.
Mother spent four months away from father
every year, year after year.
She didn't like it either but,
when you're in a district
that's the way it has to be.
You have no idea how hot it gets.
It can drive you mad.
You'll be irritable,
we will quarrel over every little thing.
I'm not going.
You don't think I like it
any better than you do, do you?
I'll be bored.
I'll be hot, irritable,
all right, we'll quarrel...
but please don't send me away from you.
I believe you've made a mistake.
Oh, thank goodness darling,
are you all right?
Well I sort of got lost
and there's so many doors...
- ...and they all look exactly the same.
- Oh, scrumptious.
I felt like Queen Alexandra
driving through Hyde Park.
And you give him a coat, or a trouser,
or a shirt, or something to copy.
One way is to get these
little lamps the Hindus have,
and you fold them in the leaves,
and you sail them on the water,
and then the croc gets intrigued of course,
and pops up his head,
bang straight in the eye.
Eight or nine months
later I heard from Cocksons
that there's a greasy piece
of paper with my name on it,
it was sitting in the Peshawar bazaar.
It was said to be worth
50 pounds sterling.
Of course Major Minnies, of course.
An Englishman's word
and all that sort of thing.
Doesn't his mother ever come
to any of his dinner parties?
How could she,
what on Earth are you saying,
with all these men?
Not that generation, never.
What about his wife?
I mean when they still lived together.
Oh, you know about that, do you?
Here, try one of these,
they're a bit sticky but quite delicious.
Did you know her, what was she like?
Of course, if it isn't terribly secret.
Actually, in a way, it was all my fault.
She was at school in England
with a young cousin of mine,
Marjorie, and I took both the girls
to a party
that he was giving at Claridges.
It was all very thrilling
and totally out of bounds for them.
And then they both fell in love with him.
Poor old Marjorie with her stumpy legs,
she never had a chance.
- The other one was very pretty, of course?
- Oh god yes, Sandy was a peach.
She was only 16 at the time.
Twenty years younger than he was,
not that that's what bothered her family.
They were trying to get her married off
to a Hyderabad prince who was 30 years older.
Of course, he was a much bigger prince
than our Nawab.
His wife's family had to come
and take her away.
There were rumours of poison.
- Good lord.
- Some said it was the begum
because she was jealous
of her daughter-in-law.
She'd already got rid of his first wife
years before.
But some said it was the Nawab himself
because he'd fallen in love
with a dancing girl.
Of course, no dancing girl ever materialised
so it must've been one of those rumours
started by an interested party.
It had been Sumerca and Keifer
and God knows where,
it had come over the Khyber pass
and was presented at the Peshawar bazaar
and was still said to be worth
50 pounds sterling.
He's heard that story
at least six times.
So have I and I've only been here
three weeks.
I don't think I could bear
to hear one more anecdote
about what happened in Kabul in 13,
don't you know, old chap?
Sometimes I think I must be
the only person in the world
whose grandfather was not
at the siege of Lucknow.
- Mine wasn't.
- Douglas's was, of course.
He said, "Work?"
"You won't have to work
for your first year."
"Oh by the way, Rivers I've got a..."
He's very good looking, I like him.
Oh, do you?
So do I.
We were just talking about you.
Nothing about good I assure you.
The state of Khatm has always been renowned
for its hospitality.
Except in the time of the chap,
what's his name?
"Ana" something, Pan.
Amanulla Khan.
Oh, Dr Saunders, I hope you're not going
to hold that against me?
It's not fair Dr Sahib.
Perhaps Your Excellency
has not heard the story
of my ancestor and the party he gave?
A neighbouring prince, the raja of Mong,
had done something
to displease my ancestor.
So he invited the raja and his retainers
to a feast.
A ceremonial tent was put up,
some choice arrangements were made,
and when the guests
were seated to eat and drink
to their heart's content,
just as we are now,
at that very moment Amanullah Khan
gave a secret sign to his men
and they cut the ropes of the tent
so that the raja and his party
were entangled under the canvas.
When they were trapped there like animals,
Amanullah Khan and his men
took their daggers
and stabbed them through
the canvas again and again,
'til there was not one
single enemy left alive.
They still have that tent, Mrs Rivers
and the blood is so fresh and new
it's as if it had only happened yesterday.
The cause of this enmity
was something very small.
A trifling, one could say.
The raja had broken his word
over a marriage contract,
not with Amanullah himself
but with one of his followers.
It was a question of honour
and Amanullah Khan
was not the man to sit quietly
when he or anyone of his was insulted.
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,
to the King Emperor.
- The King Emperor.
- The King Emperor.
Rivers is going to the village of Rampur
in the morning.
They've been threatened with a raid.
Retaliatory raid.
Obviously one of the villagers
informed on the gang.
They kill a few people,
break arms and legs,
cut off noses, the usual sort of thing,
just to show everyone who's who.
And the Nawab gives them his protection?
Yes, in return for a share of the loot,
at least that's what we suspect.
He's nothing but a common brigand.
It's just one dash thing after another.
Ah, but Crawford,
that's the definition of our business,
getting out of one dash
thing after another.
What couldn't I give
to get out of this one?
What's that singing?
It's the entertainment.
Oh, do you think it would
be all right to go and see?
Well I suppose so, if you really want to.
These things are supposed
to be strictly for men.
Oh well, go on.
Strange music.
- Do you hate it?
- Heavens no.
I've just never heard anything like it.
Not a very appreciative audience.
Poor Douglas,
he's putting up a great show.
He's tone deaf you know, utterly.
I have a message for you.
Oh yes?
As a matter of fact he sent
me out to give it to you.
- But he doesn't even know I exist.
- Oh doesn't he?
He hasn't looked in my direction once,
not once all evening.
Well, almost not once anyway,
why should he?
All the same, he sent me.
He wants to invite you and Mr Rivers
to dinner next week.
Just the two of you, en famille.
Just Douglas and me?
He also wanted me to tell you
that it would make him very happy.
It would be fun.
- I have to go.
- Oh no.
I'll be back in the evening.
In the evening.
Sleep a bit more.
I forgot to tell you something.
What's the matter?
Darling, you wouldn't know,
I'm not for a moment blaming you,
but you shouldn't let the servants
see you like this.
See me how?
I'm as demure as a nun, look.
Oh, this is too ridiculous.
What did you want to tell me?
The Nawab's invited us
to dinner on Wednesday.
- Oh no, not again.
- What do you mean "not again"?
It's the only decent place we've been to.
At least it's amusing.
- Amusing? Gosh.
- Well, he wants us, anyway.
He says he'll send a car and everything.
But why should he send a car?
We can go with the Crawfords.
Oh, you don't think
they've been invited do you?
Well, he wouldn't ask
us without the Crawfords.
I mean Mr Crawford's the burra sahib,
he's my superior.
He's also a superior bore.
He wants us, darling,
because we're amusing
and nice and they're not.
- What, just us, just you and me?
- Well, why not?
Why it's most irregular.
Since when does royalty throw parties
for junior officers?
It's very irregular.
Oh, God.
I wish you'd trust me on this.
I really do know best,
really I do, darling.
You don't know.
When you're gone, there's nothing,
there's nobody.
My goodness, the days are long.
I never knew days could be so long.
I know it's difficult for you, darling,
but it's all just because it's all so new.
As a matter of fact I was talking about
this very thing to Beth Crawford.
And you mustn't think that way about Beth,
she's a good sort.
And do you know what she said?
She said that, well, someone as sensitive
and as intelligent as you,
see she does appreciate you...
well, that you'd surely be all right here,
but you, and this is what she said,
that you'd "come to feel
about India just as we do".
I know it's easy for me, I have my work.
I'm really not fit for anything else.
But you're worth a jolly sight more
than to be just the wife
of a chap like me.
I should say so.
I do love you.
See you tonight.
I may not be here.
If it gets too boring I'll run away.
- I'll play blind.
- Playing blind?
All right one, two.
- Yes, you have to show your cards...
- Show? One.
There you are.
You cheated me.
Honestly, I didn't see your cards.
One, two.
So this is how you spend your time,
you idle fellow...
- ...playing cards with women?
- I'm not playing anymore.
I've never seen such abdominal cheating.
- You're her own dear son.
- If I am your own dear son,
you shouldn't be cheating me like this.
Cheating, not I.
- Pay your debts.
- Come on, Harry, pay up.
All gentlemen pay their gambling debts.
What would they say in the club?
And what would our Mr Crawford say,
the esteemed burra sahib?
And what about our esteemed
sahib, Mr Rivers?
Oh, here, I've got this
courteous note from Mr Rivers.
We've left Satipur,
all this is his great state of Khatm.
Yes, we've left British India.
Now you're in my power, like him.
I'm only joking.
I had to go with them, I couldn't not.
He said he'd be so terribly hurt if I didn't,
if I refused his invitation again.
Look at him, Mrs Rivers.
What sort of an Englishman are you?
One who can't stand
your goddamn climate.
My climate?
Well, Mrs Rivers can stand it very well.
Oh dear, dear, Mrs Rivers,
what shall we do with him?
He's letting down the side.
That's not a proper Englishman.
Do you know what I think?
I think he's a very improper Englishman.
This place is sacred
to the memory of Baba Firdaus,
a holy man.
It was built in his honour
by my ancestor Amanullah Khan.
Oh, the one you told
that frightful story about
who trapped all his guests in a tent
and had them stabbed.
You... You call that frightful do you?
I suppose you're right.
Baba Firdaus gave him shelter here
after battle.
That's why he built this shrine in gratitude.
He never forgot a friend or an enemy.
The British liked him very much.
- I think you like such people, don't you?
- We do?
Yes, you know,
rough people that fight well,
mostly on a horse,
but best of all, you like the horse.
But you're not like that.
You don't like the horses, do you?
You're right, I don't.
You see how well I read your character?
Thank you, thank you.
Well done.
Olivia never told Douglas
about the Nawab's picnic.
She had meant to as soon as she got home,
but it so happened that he'd been held up
by a stabbing incident
in the bazaar that day
and was even later than usual.
She never did get around to telling him
about her day.
And when he left next morning,
she was still asleep.
So instead,
she wrote the first of those long,
really intimate letters to Marcia.
Inder Lal's family always comes
to the annual religious festival
at the tomb built by Amanullah Khan,
the Nawab's ancestor.
Amanullah Khan built the shrine
for a Muslim saint,
but now it's a sacred place
for both Hindus and Muslims.
That's the way things happen in India,
everything gets mixed up and absorbed.
"Shadi", "shadi", meaning marriage,
that's what they keep asking me.
"Why aren't you married?"
"How come you don't have a husband?
No children?"
"How can you live like that?"
I told them why don't you find
someone really nice for me?
So they asked Maji to provide a candidate.
Maji's a sort of wise woman
whom everyone consults about their problems.
She said "God would provide",
which is her usual response.
Maji said Lilavati had been coming here
every year, for 30 years.
Once she'd been a farmer's wife
but her husband died
and her in-laws wouldn't keep her
so she began to beg for her living.
She goes round to all the pilgrim spots
because that's where people
are most disposed to be charitable.
Giving to the poor is one way
of accumulating a good record
so as not to have to be born again.
This water is incredibly cold.
It's always like that.
How do you know,
have you been here before?
I read it somewhere.
Are you an American?
I'm not anything now.
I've taken sanyas.
That means you strip off everything,
your hair, your clothes,
all your personal possessions
and your identity.
It's all burned up on a funereal pyre.
So it's like dying as a material being
and being reborn spiritually.
And what about you?
- I'm doing some research.
- What, on your PhD?
For myself, like you.
I'm not researching Hinduism,
I've become a Hindu.
Actually, research was what
I used to do in England,
it was my job, I worked with the BBC.
And you didn't find it
all that fulfilling either?
You wouldn't be here if you did.
I gave it all up...
because it wasn't reality.
I even gave up my name.
My guru gave me a new one,
- Chid.
- Ananda.
- Chidananda.
- It means bliss of mind.
But you can just call me Chid.
Are you coming in?
- Oh it's nice.
- Hm, very nice.
You can't have any money
or anything, just this.
People have to give you food
or anything that you need.
One rupee is good?
You've got a lot of room here.
Just for a couple of days, for a little rest.
All right, all right, but just two days.
I'll show you where.
It's the light around our
body that controls our mind.
A pure unharmful mind
is a place of perfect happiness.
- Light.
- Light?
Whoa, all right come over.
No, no, no, no.
By the way, when are you leaving?
They want me to stay.
Do you even know
how poor these people are?
They can't afford to feed you.
They like it, they like giving.
By giving they're taking good karma
for their next reincarnation.
So you're helping them
to a better time in the next life
by eating their food in this one?
I used to be just like you, once.
I wanted materialistic power.
I was fascinated with power.
I went to the library
and got all these books
on Julius Caesar and Octavius Augustus,
those sort of people.
I figured that today's
equivalent is big business,
big multinational corporations.
You know I tried to get in
on an IBM training course one time,
but my grades weren't good enough,
and they said that I was crazy,
and they sent me to the hospital.
That's a tazkiyah procession.
It took me a long time to realise
that what the Romans had was limited power
and that the only unlimited power
is what they had in the Vedanta.
You see, materialistic power is limited.
Real power is absolute,
unlimited and undefined.
You see, you must be
independent in your thinking.
But back home they're afraid of that.
Afraid that you might overthrow
their power structure.
So they say you're crazy...
put you in a hospital.
What are you doing?
I'm just looking,
there's no harm in looking.
You shouldn't be looking through
other people's things like that.
- Absolutely.
- Just throw it all out.
I'll throw you out!
If I ever catch you going
through my things again
I'll throw you out, beads and bangles,
begging bowl and all.
Let go of me.
You know I'm surprised at you.
I wasn't going through your papers,
I was looking for money.
- Money, what do you need money for?
- Well, you want me to go.
You live free, you eat free,
you beg in the streets.
Don't touch.
I know what you think.
You think you're Olivia,
her reincarnation.
You've seen the photos of her.
How could I ever be her?
Anyway, where would I ever find a Nawab
even if I needed one,
I mean if I wanted one.
I know what you need, you need sex.
You mean you do.
Why don't you get out of here?
I can't help it.
It gets to this enormous size,
do you want to see?
No, I don't.
It's due to the mediation,
I mean that's a fact,
I get charged up
with this terrific voltage.
No, don't laugh, it's a liability.
Now come on, Anne.
Ow, ow.
Psst, Anne, Anne?
You're cutting yourself off
from the real love experience.
It's not just sex,
it's a union with all life.
The sexual drive
is towards the ultimate orgasm.
That ultimate union
rising up through the chakras
to the third eye, the pineal gland.
Explosion of light
at the top of the skull.
An out of sight, spaced out,
super consciousness.
Jesus Christ.
You've got to get in touch
with your own femininity, Anne.
With your own inner space.
What do you think about
me taking her to a doctor
who specialises in this sort of thing?
You only get well
if you believe in something, Anne.
What do you mean like that,
what's going on in there?
Laugh at us if you wish.
Oh, no, no, I wouldn't laugh at you.
I mean how can, why should I?
It's just I think it's worth trying
a different form of treatment.
I think I should take her to Delhi.
- There must be doctors there who...
- You mean a psychiatrist?
- Who asked you?
- Don't listen to her.
Psychiatrists are gross.
Stay out of this,
I'm talking to Inder Lal.
I'm telling you, I know.
Let's just try, I mean I'll...
I think it's just worth trying,
me taking her there.
Look there's no need,
we've made other arrangements.
Have you, what sort of arrangements?
Well, we're going to a pilgrimage
to Amarnath.
Mother wants to go.
- A pilgrimage?
- Yeah.
But what... Oh gosh, oh dear.
They all say this must be done
and if I say no they will blame me for it.
Look do give him something.
And then there's this man behind.
Please give him something.
You know, some yogis
can actually take their intestines out
wash them, clean them
and put them back in, all nice and clean.
How disgusting.
I've never seen anyone like you
for telling other people
that their ideas and philosophies
are disgusting.
What good are philosophies
and ideas when someone's sick?
All they can come up with to help her
is to take her on a pilgrimage.
That's right, and I'm going to.
We're going up to Amarnath
to see the Shiva Lingam.
Other nostril.
What's that, Shiva's prick?
Yeah something like that.
It's an object of Hindu worship for women
from the day they are born.
Now breathe.
It's eight feet tall.
You should come with us, Anne.
It's more than 50 years ago,
but I'll ne ver forget
the dust storms we had that year.
They blew all day, they blew all night.
Ifyou left a chink open anywhere
within seconds there would be
a fume of dust o ver e verything.
It got in your eyes, your nostrils,
it was gritty between your teeth.
Once those dust storms started,
they seemed to go on fore ver.
No, no, please,
I wouldn't like to disturb you.
Oh, that's all right.
Have you had a letter?
Yes, I had this letter from Mother.
They got as far as Palghat.
- Oh, that's a good, isn't it?
- They send you greetings.
See it says...
Hot winds whistled and columns of dust
came blowing in from the desert.
No wonder everyone went mad.
I gave up.
I simply lay in bed,
too lethargic to do a thing.
And I was a young man then, mind you.
But then it was decided
we were to go to the mountains,
into the cool air, not to Simla,
where all the official British types went,
but to Masuri, where the Nawab had a house.
Well, we all packed up
and there was great excitement
and relief and I can tell you
we could hardly wait to get up there.
Then the begum heard an owl.
Or at least I think it was an owl.
Anyway, it was something inauspicious,
a warning that we must on no accounts
set out on a journey.
The Nawab was very restless, excited,
never sat still for a minute.
He was very short tempered with all of us.
I couldn't help
remembering what I'd heard,
about how he was in league
with Tikaram's gang.
Tikaram was a dacoit
with a price of 10,000 rupees on his head.
He and his gang
went all around the countryside
looting people and killing anyone
who got in their way,
or even just for the fun of it.
They could do all this with impunity
because they enjoyed
the Nawab's protection.
At least, that's what the British said.
They said he took a share in their loot
and used them as his henchmen
and if anyone informed on them
they would take their revenge
on a whole village.
If something really horrible happened...
don't you think I ought to...
help you bear it?
It all started in a...
in a house in Chota bazaar.
Two women quarrelling
over a bucket of water.
But in this season, with the heat coming on,
things grow and build up
and before you know where you are,
you have a full scale riot on your hands
and then there's no holding anyone.
They were throwing acid today.
They were aiming for the face, eyes.
The screams.
I'll never forget those screams.
- Superintendent, one round only.
- Take aim.
The British also suspected the Nawab
of using the dacoits
to help inflame riots against them
like the one outside the Satipur Jail in,
I think it was 1923.
Anyway, Crawford was away on tour
and Douglas was in charge
and had to arrest the ringleaders
of what had been a very ugly massacre.
when all these kinds of things happened
I just gave up and ran
away to Olivia's house
and begged her to play some Schumann.
You don't mind if Harry stays with us
for a day or two, do you?
Oh, no.
No, no, I want him to.
It's better for him to be here than there.
Bra vissima.
Oh, what fun.
You do know Mr Hamilton-Paul,
don't you, Beth?
I most certainly do, we've met
oh, so many times at the palace.
He's come to stay with us for a while.
Oh, I'm so glad that
you're not alone at this time.
Not that there's anything
whatsoever to worry about Olivia.
That's what I came here
to speak to you about.
And Arthur is back and he and Douglas
have the situation absolutely in hand.
- What situation?
- Oh you know, the usual.
You mustn't think about.
Now what I really want you
to think about is Simla.
No dear I'm not nagging at you,
but we really all do feel...
It's true Olivia, you shouldn't be here
through the summer, it's unbearable.
- But if you can bear it?
- Who said I could?
One summer we did manage
to get up to Masuri.
The Nawab has a marvellous house up there,
it's a swish chalet
with a dash of gothic cathedral.
Very impressive indeed.
Not that I got much time to enjoy it.
A dead bat was found in all of places
the begum's bedroom
so we had to pack up
and come back home immediately.
Actually, this year I wasn't thinking so much
of going to the mountains
as of going home.
You see I'm worried about my mother,
she hasn't been too well and...
Well, of course you must go.
And do you know the Ross-Milbanks?
He's been the DC over at Cawnpore.
They're on home leave now
driving down to Bombay
to catch the P&O
But those P&O
aren't they always booked up,
completely booked, months ahead?
Oh, but a single berth.
And we could always send
a cable to the Gibbons in Bombay.
- Really?
- Really and truly.
Mr Gandhi's lot
probably stirring things up again.
They never miss a chance.
No, don't bother to get up.
Where are Mr and Mrs Rivers?
They've gone to church
and then I think they're going to the club.
Oh, what's here?
Tea, toast and marmalade,
boiled eggs three minutes,
an English newspaper.
Four months old but yes it's English.
Well, I can see you have
thoroughly deserted us.
My poor mother and all
the ladies keep asking,
"Where is Harry, when is he coming home?"
I answer he is home,
he's with his own people whom he loves.
Isn't that true?
Now you see, you don't say anything.
You don't give one a chance to say anything.
I know I'm a monster egoist,
or a plain monster.
But my goodness for a monster,
I do grow fond of other people
and miss them when they leave me.
Now what's the matter?
- I can just see you missing me.
- Oh no, of course not.
I'm here for the sole purpose
of leaving my calling card
on Mr and Mrs Rivers.
Don't be a fool, Harry.
You know why I'm here.
- See you later, old man.
- Bravo.
Oh, Olivia, do tell Mr Hamilton-Paul
that the Milbanks
are getting here on Tuesday
and could take him with them to Bombay.
- We have a berth for him.
- Good work, Beth.
But darling, Harry's the Nawab's guest.
He can't just run out on him
at a moment's notice with Mrs Crawford...
- Morning.
- Morning.
- ...Mrs Crawford's friends.
- I can't see what's wrong with that.
But the Nawab paid his fare
and he's been keeping him, hasn't he,
in the lap of luxury for some time?
He shouldn't be there
in the first place.
No Englishman has any business
living in that palace.
Don't be so stuffy.
I'm sorry.
Those are my feelings
and I must be allowed to express them.
I could do without this
particular Sunday caller.
I'm delighted to see you.
Mrs Rivers, what a charming dress.
And Mr Rivers, I'm more than delighted
to congratulate you on your handling
the Chota bazaar incident.
You were most prompt.
I wish I'd been prompt
enough to get there
before rather than after the event.
Oh, Mr Rivers, what can be done?
These people will never learn.
As to your conduct in this miserable affair
there's nothing but praise.
You are misinformed.
It sparked off a lot of resentment.
You must've heard of all the troubles
outside the jail and other places.
They get hot and then they cool off.
It's like our weather and its season.
Please get dressed, we must go.
Oh, Mrs Crawford asked us
to tell you that the Milbanks
are arriving on Tuesday
and they're expecting you to go with them.
Oh, to Bombay?
Yes, Harry told me about it.
Please get dressed, my dear fellow.
I hope you don't expect me
to take you home in this state.
Mrs Crawford says that they
have booked a berth for you.
There's been a misunderstanding.
I shall apologise to Mrs Crawford myself
and thank her for her kind efforts
on behalf of my guest.
But you wanted to go,
your mother is ill.
We must be thankful.
Mother is better.
And my mother has written to her
to invite her to the palace.
She has written, I translate from Urdu,
"You now have not one son but two..."
"...and both your sons
are eager for your visit."
Thanks awfully for having me.
It's true, you know,
I do want to go back to the palace.
We talked it over before you came.
I do want to.
You don't have to.
I want to.
Please get dressed, come on.
Look at you, is this the way
to appear in front of a lady?
You know, he doesn't know what he wants.
One day it's this, one day it's that.
What can I do?
I've grown fond of him, he's my friend.
And once I love a friend
it's for life, forever.
Whatever faults he may have.
I'd love to read some Trollope or Dickens.
Lot's of cold, damp, foggy London scenes,
that's what I'm longing for.
Oh, come away, they're all pornographic.
It's a princess being got ready
for her nuptial night.
They're doing all sorts
of intimate things to her.
Come away.
Harry, what is all this about dacoits?
Honestly I don't know, Olivia.
A lot of things go on and, quite frankly,
I'd just as soon not know about them.
Gosh I feel I awful.
But Harry, doesn't he
ever talk to you about...
I hope I'm not disturbing,
please say if I am and I'll run away at once.
How very kind of you to come
and see our poor patient.
How do you find him?
I've sent for Dr Puri.
He's a witch doctor,
please don't bring him near me.
Don't be ridiculous.
We want you to get well again quickly.
We miss you. It's very boring
without you, isn't it, Olivia?
She's been asking about the dacoits.
I hope if there's something
you want to know
you'll ask me,
not Harry or anybody else, but me.
What have you heard?
What are they saying?
You must tell me,
you must give me a chance to defend myself
against these slanders.
What on Earth are you asking her to do?
Bring you reports
from the Civil Lines at Satipur?
Do you want her to be your spy?
- I hope you don't think that of me.
- Of course I don't.
I wouldn't for a minute.
How could you think it?
No, no, I don't.
I know you understand me.
That's why I trust you.
- What did they want?
- Protection.
It seems that the same gang
who raided that village
are now threatening the local traders.
Trying to extort money for themselves
and their chief.
Who's their chief?
Well, we suspect our friend.
Do you mean the Nawab?
But he's a ruler, he wouldn't get mixed up
with a robber gang.
After all, he's a prince.
Yes, and he's bankrupt,
having bled his unfortunate subject's wife
by means of more or less
legitimate extortion.
He's now taken to cruder methods.
Not to put too fine a point on it
to outright robbery.
I don't believe a word of it.
Must you smoke that dashed thing...
in this heat?
You should've gone to Simla.
And do what,
go for walks with Beth Crawford?
Go to the same old
boring old dinner parties.
One more of those
and I shall lie down and die.
I don't know what's the matter with me.
Why I get so worked up
over every little thing.
I told you, it's the heat.
No Englishwoman is supposed
to stand this weather.
You have these set notions
about what English women
are supposed to stand.
Why should anyone tell me
what I can stand
and what I can't stand?
If you really want to know
the one thing I can't
stand is English women.
But the rest...
I'm so happy here,
I never want to go away.
I wish you would tell Dr Saunders
to go and see Harry
at the palace,
he just isn't getting any better.
Dr Saunders doesn't really see
private patients
unless it's one of us.
Isn't in Harry one of us?
And if not, am I one of us, do you think?
It might even be that
I love you because you're not.
You know sometimes
I wish I could afford some feelings,
because I get hot too, I get angry,
I want to lose my temper, but...
there are always people
watching everywhere.
One simply cannot.
Not even for a minute.
It's a bore I know.
When we have a baby,
I want him to be just like you.
No, no, like you.
Like Olivia.
Oh, Olivia's no good.
Oh, don't say that.
Oh, it's all out of tune.
There's no one to play it.
I'd ordered it for my wife.
- Did she play?
- She was keen to learn...
but by the time the piano arrived,
she had left.
I suppose you know about my marriage?
I've heard.
Oh yes, of course
you must've heard a lot of things.
There are always people
to spread lies about me,
including my wife's family.
She was much too young for me, Olivia.
I loved her, as one loves a child.
Not as I would love a woman.
What a pity.
You know, I know what happened,
more or less.
After all, it's quite easy to find out
what a person did, but...
what made them do it.
I don't know.
I was thinking how India changes people.
Just in subtle ways.
Just by being here.
I feel you have changed.
But you're still too much
in your head, not in your heart.
I suppose so.
Oh, but I admire you.
You're so...
I don't want to be philosophical.
Oh, what do you want to be then?
I don't know, like other people.
You know when you talk like that to me,
I don't always unders...
I don't always understand you.
But when we are together like this,
I feel you are my very great friend.
I am your very great friend.
Were you waiting for me?
I hoped you were.
You must excuse me, Rivers,
but these people are enough
to drive anyone out of their mind.
They bring me some woman
pretending she's miscarrying
and when I curette her I discover...
it's always the same, they've aborted her.
They stick this twig into her
and do it with that.
Abortion, mind you, it's a criminal act.
And then they try to fool me.
I'm sorry you had to come in on this, Rivers,
what can I do for you?
I wanted to ask you a particular favour.
You know Harry Hamilton-Paul
who's staying at the palace?
Oh yes, yeah, him.
He's not very well
and Olivia and I thought that it'd...
I wonder what he's been
eating over there.
You see it's question of diet, Nawab Sahib.
I've seen hundreds of cases like this,
Did you know that most Indians
suffer from amoebic dysentery, it's a fact.
- Is that true? How interesting.
- They try and cheat you.
When I say, "What did you eat?"
They'll say,
"Only what you said Dr Sahib,"
but of course they can't fool me.
"Oh yes, and what about those chilies, hmm?"
"And that curry you've had?
What, you liar, you cheat?"
Sometimes I don't waste any time.
I smartly box their ears,
one, two, one, two.
- It's the only language they understand.
- You're absolutely right, Dr Saunders.
Well, it's no use arguing with them.
They're not amenable to reason.
They haven't got it here you see, up here,
the way we have.
He really is exceptionally obnoxious.
- Please don't judge us by him.
- Who's us?
I don't know how you feel about it,
but don't lump me in with that lot.
Harry, you can't say
the Crawfords are like Dr Saunders,
or the Minnies,
or for that matter, Douglas.
And you?
They're all the same.
So you do lump me in with them.
You, I wouldn't for a minute,
not for a minute think of you,
speak of you in the same breath.
To me, you're better, beautiful, wonderful,
more wonderful, absolutely terrific.
- Is that what you wanted to hear?
- Harry, Olivia, look, I mean,
instead of having a rotten time
let's have some fun.
Let me tell you a dream, my dream,
my latest dream, you know.
I dreamt of Mrs Crawford.
- You dream about Mrs Crawford?
- Not the way you mean, I mean,
Mrs Crawford was not Mrs Crawford.
- She was a hijra.
- What's a hijra?
Oh my poor Olivia, you don't know?
We must educate her.
At first, she couldn't work out
that these were men, eunuchs.
- Hijra?
- Yes.
It was all so strange
and wonderfully exotic
and she forgot everything,
joined in the fun.
Forgot herself, you might say.
I kept trying to warn her
but she wouldn't listen.
You see,
she was outraging two conventions,
those of her own people
and those of the Indians,
whose conventions are, if anything,
even stronger
and of course you can't
do anything in India
without everyone knowing about it,
the servants see to that.
You know, there's a story
about that old woman
in the purdah quarters.
How she killed off an unwanted bride
by dressing her up
in poisoned wedding gowns.
Apparently it's true.
They dipped the cloth into poison
and then when you put it on
it clings to you.
Oh, there are all sorts of stories
about what goes on in the purdah quarters.
Secret arts, magic potions
and all the rest of it.
Oh, come on now,
those old things in there?
Do they know about me?
Olivia, have you noticed something?
That you're never taken to meet
the begum and the ladies.
I've met them, thank you.
It was hard going.
Nevertheless, it's a discourtesy.
- To whom?
- To you, to you my dear.
Even had a quarrel with him about it,
about you.
- I asked him straight out.
- What?
Why don't take Olivia,
Mrs Rivers, to meet the begum?
- And he...
- What?
You know what he's like when
he doesn't want to answer something.
He laughs and if you keep on
he makes you feel a fool and prim
and stupid for asking such a question.
He's very good at that.
But Harry, I don't want to meet the begum.
I can't be friends with her, can I?
Not with someone who doesn't
speak the same language.
I enjoy being here with you
and him, of course.
I mean, as your friend.
We have a good time.
Oh, don't look like that, Harry.
Now you're being like everyone else
making me feel I don't understand.
Olivia, shall I tell you something?
I don't think you ought to be coming here.
In fact, I wish you wouldn't.
But Harry, I come to see you.
Of course, naturally, me.
You're awake.
I saw your light.
It's bad for you to read this late.
I suppose you want to be
my very good friend again.
Do you mind?
What a shock he'd have if he knew.
I was due on the eighth,
the 15th, the 22nd,
that's more than two weeks overdue,
isn't that wonderful?
It's my own fault, I should've taken care.
Thinking again?
On the contrary not thinking at all,
just letting whatever happens happen.
Please wait for me here.
They still have that tent, Mrs Rivers
and the blood is so fresh and new
it's as if it had only happened yesterday.
- Oh.
- Did you have a bad dream?
- Are they gone?
- Who?
Those men.
Who were they?
I've told Maji about being pregnant.
She's a midwife
and said if I want an abortion
she might try,
with just a massage.
I said "All right let's try".
She said I was about seven weeks gone
so it would be easy now.
She knew many ways, but at this stage
a simple massage could do it.
No, Maji, no, Maji, no.
I asked her over and over.
"You didn't really do anything, did you?
Nothing will happen?"
And she assured me no, she didn't,
"No, it wouldn't."
Then she asked me,
"You want the child?"
And I said, "Yes I do, I do."
Darling, Olivia,
are you partaking?
- Major?
- Yes, please.
To our charming hostess
who has elected to stay with us
through our ordeal far down in the plague.
Yes, rather.
Here, here.
But Major, aren't you due for
a spot of leave in the hills?
Yes, but this is not the time to go.
Our friend the Nawab
has been acting up again
and I'm afraid things
are coming to a head.
At present I wouldn't like to be
in that boy's shoes.
Which boy's shoes?
Our friend.
I trust Simla isn't gonna dillydally
any further over him.
It's certainly time
he was taught a lesson.
You talk as if he's a school boy.
Ah, I wish it were that harmless.
Olivia, he's a dangerous ruffian.
Those dacoits of his
are running around killing and maiming
with his blessing,
under his protection.
He's a menace to himself, to us,
and to the wretched inhabitants
of his wretched little state.
He's the worst sort of ruler.
The worst sort of Indian you could have.
Dear lady, are you leaving us?
To your brandy and cigars.
She's very plucky.
I believe it went up to 118 today.
All right Rivers,
better go and see how she is.
Will you mind, sir? I think I ought to.
So, they are setting up
a committee of inquiry?
And I'm rather afraid...
they'll be putting our Nawab
out of business
which is a pity,
because there's no denying he has a quality.
He is a prince.
Yes, but the trouble is, his little state
isn't quite princely enough to satisfy him.
Poor fellow is tremendously bored.
I think he'd do anything to amuse himself.
What is it?
I ought to tell you.
It isn't just the heat.
What is it? Tell me.
Are you ill?
The fact is, I'm pregnant.
Darling, it's what we want,
more than anything.
Yes, of course it is.
Good morning.
I'll have to keep bringing more Dickens
for Mr Hamilton-Paul.
We're on Our Mutual Friend now.
He can't seem to get enough of
foggy London...
...and Christmas revels.
- Isn't it extraordinary?
- Yes indeed, extraordinary.
It was all so murky, both sides intriguing.
The British too,
they were playing their own game,
they always did.
They'd set up some sort of
committee to depose him.
"Put him out of business"
was the facetious phrase they used.
And, for his successor,
they'd picked out some halfwit,
epileptic nephew.
He was the son of the Nawab's sister.
That of course was because
the Nawab had no son of his own.
As it turned out in the end
it was more convenient to drop the nephew
than simply to swallow up the whole state
into British India.
How dare they appoint anyone
to inquire into my activities.
I told him. I told your Major Minnies.
Why mine?
No, of course not,
you have nothing to do with it.
Anyway I made it very clear that from now
I shall deal with the viceroy, personally.
I told him.
I don't deal with underlings Major Minnies.
I know what this is all about.
I know why they hate me,
because I don't say, "Yes, Your Excellency."
"Very good, Your Excellency."
"How right and true, Your Excellency."
I have something to tell you.
What is it?
What is it? Tell me.
Can't you guess?
I'm pregnant.
You're made to bear a child.
Are you afraid?
Don't be afraid.
Now they'll see.
- Who'll see?
- Major Minnies and the rest of them.
They'll laugh out of the other sides
of their mouths
when they see my son.
Do you mean because...
of the colour?
Oh, they'll get the shock
of their little English lives.
No, no.
You mustn't go.
I want you to stay here, you must.
My son must be born here in my house.
How can you be so sure?
I'm very sure, absolutely.
He's mine.
He couldn't not be.
What about Douglas?
He's as sure as you are,
and he's my husband.
What have I done?
What have I done?
What have you made me do?
How do you know it'll be a he?
Oh, I'm pretty sure.
And he'll do something
decent too, you'll see.
I must ask my sister to send
the Rivers' christening robe.
All the Rivers babies are christened in it.
You know, they're all very blond.
We all have white blond hair
'til we're about 12.
Look, I'm sorry.
What a stupid ass I am to bring you here.
We won't come back again.
Come on darling, let's go.
I can hardly find
an abortionist for you.
Ask your friends
in the purdah quarters.
Ask the begum.
It'll be easy enough for her.
Easier than poisoned garments
any day.
I couldn't refuse her.
I didn't want to see this baby born
any more than she did.
No one did, except the Nawab and Douglas.
The begum was glad to help.
She wanted no complications
with the British on the one hand
nor did she fancy a little Eurasian heir.
Of course, there had to be
the utmost secrecy
because if the Nawab had ever found out
he'd have killed someone.
He believed 'til the end
that it was a natural miscarriage.
HARRY She had begun to bleed
the same night
and Douglas took her to the hospital.
Well, my young madam.
But Dr Saunders
was all too familiar with the methods
used by Indian midwives
to procure abortions.
I never knew how she got
from the hospital to the palace.
A distance of nine miles.
And she could hardly have walked it
in the middle of the night
and her condition with all that
loss of blood from her abortion.
She'd borrowed some servant's
sari in the hospital.
She reminded me of one
of those mutiny prints.
I think it's called "Mrs Secombe
In Flight from the Mutineers".
Now Mrs Secombe was also in native dress
and in a state of agitation.
Olivia was in flight as well,
but of course, in the opposite direction,
from the civil station at Satipur
to the Nawab's palace at Khatm.
Chid, you look absolutely awful.
I think I'm gonna die.
His liver's affected.
And his kidneys too, sit up.
What does he expect?
Even I wouldn't think of eating and living
the way he has done.
My prescription for him
is to put him on the next plane home
and the sooner the better.
My dear young man, your body's not made
to live the life of a holy man.
Psst. Let's go.
What about you, when are you going?
Don't know, I haven't made any plans.
When my money runs out I suppose.
I'm staying with my Aunt
Betty in Iowa, Washington Iowa.
It's the cleanest city in the whole USA.
It's a fact, it won a prize for it.
You should see my Aunt Betty's bathroom.
Everything matches, the shower curtain,
the bath mat, the toilet paper,
the little woolly cover on the toilet seat.
Everything's green.
Clean fresh green.
Have a safe journey.
If you think the bathrooms clean,
you ought to see the kitchen!
- Take care.
- Everything's clean fresh green!
Goodbye, Chid, bye bye.
I knew she was rotten
from the first day I saw her.
Well she wasn't a bad sort,
just the wrong type to come out here.
Her embroidery and her piano.
That's all very nice at home,
it'll hardly due for Satipur.
She killed her own baby.
- Oh come, come, Joan.
- She could have a baby,
and she killed it.
Don't forget, my dear, whose baby it was.
What does that matter
as long as...
as long as she cared for him?
I just can't stop thinking about it.
Come along, Joan,
it's time I got you home.
Bed for you, my dear.
Those are doctor's orders.
- Goodnight, goodnight.
- Goodnight Joan.
Now you take good care of yourself, Joan.
I will, thank you.
- Goodnight.
- Night.
Well, she may have cared for him,
but I don't think that your precious Nawab
has returned the compliment.
What a bounder to have taken his revenge
in that way.
- Was it only revenge?
- Do you doubt it?
No, I suppose not, not really.
How is Rivers taking it?
Like a Stoic and a Roman.
He's a splendid chap.
I've sent him on tour to get him away
from this place for a while.
He picked the wrong girl.
I'm so immensely fond of him,
I wish I could...
What, match-making already?
Oh, my dear man,
that's what a burra memsahib's for.
Poor Olivia.
She was a fine looking girl, too.
Was? She's not dead.
As good as.
The Chowkidar told me that a long time ago
an English memsahib lived here.
She lived completely alone, then she died.
That was 20 or 30 years ago.
Now the house belongs to
the Nawab's great nephew
who's a general in the Indian army.
He comes here every summer
with his family.
He came out to see her
about two or three times a year.
The rest of the time
he was mostly in London
trying to get his deposition annulled.
His mother came to live in London, too.
She bought a house in Park Lane,
which they've since pulled down.
It was said that she'd taken
the state jewels with her,
but it could never be proved,
nor could they get a single pearl
away from her.
They tried to bring a case against her,
but to no avail.
Except every time a summons came,
the Nawab got himself worked up.
He'd roar and stamp around.
Then one day, quite suddenly,
in his mother's flat, just like that.
I don't know how long it was
before news reached her that
he wouldn't be coming anymore.
Even after she knew,
she never went down again
but stayed by herself in the house
he had bought for her.
The monastery?
Would you like me
to take you over there?
Are you going?
- Yes, I am going there.
- Thank you.
May I help you to...
They have a little hospital up here.
That's where Olivia went in the end.
They've agreed to let me
come there for my baby.