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                                                             FADE IN:

               EXT. DELHI STREET

               On one street in Old Delhi, among the jumble of streets
               that run up from the railway station through the old
               bazaar, filled with beggars, hawkers, street traders,
               shopkeepers, and the cheapest class of travellers,
               backpackers and junkies, sits the Raj hotel. Mughal
               architecture, a folly of minarets and domes with a film-set
               facade, painted egg-shell blue and softly lit at night by
               hidden lights. Its romantic exterior belies its squalid
               interior - five floors of the barest smallest rooms divided
               by hardboard partitions.

               INT. SMALL HOTEL ROOM - DUSK

               In one of these rooms, on the third storey, overlooking the
               street but set back behind a parapet so the street is not
               visible from the window, sits Frank Terk, a 55 year-old
               American, a veteran traveller, an original hippy, almost a
               Beat, a man who's never found a place to call home. He's
               large-built with broad shoulders and arms but with fat
               around his midriff - the body of a man with large
               appetites. Frank is sat on the floor, cross-legged, wearing
               grey woollen socks and a locally made outfit that resembles
               a pair of pink pyjamas. The only other place to sit in the
               room is on the single bed, which is occupied by a young
               English couple, boy and girl in their late teens or early
               twenties. This is their first time in Asia and Frank has
               invited them back to his hotel to share his dope and listen
               to his worldly-wise conversation.

                             (drawing on a small
                         Now not every guru is a real
                         guru. The trick is to spot who's
                         REAL and who is PHONY. And it's
                         not always easy. Now, when I
                         first came to India, way back in
                         1969, before you kids were born,
                         I guess, no-one knew the first
                         thing about Eastern religion and
                         they all came flooding over here
                         looking for en-light-en-ment. And
                         I'm sorry to say that a lot of
                         them did not get what they were
                         looking for. Oh, no.
                             (passes the pipe to the
                              English girl)

                                   FRANK (CONT'D)
                         You guys are pretty young, aren't
                         you? What are you? 18? 19?
                         Thought so.
                         Well it scares the shit out of
                         you the first time, no doubt
                         about it but, hell, you get used
                         to it after a while. They're just
                         people, the Indians. Can't trust
                         em as far as you can throw em but
                         they're great people - got more
                         God in their lives than all my
                         fellow Americans put together.
                         BOM SHANKAR!!!
                             (laughing to himself)
                         Sorry, it just amuses me when I
                         look around and see all these
                         people living on the streets, on
                         a rupee a day, washing and
                         dressing on the pavement, and boy
                         are they happy. You can see it in
                         their eyes - they know they're in
                         eternity, living right there in
                         the godhead. But when I go home,
                         home to A-mer-ica, I see all
                         these rich people, all these fat
                         rich people driving around in
                         their fat automobiles, chasing
                         possessions and money - and they
                         can never get enough, but they
                         carry on trying, oh do they carry
                         on trying - when I see all these
                         fat rich people, it's obvious how
                         fucked up they are. I mean, all
                         of them. They're all totally
                         fucking whacked. It's a fact - I
                         can't prove it scientifically but
                         I know it's true, it's a known

               Frank draws on his pipe. The English girl shifts a little
               uncomfortably. Her boyfriend is listening in a stoned

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         How often do you go back to
                         America then?

                         Oh, not often. You know, all
                         those fucking doctors and stuff,
                         messing with your goddamn soul.
                         Think they know better than you
                         about everything but let them
                         live on the road for a few weeks
                         and see how they survive. Any
                         dumb fuck can survive working in
                         an institution then going to play
                         golf after work and laugh about
                         their poor basket-weaving
                         patients. They make me puke.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         Did you work in a hospital then?

                             (laughing to himself
                         Hell no! I was in one for a short
                         while, getting the old brain-pan
                         cleaned up. Let me tell you
                             (raising his voice)
                         If you live in America and you
                         don't have a job and you don't
                         have credit, and you would rather
                         live in a shack by the river than
                         work for some cock-sucking boss
                         in a global corporation until
                         they're ready to pension you off
                         when it's too late to actually
                         live the life they've robbed you
                         of, you will be certified insane
                         and locked up for the good of
                         your health. For the good of
                         their health, you understand, not
                         yours, just to keep you out the
                         way so that you don't pollute
                         their little materialist dream.
                         That's what it's all about.
                         That's why they need so many head
                         doctors because there are so many
                         people who can't or won't
                         conform. So they lock you up,
                         fill you full of drugs and stick
                         wires in your head to stop you
                         twitching. I mean they fucking
                         electrocute you to stop you
                         twitching, can you believe that.
                         They mut-i-late you.

               A 5-second silence.

                                   FRANK (CONT'D)
                         I'd much rather be out here, on
                         the road. Everything is what it
                         seems and you know where you
                         stand. Okay, it can be dangerous.
                         It can be fucking dangerous. Have
                         you been robbed? I've been
                         robbed, beaten up. There are some
                         bad people here, mostly fucked up
                         Westerners, junkies strung out
                         and alienated, suffering from
                         culture shock. They just don't
                         know how to blend in. Yes, sir,
                         there are some - very - bad -
                         people around.
                             (a beat - Frank thinks)
                         Anything could happen to anyone
                         out here. Take you for example.
                         Does anyone know where you are
                         now? How long before someone
                         would miss you? One week? One
                         month? Two months? Think about
                         it. People go missing all the
                         time. Life is cheap out here. Did
                         you hear about the Scottish guy?
                         He ripped off some dealers and
                         went missing. Nobody noticed for
                         three months then his sister came
                         over and started looking for him.
                         Turns out they'd beaten him then
                         thrown him in front of a bus to
                         make it look like an accident. No
                         papers, no identity, just another
                         hippy casualty. His sister found
                         out about it when she took his
                         photo to the police. She had to
                         pay them three thousand rupees
                         bakshish just to get his body
                         released. Your average Indian
                         policeman certainly likes his
                         kickback. No more than your
                         average LAPD but then again, your
                         Indian cop doesn't drag black
                         people out of cars and beat them
                         to death.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         It's getting dark. I think we
                         better go.

                         Already? You've only been here
                         half an hour.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         We have to walk to our hotel.

                         Which one is it?

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         It's called the Red...
                             (she thinks better of
                              telling him)
                         I can't remember.

                         It's not very clever to not know
                         the name of your hotel in
                         downtown Delhi.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         Well, I know where it is from
                         here, you just...

                         No, you think you know. These
                         streets look very different after
                         dark. You could get lost. I
                         wouldn't want that to happen to
                         you. You're so young.

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                             (waking up, nervously)
                         No, I think she's right, we'd
                         better go...

                         Why don't you guys stay here. I
                         can sleep on the floor, just
                         here, I'm used to that, and you
                         can have my bed. I'm sure you can
                         both get in there.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         Uh, no, that's okay thanks. We
                         need to get back. We have to be
                         up early tomorrow, we're going to
                         Agra and then to Kerala.

                         You said you were staying in
                         Delhi for a week...

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         We were, but...

                         And now you say you're going
                             (a beat)

                                   FRANK (CONT'D)
                         I think India is getting under
                         your skin. You've heard of going
                         loco, aint you? Sometimes it just
                         gets too damn weird out here -
                         the strange languages, the people
                         always looking at you,
                         approaching you, the clutching
                         children, the crippled and the
                         dying, the mutilated beggars.
                         And sometimes, some people,
                         normally people who think this is
                         all a game, they start to go
                         under, start to weaken, fray
                         around the edges, get a bit of
                         paranoia, suddenly want to go
                         home, suddenly want to get up and
                             (getting louder,
                              suddenly confronting
                              and looking them in the
                         But it's so fucking dis-court-e
                         ous, so fucking rude. These good
                         people invite you to their land,
                         let you come and abuse their
                         culture of which you know nothing
                         about, and then you just want to
                         float on the surface and enjoy
                         yourself while all around you
                         there are people suffering and
                         dying. When someone invites you
                         to their house, you do - not -
                         just - get - up - and leave!

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         No, we have to go because...

                             (suddenly softening)
                         If you guys want to fuck, don't
                         mind me. I mean, if that's why
                         you don't want to stay, because
                         you want to get it on, don't mind
                         me. I'm a very broad minded
                         fellah. There's not a lot you can
                         teach me. I was there in the
                         sixties, everyone was fucking
                         freely then. That was before
                         AIDS, before the great McGuffin
                         came along, before the CIA
                         released it from their labs to
                         put a stop to good honest un-in
                         hibit-ed enjoyment.
                             (pausing, mournfully
                              looking down, then
                              speaking quietly)
                         No, I really would appreciate it
                         if you stayed. I have some more
                         stash. It's opiated black. Nice
                         and mellow with a spacy edge,
                         picked it up in Pakistan, this
                         side of the Khyber Pass, bandit
                         country, guns everywhere, get a
                         man killed for twenty dollars,
                             (singing gently an
                              impromptu song)
                         "O, bandeliero, with your
                         flashing cutlass eye, don't
                         forget me as time goes by. As
                         time goes by." Are you staying

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                             (standing up)
                         No, we do have to go tomorrow,

                         "Oh, we do have to go tomorrow."
                         You fucking English are so damned
                         polite. Don't forget it was the
                         English that crippled this proud
                         nation in the name of imperial
                         grandeur. You're lucky they don't
                         rip you from limb to limb when
                         you walk out on that street. In
                         fact, I think I may have to
                         accompany you so that you get
                         back to the mystery hotel in

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                         No, that's okay. We can find it.
                         Thanks for the smoke, and maybe
                         we'll see you around when we come
                         back to Delhi.

                         Well, you know where I live.

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                         You stay here all the time?

                         Not all the time. Some of the
                         time I travel around, getting to
                         know the Indians. I go see my
                         guru, up in the hills.

               They are now all standing and the English girl has
               collected her bag and is wrapping a very thin cotton wrap
               around her shoulders. Frank looks at her.

                             (pointing to the pattern
                              on her wrap)
                         Do you know what that symbol

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                             (looking down at
                         Which one?

                         The one that looks like a long
                         tailed monkey wearing a Fez.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         The Aum?

                         Om, um, aah! Not its name, its
                         meaning. What it REALLY means,
                         not what the books tell you it

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                             (taken aback)
                         No. What?

                         It means love. L. O. V. E. Not
                         Hollywood love, or Bollywood
                         love. Not the love of Jesus H
                         Christ and all his disciples. Not
                         the love of money or the love of
                         life. Not the love of man for his
                         mate - man and woman, man and
                         man, woman and woman. Not the
                         love that dares not speak its
                         name. Not the love that launched
                         a thousand songs. No - that
                         symbol that you wear so casually
                         around your shoulders symbolizes
                         Love with a capital O. The love
                         at the start of everything, when
                         the universe was just an egg, the
                         boundless love of the universe
                         that we discover when we wake up
                         from illusion.
                         Are you in illusion?

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                         Look. Thanks for your time. We'd
                         better go.

               The English couple begin to make for the door but as they
               do so, there is a loud knock on it and they step aside to
               let Frank answer it.

                             (under his breath)
                         Who the fuck is that now?

               Frank opens the door. At the door is the Indian hotel
               owner, aged about 50, glossy black hair greying at the
               temples, and his son, early twenties, very dark skin with
               disfiguring on the cheeks, the scars resulting from some
               serious skin complaint that has now cleared up.

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         Mr Terk. You have not paid your
                         bill for three weeks now. You
                         said you would pay last week and
                         I let you stay but now this week
                         you don't pay again. You pay now?

               Frank's manner has changed completely. His aggressive
               confidence is replaced with hand-wringing deference.

                             (nodding and bowing,
                              with his hands in a
                              praying position)
                         Yes, baba, I know, thank you
                         baba. I will have your money. I
                         have your money, but not here. I
                         have to go and get it. A friend
                         owes me your money. I lent it to
                         him and now he must give it back
                         to me so I can give it to you.
                         You will get your money,

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         Mr Tony? He is a bad man. I do
                         not want that man coming to my
                         hotel. I will fetch the police
                         again and they will take him

                         No not Mr Tony, baba. Another
                         man. A man who owes me some
                         money. A rich man. A rich
                         American who lives at the hotel

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         You are going to the hotel Hilton

                         Yes. I go now and bring you your
                         money tomorrow.

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         If you do not pay me, you have to
                         leave tomorrow. You cannot stay
                         any longer.

                         But where would I go?

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         I don't know. I know you must go
                         if you don't pay. Everyone must
                         pay, even Americans.

                         Yes. Everyone must pay. Why do
                         you stay so long? Everyone else
                         stays for one week or two weeks,
                         but you are always here. Why do
                         you stay?

                         I'm very grateful to you for
                         letting me stay. I will pay you.
                         I'm staying because I love your
                         country and I want to learn about
                         your religion, about Brahma,
                         Krishna, Vishnu, all the other
                         gods. India is an old country,

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         But you still must pay.

                         Yes. Tomorrow. I will have money.
                         And pay you. Baba, thankyou,
                         thankyou baba.

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         Okay. Tomorrow you come to me at
                         my desk at nine. You must pay
                         what you owe me and one month
                         more if you want to stay.

                         Not one month. I cannot do that,
                         baba. I cannot have that much

                                   HOTEL OWNER
                         No. Because you do not pay, you
                         have to pay in front. Then you
                         can stay. Otherwise, you must

                         Yes. You must leave.

               The hotel owner and his son walk away.

                             (looking at his feet, in
                         Fucking Indians. You just can't
                         trust them. They know, they know
                         me ... regular, I'm always here
                         ... Jesus, they just don't
                             (suddenly snapping out,
                              becoming bright, big
                         You see? Exactly what I was
                         telling you about the Indians.
                         You have to know how to deal with
                         them and be aware of everything.
                         'The highway is for gamblers' my
                         friends. You have to be a
                         survivor. You have to have love
                         in your heart and then God will
                         look after you. You have to love
                         everyone, even the people who
                         offend and provoke you. They are
                         sent to assist you towards
                         enlightenment. Charity is the
                         root of everything but sometimes
                         I think the Indians themselves
                         have forgotten that - they need
                         to be shown it again by us
                         because we know what charity
                         means, we have to.

               As they are about to leave the room, they all look around
               to see if they have forgotten anything. There is virtually
               nothing in it - a half-unpacked rucksack, an ashtray, a
               pipe, a ragged paperback edition of the Bhagavad Gita, with
               commentary, Henry David Thoreau's 'Walden', a ripped-open
               airmail letter, a half-written postcard. They leave the
               room and Frank padlocks the door.

               EXT. DELHI STREET - NIGHT

               The bazaar is still busy. Although there are no street
               lights, it is lit by the lights that flare from the
               shopfronts. There are still beggars by the side of the
               road, calling out to the foreigners as they pass. Frank and
               the English couple walk along the pavement, avoiding the
               shop keepers and the beggars.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         It seems like a different place
                         at night. It's weird. You
                         suddenly realise how far away
                         from home you are. Don't you ever
                         get lonely Frank?

               Frank doesn't answer. They all keep walking. The English
               couple recognise the turning towards their hotel.

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                         OK. We're heading this way.

                         I'll follow you.

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                         It's okay...

                         Makes no difference to me anyway.
                         I've nowhere to go. I'm just

                                   ENGLISH BOY
                         I thought you had to go to the

                         Nah. There's no American guy.

                                   ENGLISH GIRL
                         What will you do? How will you

                         Love. I'll pay in love. Love is
                         its own reward. If you love
                         everyone, God will love you and
                         you will survive. Love everyone,
                         even the beggars, pick someone
                         out and give them your love.

               They turn into an almost empty street. The English couple
               are trying to walk away from him when they notice a
               mutilated beggar lying beside the road. He looks about 15
               or 16. He has no arms or legs and has been left lying on a
               blanket with a money pot on his bare chest. He raises his
               head a little, smiles. He calls them and asks for money.

               Frank stops. Looks at the boy beggar. Takes three steps
               towards him.

               The English couple stop, shocked for a second,
               instinctively grab hold of each other, then shout goodbye,
               using Frank's pause as an opportunity to escape.

               Frank stands in the almost empty street, looking at the
               beggar. He turns his head and sees right through the
               English couple who are walking away fast. A smile crosses
               his face.

               Frank walks right up to the beggar. He bends down and
               touches his bare skin.

                         Little man, little man, what have
                         they done to you? They have
                         mutilated you. Your parents never
                         loved you did they? That's why
                         they did this to you. But God
                         loves you. God loves everyone.
                         And I love you.

               The beggar is smiling in a scared way. He doesn't
               understand what is being said.

                                   FRANK (CONT'D)
                         That's why I'm going to take you
                         with me. I'm going to show you my
                         love. And put an end to this for

               Frank bends down and wraps the blanket completely around
               the trunk of the beggar, covering his whole body and head.
               The beggar, alarmed, shakes his head from side to side and
               starts to cry out. Frank, stands up, holds the blanket
               tight around the face and mouth of the boy underneath,
               stifling his cries.

                                   FRANK (CONT'D)
                         Shhh, shhh, little man. You are
                         coming with me. I will look after
                         you and love you. You will never
                         be alone again.

               Frank squeezes the now-silent bundle to his broad chest and
               walks back down the road, repeating, "You're coming with
               me, little man. You will never be alone again."


               The inert body of the beggar is lying on top of Frank's
               bed, his open eyes staring blankly at the ceiling. Frank is
               sitting on the floor next to the bed, stroking the dead
               body, mumbling: "They mutilated you. No-one loved you. God
               loves you. They mutilated you..."

               A loud banging on the door. Indian speech. More banging.
               Frank goes silent but continues stroking the body. The
               hotel owner shouts, "Mr Terk. The police are here. They
               want you."

                                                            FADE OUT.
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