Sunday, June 26, 2005

One less fragment

For those who have been dealing with these tapes, one of the most frustrating loose-ends has been the two fragments which the suicide note of June 2 offers as corrections to the original tape, but which do not seem to appear in the corrected transcript of June 5.

Part of the problem here is that these are translations of the Punjabi. In fact, at least one of the fragments is to be found in the June 5th transcript. It's just that both the fragment and the June 5th transcript (the last one that the conservatives released) are slightly different translations of slightly different transcripts.

Let's start with what is actually on the tapes. As some of you know, three native Punjabi speakers have been helping me put together a transcription/translation of the Punjabi part of this conversation. Two of them volunteered their services; the third is an old university friend of mine who lives in New Delhi. As far as I know, none of them knows the other. Anyway, here is a piece of our new transcript, which is at about 5'33 of the recording (GWTM.mp3):
UD tusi Nina naal gal kiti hai? Did you talk with Nina?
GG haanji, dovein decided ta nahin haan, dwindling jihe haan. Depend karde, ki milda ki hai. Je ta quick changa haiga taa tahra tarhi ho jaye, je zyada hee ho jaaye taa baad vich haali karaange. Yes. Both of us are not decided, we are kind of dwindling. It depends on what we get. If we get something good quickly, then it can be done right away. But if it is too much (of waiting) then we’ll do it later.
UD It is difficult. You know the situation. Ais haalat vich kujh nahin ho sakda. Cabinet is quick It is difficult. You know the situation. Nothing can be done in the present circumstances. Cabinet is quick
One of the corrections that the suicide note offered to the original transcript is this fragment (with colours matching what I think is parallel between the two texts):
Part #1
"It depends how it is we meet."…
(difficult to hear … "associating" or "who else"…)
"If it is something good then it would be tempting"
"If there is no way then we'll talk about it later or at home"
Finally, here is the parallel section from (p. 2 of the Conservative transcript released June 5):
UD Did you talk to Nina.
GG Yes, but we are not decided, we have not made up our minds yet, we are still dwindling. It depends. If Cabinet is quick we'll go ahead with it. If Cabinet takes it's time we probably won't.
UD Under this circumstance, it is difficult. Cabinet is quick
Now, what does all this mean? One thing that is clearer in the new transcript than in the final conservative one is Grewal's rather nakedly acquisitiveness in "It depends on what we get", which is much less harmless sounding than either of the Conservative versions.

This is hardly a smoking-gun, of course, and it doesn't tell us anything that isn't clearer elsewhere in Grewal's recordings. But it removes one of the reasons for supposing that there is a pizza tape (see here and here). Whether the other fragment can be located in this transcript remains to be seen.