Sometime back in 1987-88,I and my elder cousin boarded a bus from Dal Gate to Nishat Bagh. In front of our seat, a villager with a skull cap was sitting at the window seat. Besides him, a Young Kashmiri boy with moustaches had occupied the seat and besides the young man a beautiful and a vogue girl sat.
The girl had sprayed herself with a strong perfume , that accentuated her charm. The boy and the villager were looking at the window.The Dal lake was basking in the Autumn sun with colorful shikaras and equally colorful people. The Bus was not over-crowded. I and my cousin too were enjoying the scenery.
It seemed an uneventful journey. But it was not…
As soon as we crossed Nehru Pak,the girl suddenly stood up and slapped the boy hard on his face. Her eyes and face were red with anger as she shouted furiously at the boy. In a shaking voice filled with anger she said,” what do you think of me? I have seen and handled enough rogues like you. I warn you, if you will touch me again, I will get you arrested by the police”. The Boy was terrified as well as puzzled. He retorted back in anger,” Have you gone mad? When did I touch you? What do you think of yourself-Hema malaini or Sridevi?”
Their disputatious and acrid argument was heading no where. The Bus had to be stopped. After the interference of many co-passengers, Finally they were pacified. They occupied their seats and seating position as before.
After some time, the Boy stood up and slapped hard at the face of the girl. He said in a fit of anger, ”Lady, mind your hands and fingers. Is it your habit to arouse the men with your fingers. I knew you are a slut. Now tell me why were you rubbing your fingers against my legs?”.The already humiliated and angry Girl instead of answering him slapped him back twice. In a choked emotional voice, she said,” Haramzada,(Bastard) Don’t you have sisters and Mother at your home. Is this the way you treat women. By the way, I never touched or rubbed you anywhere. It is your dirty imagination.” They were rebuking and recriminating each other for the indecencies. They were throwing philippics at each other. Most of the co-passengers were trying to pacify them.
Among this squabble and discombobulation; one man was laughing wildly-The villager by the window seat. His loud laughter grabbed the attention of everyone including the quarreling couple. The Young Boy who was in the conflict with the girl asked him irritatingly,” why are you laughing?”.His question increased the volume of his laughter. Holding his abdomen with both his hands, between his giggling, he said incoherently,” neither you, nor the girl is guilty”,. The girl asked surprisingly,” then who is the guilty”?
The villager said, ”look under the seat!”,
Not only the girl, but I and my cousin along with some other passengers looked under the seat.
And there it was-the guilty was found.
It happened that the villager was carrying a Goose, he had tied its legs before putting it into a Cloth bag. The long neck of the Goose was still hanging outside the Bag. It was poking both the Boy and the Girl out of curiosity or boredom.
The Bus was stopped once again. All the passengers were laughing.This time the Boy and the Girl too laughed…