Updated: Sep 25, 2021
I marked on the footboard of the local standing on the platform. An empty corner seat immediately caught my attention. I hurriedly grabbed it, sighing out a relief. Beside me sat a skinny, pale guy who I found weird. The reason is he was wearing a cap that had a fan on it. Who the fuck wears such a thing? The guy noticed my judgemental eyes but was least bothered to respond. Nevertheless, I peered on him, now and then. That is when I noticed him tremble. He was staring with suspicion on a red sack bag kept on the opposite window seat.
It was just a bag I thought. But this guy was thinking something horrific, for sure. He was turning all sweaty. The fan on his cap did no good to him. He swallowed big lumps in his throat, his eyes were turning wide. And then, all of a sudden, he let out a screech - 'Kiska bag hai re Bhai ye?' (Whose bag is this?).
It turned out that the bag was of no one. This made the surrounding people uneasy. There soon triggered a hurl of panic.
‘Police ko bulao Bhai, isme to bomb hai’ shouted someone from the crowd. He declared it with such confidence that some people believed him and sang together in a panic, ‘bomb, bomb; utro, utro.’
One man got so scared that he started to curse Pakistan and was approaching the door for an escape, inspiring more people for the same.
The drama was spreading out and I did not understand whether to laugh or panic.
In the midst of this, a clumsy, stout man enters the compartment. He had donned giant headphones and somehow was attempting to headbang while he made his way through the mess. He took all my attention when he neared the corner seat on which was kept ‘The Red sack with the Bomb’.
People, including me, gazed on him for his next move. He had a brown paper packet in his hand. I don't know how, but my heartbeats turned faster at that moment. I could not blink.
The stout man picked up the red bag. Time slowed down. Everything around me turned mute. I looked from the corner of my eye, the pale guy beside me. His jaw had dropped. I looked back at the stout man.
In a jiffy, just like that, he picked the bag and sat on that seat holding the bag on his lap. It took a moment for me to understand that the stout man is the owner of the bag that created a fuss around.
The noise around me retained. I heard men cursing him from behind - all sorts of bambaiya gaali. But this stout man was ignorant of it. He glanced outside the window and smelled the air. Then he opened the brown packet.
And, one by one, he took out two hot samosas and gulped them down.
His music was on, eyes were fixed outside the window, as he savored every bite of his snack. The train took speed and everything returned to its normal, chaotic self.
Slice Buddy : Siddhesh Khedekar
Written and edited by Pooja Kakde.
Check out the video to listen to Siddhesh. :p