A college buchi was tired after ‘wasting’ several hours in class seeking ilm (knowledge). Famished, she wanted to rush home and have a hearty meal. Boarding a minibus at Lal Chowk, the buchi made herself comfortable on a double seat with the hope that a female passenger would sit next to her. But her wish was not granted that day. A mistri (motor mechanic) trundled down the aisle and, to her horror, dropped into the vacant seat.
The buchi pulled herself together, ensuring that her spotless college did get stained by the mistri’s grubby overalls. He will definitely do some gadh badh, she thought. But before she could take preventive measures, the engine came to life, and the not-so-romantic journey began.
By now, the buchi had her beautiful nass on her taal. She was angry and scared, and determined to fight back in case the mistri tried any nonsense
A few minutes later, the mechanic lowered his head and rested it on the iron rod supporting the seat in front of him. This scared the buchi further. He is planning something, she said to herself. But nothing happened. The buchi was not comfortable at all. And then, suddenly, the buchi almost jumped from her seat. The mistri was fast asleep, and snoring.
The buchi was shocked. The mistri had completely ignored her. The mechanic had shown no interest in her deep eyes and bow-like brows. The silky hair she had displayed with pride had failed to entangle him. Shall I beat my head or his? The question haunted the buchi for quite some time.
The buchi reached her destination. She stood up and shook the mistri awake. He raised his head, looked at the buchi and pulled his legs back to make way for her.
Back home, the buchi rushed to her room and threw herself on the bed. Her appetite was gone.
Next day the buchi’s friend narrated the dukhi story to Sheru. Sheru laughed. Why was the buchi shocked, he asked.
“Because the mistri ignored her,” she shot back.
Allah Ki Panah. Had he resorted to gadh badh, the same buchi would have lodged a police complaint and got him arrested. But the disciplined mistri’s bey rukhi (indifference) had been a bit too much to bear.