True story. I was there.
I was on a DTC bus to Noida and as buses usually are in this season, it was hot and humid. People were jammed tight against each other and trying to breathe as little of the muggy air as possible. Everything smelled of sweat and everyone hated the person next to them with a dull kind of passion.
A Tau — a full and proper Haryanvi gentleman, complete with pagdi, dhoti, moonchh, and latth — entered this cramped little world and promptly sat his posterior down on an armrest. The armrest, unfortunately, was already partially in use by a rather large Delhiboy.
“Poochh ke nahi baith sakta bey?” roared the Delhiboy at the Tau with the offending posterior.
“Tere baap kii seat hai,” said the Tau as only Taus can.
What followed was nothing any urban Indian can’t imagine. Mothers and sisters were mentioned, bodily orifices were brought into the picture, the bus rolled on as the conductor watched on wondering who will throw the first punch. But no one got pushy and no slaps were delivered. People lost interest and went back to smelling each other’s armpits.
Things were still for a while. And then the unthinkable happened.
“Oye!” I heard the Delhiboy say and turned around to see what he had found so oye-worthy. He was looking at the Tau with an expression at least three notches more compassionate than the last time.
“Tereko pair mein takleef hai?” he asked. Apparently, the Tau was showing signs of a slight limp.
The Tau, being a Tau, said nothing. Delhiboy got up from the seat. Someone made a move towards the empty seat. Delhiboy froze him with a stare and put a hand on the Tau’s shoulder, “Batana chahiye thha!”
Another passenger, silent till now, joined Delhiboy, “ Arre bataya kyun nahi pehle?”
The Tau, the very picture of indignant rage until a few minutes ago, turned politely defensive with several instances of “Arre nahi nahi” and “Koi baat nahi”.
The next several minutes were spent chiding the Tau for not saying he was hurt. Delhiboy forced him to sit down and stood right next to him the rest of the way.
Neither of them apologised to each other though. I wonder why I don’t find that odd.