Samiyo stood up tottering and burped loudly. He was rather content with the way the day had ended. After all he’d spent a good part of it making porottas at the wayside restaurant where he was the undisputed Porotta Master.
He’d just downed his usual measure of ‘fieriness’ to wipe away his weariness, before heading home to his dear wife, when he heard the familiar whirr. Did he perhaps dispatch a wee bit more than usual? He wasn’t certain. But he was sure that the blurry thingy that whizzed past him was his last bus home.
He grabbed his paper bag of porottas and beef and weaved his way as hurriedly as he could to the bus bay, debating if he should empty his bladders in the mean time. No! He’d rather be smart and grab a seat for himself on the bus first. Then perhaps he could go for the piss, leaving the paper bag on his seat, proclaiming his imminent return. Brilliant! Samiyo beamed. It was such brilliance that had helped him fortify his position as Porotta Master.
Still beaming, he hurriedly boarded the bus, chose an empty seat, placed his paper bag carefully in the center and walked out for a quick ‘leak’.
"Appa... samee!" The sudden exertion had exhausted him or so it seemed because he’d missed the last step and stumbled on to the bay. And now his bladders were bursting.
Still swaying, he tottered into the darkness to relieve himself. Perhaps he should light up a beedi to accompany the piss. Now that was a fine idea, he told himself and presently felt cheerier.
He must have taken a while because when he returned he saw, to his horror, that the bus had already taken off and was rounding the corner at a distance. Damn! He cursed himself. He had to save his paper bag. Somehow.
He jumped into an auto rickshaw and pointed in the general direction of the bus, insisting that the diver follow in hot pursuit.
Five minutes later the bus was in sight. There! It was stopping now. “Faster! Faster” he goaded the driver of the three-wheeler. And yes! He’d just made it. He’d have his paper bag soon. But as he was getting out of the auto rickshaw the bus pulled away. Moreover, he realized it was the wrong bus!
By the time Samiyo tracked it down to the terminus, the bus was long empty. He couldn’t find his paper bag anywhere. The darned driver’s eaten his porottas and beef he decided, grinding his teeth. That was way too much for Samiyo to bear.
“Oh yeh? I’ll show you what you get when you steal a man’s porottas and beef,” he swore as he sat in the driver’s seat and switched on the ignition.
The next day a horrified driver reported his bus missing and an hour later the police called to tell him they’d tracked it down a kilometer away, where it had crashed into a tree, with Samiyo still asleep at the wheel, unawares.