Humming a song, dotted with whistling, Nihal opened the main gate of his bungalow nestled in the lap of nature away from the hustle and bustle of the town. He sprinted across the veranda to reach the doorbell. The day had turned out to be successful. He had got the window seat on the bus while going to and coming from the office located in the town, without much hassle. Though it was 25th of the month, he had already met his sales target and was anticipating a few more orders before the closure of the month. Above all, like his family, he too was expecting the response from Vedika’s family that lived in the same suburb, about the marriage proposal.
He could hardly contain his excitement. Waiting a few seconds at the door appeared to be a daunting task. He was surprised when he saw his mother with a poker face at the door.
“What’s the news?”, he enquired.
“What do you expect?”, said the mother with much anger. Nihal was puzzled at that. By that time, his father had entered the living room. Nihal gestured at him as his mother turned her back to him to return to the kitchen. Nihal was befuddled when his father shrugged his shoulders and went back to the study.
“Can anyone tell me what’s happening? Is this any kind of trick?”, demanded Nihal.
“It’s you who needs to tell us”, stated mother as she returned with a glass of water.
Emptying the glass in one go, Nihal said, “Tell you what? My day was just fine, as usual. But now it doesn’t seem to be so”
By this time, Nihal’s mother had settled on a sofa, his father had re-entered the living room and was standing behind her. Both looked upset and that unsettled Nihal all the more.
“What’s the matter? Care explain, anyone?”, he pleaded.
“Will you care to explain? How long have you been suffering from stomach disorder?”, demanded his father in response.
“Stomach upset and me? I am absolutely fine and healthy and you know that”, replied Nihal with much disgust.
“Then what is this about you farting in the bus most of the time on the way back from office?”, questioned his mother.
“Vedika has rejected the marriage proposal saying that she better be unmarried rather than marrying a ‘Fart-Man’”, added his father.
For once Nihal burst out aloud. After a few moments, his laughter died its own death when he realized his folly. It was he who had the idea of making a fake farting sound to dispel the people around him in the crowded bus, for he used to be tired attending the sales call all over the city. The farting sound, though fake, made most presume that it would be accompanied by the obnoxious smell and thus those around would distance themselves. The trick, on most days, worked in favor of granting Nihal a seat at the earliest. But now he was in a fix, whether to cry or laugh at it.
“Fart-man…”, he murmured as he got up and turned to his room with the new christening at the hands of obnoxious popularity that had cast its long shadow on his promising future, from the fake act.
Picture courtesy Pixabay