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Home page > English > Short Story > The Village and The Bus

People of our village hadn’t seen a motor bus for many years. from the day, thieves and highway men began looting people, and from that day when heavy monsoon rains ruined the road. The transport was stopped.

Today someone had brought the good news of a bus going and reaching to our village. People of the village were very happy. Everyone was listening to hear the roaring sound of the bus engine. Everyone was watching just the gorge to see the bus when comes out of the gorge. They were eagerly waiting like a hunter for a game. They were not to blame. They were going to see a bus after a long time. They ought to have had celebration. From the day the transport was stopped, our villagers had a bad time. Their crops were not good. The children were growing without education. Diseases and plagues were numerous. Houses were ruined. Roads were damaged by floods. These floods eroded agriculture lands year after year.

Poverty and diseases, plagues and unemployment had troubled our villagers. Hardly could be called human beings. Their faces were pale, as if they had no souls.

Our village was like a flower. Which had no sun and no water.

During all this time when our village had no transportation, opposite our village, on the other side of the mountains there was another village, which had prospered a lot. People had no shortages. People were better off. Their orchards and gardens had improved. Diseases had disappeared. In short, this village had improved so much, that it looked more like town. Houses of baked bricks were built inside the large forts.

Peoples clothing had changed too much. Now, this village had many schools. Residents of this village were prosperous. They don’t have diseases and other health problems. Their orchards are fresh and lively.

We are all looking at the gorge for the bus to arrive. Something appeared from a distance. I noticed that a strange young man with broken buttons was coming very quickly toward us. His sandals were worn out and his clothes were not new either. His unclean hair was showing that he didn’t have a wash for weeks. Despite all these, he was a well-built and good-looking young man. He reached us with quick steps. He sat on a cot nearby. I don’t know whether he was very tired or he looked nice on this big cot. For a long while he rested on the cot. Then he started staring in the orchards, gardens and piles as if he was drawing a picture of it. By looking at everything his tears were rolling on his cheeks. The more he looked every where the more he weeped. An old man got up from among us and called him in kind voice:

Why son? what is in your heart?

The stranger looked up and answered.

Father? (Out of respect for the old man)

Nothing! But this landscape, dry orchards and gardens made me very upset.

He said this and he took out his handkerchief and cleaned his tears. He went deep in thoughts again. After a while he started to talk again:

When I was here. Every thing was nice. But I don’t remember to have seen such ruined houses and withered orchards anywhere else. People were not rich but lived in comfort. He sighed and continued with his talk.

These poor people must have had bad times.

The old man interrupted him:

How did you feel sorry for this village?

Where are you from?

The young man cleared his throat so many times, and finally after a long pause answered:

I’m from this village. I’m your kin. By hearing this, they were all astonished and all stood up unintentionally, as if they were standing at attention for a military general. The old man came near and said:

I thought so. You looked very near to me. When did you become a refugee? You must have been through hardships. I know about refugee life in an alien country.

The young man answered:

From the first activities of the thieves and highwaymen and destruction of the roads, I have left here.

When I was leaving here. My lip hadn’t blackened. But now you can see white hair in my head.

Other old man shouted in confirmation:

You are not blamed…From the time of the thieves and destruction of the road, it is about 14-15 years.

Another one said:

This is like a century. Now some one came near and said:

Now, tell me your story. How are the refugees living?

We saw many adversaries. What was your condition?

How about the road? Are they going to open the road? They say they will open the road and vehicles will come. We will build our village. Prosperity will come.

The young man cleared his throat again and replied:

I’m well aware of your bad situation. But our condition is not good either. The refugees saw very bad days. What do you think? Do you believe that prosperity of other country has made us forget our own village? No! it is not so? We always thought about our village. The day the road was closed and highwaymen appeared on the scene we did a lot of things. We succeeded to rid of the thieves and clear the road to our village. We lost some in this action, even a few young men were lost. In this moment a young lad with just grown mustache shouted from a distance:

The refugees will return, won’t they? They will bring vehicles too. The young man thought for a while, and said:

It is very sad to say that, no? Because our elders are not united, They don’t agree with one another. An old man asked:

Why? What are their differences? Son!

The you man answered:

The elders are not the same humble home-loving people. They have changed for example. One: the car is old. Second: the road is dirt track! And some thing else is…

Someone shouted out:

And what is “something else”.

The young man said:

Something laughable is they don’t agree on who should drive the vehicle? They were O.K. till the gorge. In the gorge they divided, and didn’t agree on who should drive? He sighed and continued:

I wish they knew driving.

Someone asked:

How about the bus? Is it stopping there?

The young man said:

Yes? It is stopped there. But I don’t believe the vehicle and refugees would arrive here well. The old man confirmed and said:

You are right? The road is all broken and damaged and there is mountain on one flank and river on the other flank. And the drivers are not acquainted with the way. They will not reach here!

He hadn’t finished yet, when someone else dropped in:

If the vehicle is broken, I don’t think, it’ll reach here. Another person added:

Bad road and bad vehicle! Yet they fight on driving the vehicle…God help us all! If god won’t help, we won’t have a vehicle in the village and we won’t see the refugees either.

Someone else said:

Undoubted by! You are right! We thought, we would rebuild our houses. Tractors will come here and we will get rid of bulls and plows. There will be transportation, schools and many other things. But, it is all disappointment, what I see now. The man who was speaking, hit his forehead and began to think again. He became silent and was thinking:

The young man wanted to say something, but some one else spoke before him:

O.K. you tell me, why did you leave the bus?

The young man smiled and said:

God has given me brain and eyes…

Am I crazy to travel in old bus on a damaged road? Particularly when the driver is not good too.

In this moment some one appeared on the hillside. He was a stranger too. He had long hair, on his shoulders, one could be afraid of him. This newly arrived man dismantled his rifle from his shoulder and sat on the cot. He got up suddenly when he saw the first strange young man. He was angry and shouted:

Why did you leave the bus and passengers?

He became quiet for a second and opened his mouth again:

Why did you provoke passengers against the elders?

The young man answered with a smile very casually:

God has given me brain and wisdom. I can see. In such a malfunctioning vehicle, on this bad road, who will travel with these unaquented drivers? We all nodded in approval.

The rifleman interrupted:

My dear fellows! You are right, malfunctioning old bus, bad road, strange driver…these are all correct. I say the road should be repaired and the bus should be renewed. He hadn’t said anything about the bus yet when an old man shouted out:

Why do you blame this young man?

Before he answered, some one said:

I think he is supporting the drivers.

The first strange young man said:

But apart from the drivers, he doesn’t have a thought for repairing the road and renewing the bus.

Then, here the rifle interrupted:

He is very bald…who tried to unite us?

These elders did so. Is there anything better than this? He faced the village people and said:

No one has learned any thing in mother’s womb. They will learn it…this is not a big deal. I agree our elders don’t know driving, but they know many other things. They are not the old simpletons. They have seen a lot. They have education and knowledge. They will learn driving too…or at least this problem will be solved.

With this the young man laughed, but the rifleman didn’t let him laugh for long.

Laugh? Laugh? You are responsible for everything. I know! You are not alone. You have many friends. You were the one who scared the passengers. Now because of you the bus is standing there. But, I tell you one thing, you and your friends cannot hide from us.

The young man while laughing said:

The elders were arguing about the bus. Now this must be my responsibility too. Is it so? He answered quickly:

This is an obvious matter…what ever happened to us is because of you and your coward friends. He went in thought, but soon he said:

I tell you again…correct yourselves…

Don’t make hurdles for our journey. You just make our enemies happy with your acts.

The young man calmly answered.

I’m honest to God? I am not wrong. If I’m wrong, these villagers should judge us. First, the road should be repaired. Then the bus should be a new one. Third everyone is responsible according to his profession.

Someone called from a distance:

He is right…A monkey can’t be a carpenter.

This rifleman said very angrily:

You don’t’ behave…you scared the passengers, but now you want to provoke villagers also. You don’t want our elders to ride vehicles.

The young returned his remark:

Yes! This is so…I have come here for this purpose.

This is the desire of the whole village. The village…he hadn’t finished his sentence yet, the rifleman turned rifle against him and shot him on the head. With the fire, the young man collapsed. People of the village collected stones and started throwing the stones at the rifleman. The rifleman fired a few rounds and the villagers were scared and gave up. The whole village was quiet, as if everyone’s mouth was sown with thread. Suddenly an old man broke the silence:

It is true! That a man with rifle can chase the whole village. Otherwise no one is a coward. He hadn’t finished yet, when another old man said:

It is not only rifle.

Another one interfered:

He is right, we don’t have many things.

Parallel with these talks many started talking from all directions.

Our elders are not known.

We are divided.

We are not united.

Our hearts are not pure.

We are enemies to each other.

We have no zeal.

With all these sentences, we made a song.

Every villager was singing this song.

Home page > English > Short Story > The Village and The Bus

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