I remembered the story of first grade of Mrs. Sharma’ s flat tire as I sat there in tickling clutches of the same condition myself. A nail had very skillful driven itself into the waviest groove of my bike’s tyre and “Lo! The tire was flat”. I have heard it that a chef is always ready to sprinkle their special spices on the cuisine before delighting the men of gurgling stomach. I was at a parallel brink. Very diligently and steadily like your naughtiest friend, showers of strength began to tease me which would be appropriate as a comment on the torrents of rain that came pushing aside the crowds in stratosphere. As the postman rushed on his century old bicycle with its loose bell shattering to the uneven curvature of the road beneath, I rushed to the nearest thatched roof of the village where some buffaloes were waiting eagerly pointing out my arrival with mocking sounds to their mates as if telling them, “What a fish have we caught!” I was afraid of stepping inside the horde of buffaloes without their prior permission and in my whole experience, I have never incurred on a single instance how to talk with these species.
They shook their tail briskly – who knew was that for me or for the flies who were consistently causing turmoil to the hide of the big ones. It was better to take that as ‘no’ – one never knows when would thy advance to press me into the ground converting me into ugly figures formed in sequences of ‘Tom and Jerry’ when Tom kicks Jerry hard. My feet were already sunk into a feet of mud as I walked through the self proclaimed swamp making characteristic sounds contrasting to my usual pace as an office-goer. I felt that I was moving like a buffalo. First time I began to realize that the saying ‘Unity in diversity’ was true in real sense. I could give a vivid description if one tells me to recall. If one went by their whole body, there won’t be a more apt description than ‘a bulgy mass of toughness’ – I mean toughness, an attribute which had been reflecting itself through their protruding eyeballs. I bet they had a lot of stuff hidden in the superficial layer of their groovy skin, for little birds and insects were having a good time feeding on something mysterious on it making the buffaloes make use of their tails scolding them to fly off.
It felt like there was a bond between us. It felt as if they needed me. They said it through an unknown tongue. Were they not cared properly? Were they hungry? If yes, then I ought to feed them, but how? I was an urban man completely unaware of the rural stuff. I was nervous. I was pretty damn sure that if I had taken a more step forward, I myself could have transformed into a buffalo only.
I got a better idea. I began tugging my bike back on the road analyzing my first encounter with buffaloes. I don’t know why but the meeting didn’t go well. Next time I better find someone who could translate the tongue of these lovely creatures to me.
By - Gagandeep Reehal