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Short Story: Shadow

Written by Tayyaba Aziz & Saqib Hussain   After 30 minutes of struggling to focus on work, Moosa finally gave up. He stumbled in hi...

Friday, 4 December 2015

Journey Back Home

It was a lovely day at university; with a cheerful wave to my buddies I departed at noon. 2 hours of boring Bus ride with stranger ladies punching me whenever I fall on them in my sleep. Hence the goal today was again to keep eyes open. As usual failing and receiving more punches. Everything was normal until I reached half way of my journey back home.

We saw the roads burning!!! There was nobody in sight and nor was any way out, for the entire highway was on FIRE! The bright flames were so tall that our eyes could barely see the blue sky above. Only a black sky of smoke although it was just noon. The most terrifying picture I have ever seen. I was alone, away from home; I didn’t know even a single person in that bus. And I know I wasn’t the only one with the same terror and chills running down their spine.
We ladies stared at the driver who had not stopped the bus and was unusually quiet. Blessed be the bus driver who didn’t ditch us and drop us there though he could have, like all other buses. The conductor told him to drop all passengers, right there and run for life. This dude kept playing the demon throughout the journey. Whispering in the driver’s ear to drop us anywhere over and over again…

The good old man took the responsibility and turned the bus to the left where there was no road, only sand. It was all okay until we entered the most unfriendly forest ever. At 1 pm the tall thick bushes on both sides blocked the sunlight entirely. On my right there were bushes that disturbed my already drained calmness so I turned to my left, only to see creepier bushes.
Since there was no road in this forest there came numerous obstacles where men would have to unload the bus to push it through. It became a scary video game, we had to pass broken bridges, thorny bushes, and an inside demon who kept telling the driver to drop all the passengers right in the darkest jungle.
The thought was frightening, I mean on the road you have a 50% chance to survive but that chance seemed to evaporate in this woodland.
“Don’t worry! I’m travelling with my brother. He will take care of us.” I heard the girl say sitting next to me. I didn’t know this girl but those words felt like shelter in storm. I couldn’t say much so I only forced a smile and her eyes smiled back warmly. She was wearing a nikaab noticing her presences for the first time. Then she passed me her wise brother’s advice, to stay inside the bus no matter what happens. It’s amazing how sometimes we just need words to feed the starving heart a little peace.

Among all this craziness there was an old lady who kept saying, “I think the bus is stuck, I’ll just walk home from here.” And five minutes later when the men would be able to cross that hurdle the old lady would start yelling to ride in the bus again. It happened at the bridge, in the forest, at the exits from the bushes, at the new discovered entrance of the town, and everywhere!

ALHAMDLILLAH we made it out of that forest safely and were back on the highway. However we still had a long distance to cover before we reach home. Then we reached a place where the trees of this new entrance to the town were so lush (yet friendly) that the bus needed to call the roof top men down. The bus stopped, men fall out and again the old lady was out and started to walk.
 She said, “The bus is stuck, I can walk home from here.” This is ridiculous. I mean why did she have to get down now? This time when men climbed the bus again hurriedly and happily, everyone forgot about the old lady. The driver stepped on the race, and then we heard muffled voices from the back. A few men at the back started to shout, “Amma reh gai! Amma reh gai! Amma ko uthao!” Grinning broadly the old man pushed the breaks abruptly. The celebrity Amma slowly climbed up again for the 10th time! Men and women were literally laughing loud now and the restless old lady was grinning sheepishly.

Maybe stress makes us feel and express every emotion more intensely. We were mostly strangers but this incident had made us one team. Upon that Amma made it more of a comedy than a thriller. As we entered our home town every single passenger clapped and cheered! There was smile on every face and cherry on top I made a new friend!