Sunday, December 25, 2005

Trip to Southall - Meeting a Muslim Man (FINAL Part)

So, I eventually got on this bus. I had to stand up because there was no space to sit down. After a while there were some seats free at the end of the bus. Chalo, I sat down. A few stops later I noticed some old people and a few aunty jis coming on board, so I thought I might as well stand up and offer seat to the aunties and elderly people.

While I was standing up I noticed an old Singh staring at me. He was sitting at the back of the bus. He had a trimmed white beard (it wasn't neatly cut, so I assumed he was from Panjab) and also his pagh (turban) looked a bit pinddoo style (not that there's anything wrong with pinddoo style paghs. lol). A few stops later he stands up and stands next to me near the door of ths bus.

I looked at him smiled (I usually say "Fateh" to every Singh or Panjabi-looking person I see, but usually I don't get a response back so I just smile and if there's a response then I say "Fateh"). The elderly Singh said to me, "Bhai Sahib, have you recently arrived from Panjab?" I said, "I was born here." However, either he was hard of hearing or he just assumed I was a freshie pretending to be born in this country.

I said two or three times that I was born and brought up in this country, but I don't think he was convinced by looking at my Kurta Pyjama and the hazooria around my neck. Chalo! The elderly man said, "Bhai Sahib, you must be from India. I knew it when I saw you outside, trying to get on the bus... You are probably used to buses in Panjab, but son, in this country there is a different system. British buses are different."

I was thinking Rab Bhalla Kare!! Considering I had to try to explain to the Baba jee that I am from Britain but he didn't believe me, so I thought might as well keep quiet and go along with what's happening. He continued to say, "You tried to get on the bus, but I don't think you knew that in this country you can only get on the bus at a bus stop. Under no circumstance will the bus driver stop and let passengers get on other than at the bus stop." O my God! It was so funny! I just said "han jee... han jee... jaroor... okay... hanji" lol.

Then Baba jee started saying to me, "Where are you going?" I said "Southall. I am going to Park Avenue Gurdwara Sahib." He said, I was thinking I have been there a hundred times!! However baba jee was very friendly and so said,"Do you need help getting there... Don't worry son I will tell you when to get off the bus." He started explaining how to get to the Gurdwara. I didn't have the heart to tell Baba jee that I knew how to get to the Gurdwara because I come to Southall nearly every week. Chalo I listened and said "thanks" to him (obviously not in English but in Panjabi!).

So I got off and walked to the Gurdwara from Broadway. An interesting journey I must say!


Anonymous said...

I was your shoes,I would have eagerly waited for the bus stop(while the baba jee was talking) and jump out of it and save my LIFE!!!lol

Hari Singh said...

Wow! Manvir, you have an eventful life - Something curious happening all the time! Waheguru!!!!

Anonymous said...

Manvir...very very interesting.Im looking forward to hear more of your adventures!!