Ghanashyam Bista: a man of unwavering courageIn a bid to show that he is no coward, Bista readies himself to jump from a 20 feet high tower.
The sun climbed over the hills like a golden egg and a beam of honeyed light splattered over the scene in perfect harmony. Ghanashyam Bista sank deeper into his chair and looked into the pool of golden sunlight dancing before him. The dews melted as the golden slippers of sunlight stepped over the grass, the leaves and the blue railings. The leaves stirred softly. The mountains twinkled spotlessly like a gleaming tip of a polished sword. The air was sweetened by a crisp morning breeze. The puddles gleamed in the sunlight and the windows glittered. Bista stirred amiably on the bench, feeling the sweet tickle of the sunlight.
His attention was arrested by a figure seated in the pleasant shade. Rubbing his eyes and craning his neck, Bista slowly moved towards the scene.
“I say,” said Bista, then reaching towards the figure, he repeated.
“I say, huzoor, who is there?”
The stillness of the park was broken by an earth shattering cry. A sharp cry spilled from Bista’s lips and he stepped back in horror as a dog leaped from the shadows and flew past him and slipped through the gate and disappeared into the road.
Bista stood stunned in sudden shock. He turned around embarrassed, searching for a potential spectator. No one. He sighed and was about to move back to his seat when he heard a giggle. His head turned sharply towards the direction of the sound. His cheeks flushed. A girl was giggling, wildly flailing her arms, and pointing at him.
“I say, have you never seen a dog in your life? Don’t you know dogs don’t speak human language? You leaped back like a baboon dodging a lion,” said the girl.
A pained look flashed across Bista’s face. Gathering himself he spoke at last.
“I say, lady. Nothing funny about that you know. From a distance it looked like a baby napping in the shed. It was the element of surprise, you see. Didn’t expect it to be a dog. Otherwise, I am a man of unwavering courage.”
The lady giggled again. The flush on Bista’s face deepened.
He narrowed his eyes and folded his arms. An abrupt silence followed.
The lady replied with a defiant gaze, her chin up and posture filled with towering pride.
“You don’t look like a man of unwavering courage. From what I have seen, a weak street dog is enough to scare you.”
“You really doubt my courage, don’t you?” said Bista, his jaw clenched.
The lady shrugged her one hand and said, “I never said such a thing.”
“So that’s how it's going to be, isn’t it? Dare me to do something. Come on, dare me,” said Bista.
The lady flustered, “Right now? Really?”
“Well, ok then. I will jump from the view tower,” said Bista, pointing to the 20 feet tall view tower in the middle of the park. And he began to run towards it. He clambered up the view tower. Panting, he said “You think I’m a coward now, huh?”
The lady looked up with her hands on her waist and shouted, “Don’t try to scare me. We both know you’re not going to do any such thing.”
Bista was suddenly overcome by anger. “Is that so?” he shouted.
He stepped on the railings and before he could jump, he slipped and fell down, landing in the middle of the field.
When Bista opened his eyes, he had no clue where he was. He realised his clothes were muddy. Lying flat on the ground, he observed his surroundings with a keen eye. He deduced he was in some kind of a football field. He looked around and saw a lady watching him with a worried face.
She looked carefully at Bista’s wrinkled face. She realised that his nose was strangely smooth and shiny, like a tip of an expensive leather shoe. She realised he was a handsome man.
“I say, lady. Do you know how I got over here, eh? I remember going to sleep yesterday. I switched the lights off, slipped into my bed and closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I was lying on the squishy ground with a sharp pain down my spine.”
“You mean,” the lady looked at him, stunned. “You really don’t remember how you got here?”
“The only thing I know is my name, Ghanashyam Bista. Do you know what happened to me?”
The children entered the park, waving to Bista “Hello, Ghanashyam uncle”
Bista’s eyes widened in terror. He looked like a pig slumped in sewer.
“My name is Ghanashyam, isn’t it?” he scratched his eyes. “Of course, that is my name. I remember everything now.”
He sprang up to his feet. And looked the woman dead in the eye and said, “You don’t doubt my bravery now, do you?”
He was about to stroke his mustache, when he felt his back pull and he immediately sat back on the floor.
The lady looked at him, amazed and said, “Proud of yourself, aren’t you?”
“A real man doesn’t let anyone question his courage, especially not a woman,” he said. He lifted his arm and shook it dismissively. “No, madam. I will not let anyone challenge my manhood.”
“Bidi, call me Bidi. My full name is Bidhya but friends call me Bidi. By the way, I’m not your madam.”
“Argh,” Bista shouted as he tried to stand up straight.
Bidhya put her hand below his shoulder, “Let me help you up. You can’t stand without support.”
“Thank you,” said Bista.
“So, tell me, where exactly do you live?” asked Bidhya.
“Five minutes walk from here,” said Bista.
“I’ll drop you home,” said Bidhya.
“You have a scooter?” Bista asked earnestly.
“Nope. But I can walk you home,” she replied.
“No, don’t mind. You’re a woman. I don’t need any woman's help,” said Bista.
“So, you’re challenging me now, aren’t you?” she questioned.
“Well not really, but.”
“You never challenge a woman’s physical strength. Challenge accepted. Show me the directions, I will drop you at your door.”
The park was buzzing with throngs of children. The road was throbbing with traffic. It was with a pained expression, and a limp feet that Bista, supported by Bidhya, made his way home.