Your moustache glistens in afternoon sweat. Bristles quiver in rage. How dare they call you a pickpocket. Maaderchods the whole lot. These were your wad of notes. You dreamt of them the night before. That you would drink with them, gamble with them, pay bills, go to the doctor, get some love. They came your way by God's will. Maaderchods the whole lot. The man continues to shout expletives. You should be kicked out of the bus, he says. But what about the bhara you paid. You're as good a passenger as he. The conductor holds you back by your collar. The kajal-girl stares at you as if you were a wounded animal. Aami ki kutta naki saala. They pull the notes out of your hand. A day's dream is lost. The afternoon sun sniggers. Maaderchods the whole lot.


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