I’ve dined out on this story, narrated by an ex-colleague, countless times and it never fails to perk up the dullest do, the dreariest party.
What makes it even more wonderful is that it actually happened....
Peak hour inside a 1st class compartment of a Mumbai suburban Train.
Squeezed-so-that-you-can-taste-your-neighbour's-Jabakusum-oil-scented-dandruff room only.
Train stops at the only scheduled stop. After the mandatory 7.873 seconds for train to vomit out part of its load, it starts again ...but with a sudden jerk. (Driver probably having a bad Jabakusum-hair-oil-scented-dandruff day)
Protagonist, (friend of the original narrator of this story) who is standing, loses his balance and to his utter chagrin, falls plop into the lap of the woman sitting in the seat near where he was standing.
Woman screeches in horror but the man sitting next to her screeches even louder. Because, unfortunately for the poor stander-who-fell-into-the-sitting-woman’s-lap, the man happens to be her husband.
He starts a loud, angry tirade, along the lines of “tumhare ghar mein girne ke liye biwi-ki-godh nahin hai kya?!”. Aforementioned stander, sweating copiously in embarrassment, begins to apologise profusely, in equal measure to both woman and husband. But nothing will appease the husband, who by now has whipped himself into a right ol’ kuttey-kaminey-bahar-aa-tujhe-dekhata-hoon frenzy, frothing gently in the mouth. So much so, that if it is possible for a crowd to gather in the squeezed-so-that-you-can-taste-your-neighbour's-Jabakusum-oil-scented-dandruff room only, it does. Delightedly grateful for something to perk up the otherwise every-moning-for-the-22-years-in-the-9.33-Churchgate-superfast ho-hum day.
Finally the stander-who-fell-into-the-sitting-woman’s-lap can’t take it anymore.
“Stop”, he shouts at the husband, who surprisingly does…..mid-froth.
Sticking his briefcase between his legs (not what you are thinking), the stander whips out his wallet and from it, he whips out what looks like a visiting card.
Handing it to the now silent, dumbstruck husband, he says,
“This is my visiting card. My home address is on it. Please come home any day at your convenience and sit on my wife’s lap. That way, we will be even. But now, will you please stop shouting at me?”
From what I recall, the guns remained silent and rest of the journey passed without any further untoward incident. And also from what I can recall, the husband did not take up the stander’s offer.
(Thank you, Vinodini!)