Walking down the street on that benumbing cold night of December, it didn’t take us long to realize that we shouldn’t have been out at such late hours. It felt as if the night itself has dozed off to sleep, the death like silence stirred only when we were hit by a sudden gush of the cold wind. As we turned the corner, we reached the lane which was brimming with people. Squeezing our way through, making a genuine effort of not intruding or spoiling anybody’s merriment and mirth, we were relieved to leave the endless rows of pubs behind.
Another corner and we again were left with just us. As we stood at the deserted bus stop praying for the bus to come soon, a man clad in black in his early forties approached us with unsteady steps. Inspecting the place around and examining us from head to toe he let out a few very loud but incoherent words. It took us time to recover from the shock and to understand what exactly he was trying to say as it is not an easy task to fathom a drunk British.
Then the words came out clearer “you bloody Nazis!”
My head spun. Nazis? Did he just call us Nazis? Weren’t Nazis something to do with Germany?
I remembered hating Hitler back in school.
But that was not the point. Here we were in a foreign land rooted on a bus stop bewildered and a British shouting slogans at us. He made all the concept of swadeshi movement appear topsy-turvy.
“Out of here you bloody Nazis…@#$@@***”
We thought of walking away but the sight of the dark deserted road deterred us. Suddenly we caught a glimpse of a light, no less than Lord’s own divine light – on wheels.
Seeing the drunkard walk forward for the bus the driver, to avoid trouble, resolved to move on. He seemed to miss us completely but we didn’t want to let go our only chance to save ourselves from a hot-blooded swearing nationalist at the bus stop. So pulling ourselves in sight of the driver we waved frantically. We were at the driver’s mercy and he took pity on us.
On our way home,
He: “I think he is still pretty upset over the England-Germany War.”
Me: “But didn’t we, Indians, condemned Nazism and helped them with our army against the axis powers?”
He: “Oh yes but he missed that part of the History I guess”
Me: “ He should at least get all his facts right before howling at people, shouldn’t he?”
Having said that I relaxed back in my seat.
War was put to an end long ago, battle still persists.