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Komal Panwar

Blogger & Singer

On The Bus, I Overheard These Conversations That Put Brakes On ‘Gender Equality’

  • IWB Post
  •  March 18, 2017


It was dark outside when I climbed inside the bus. I knew that I needed sleep, and so, when I realized that my adjoining seat was empty, I was overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t carrying any earphones, but because it was late at night, I thought it didn’t matter. Oh, I was so wrong. Starting today, feel free to call me the eavesdropping lady.

Starting today, feel free to call me the eavesdropping lady.

There were two guys sitting behind me who were initially irritating me, but their conversation got rather… weird.

I’d like to call the first guy: Poor guy, let’s call the second one “Tharki,” you’ll know why:

P (Poor guy): Back in Italy, you get these amazing leather belts, I got one for my father, when I returned.

T (Tharki guy): (Only interested in his sex life) What do you do after you get off work?

P: I go back home and sleep.

T: Why? Don’t you go out and have “fun”?

P: (avoiding this part of the conversation) No, I have a long ride while going back home, and don’t have the patience of doing anything else.

T: What? You don’t go out drinking with your girlfriends? What do you eat? (I don’t know how the two topics were related!)

P: What? No. I cook at home. I cannot eat pizzas all day, honestly.

T: (This is where I found out that T lives in Korea) Back in Korea, I only eat the local food. I have someone back in Korea who cooks for me. (laughing)

By this time, I got an idea of how the poor guy must’ve been feeling. And, I’m sure you get why I called the other one a tharki.

My ears automatically grew in size and shifted like antennae. I felt like I was a German shepherd.

T: My friend’s wife insists on cooking for me. I never asked her to do it, but well, she just likes to cook for me, too. Well, and why won’t she? I’m the reason behind her success.

I almost wanted to get up and smack him in his face.

As expected, P didn’t respond back. I didn’t even know if the two men were married. And that’s when P got a call.

P: Yes, sweetheart, Papa will be with you in a couple of hours, don’t worry, just drink your milk before you go to sleep. I love you. Give the phone to your mumma.

Yes, P was married, and thankfully, for me, at least, he had seemed to pass the test for being a loyal husband. As I tried to fall back to sleep I couldn’t help but overhear a woman talk on the phone.

I got a little late doing all the chores, and that’s why had to take the bus instead of the train. My granddaughter doesn’t eat her dinner without me, and today, when I was leaving, she refused to eat with her mom. Anyway, her mother works until really late, so where will the affection come from?

Now, I’m no Sherlock, but she was probably speaking to a friend, and the rest, who knows?

Conversations we overhear often teach us the truth about our society, while before stepping inside the bus I had thought that the times were changing, the conversations I overheard forced me to rethink.

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