A rich husband and wife encounter some unsavory characters
“Hmmmm?” I opened my heavy eyes to the darkness. The bus was hurtling along the bumpy country highway.
“I am feeling really cold. Can you get a blanket from the blue handbag?” my wife Niyati whispered, shivering in the ramshackle bus with no heater and poor insulation.
Groggily, I got up and went to the front of the bus where our bags were kept because our seats in the back didn’t have luggage shelves on top. It was the sort of bus I had never traveled in, except for a few trips with college friends. The whole layout, its general ramshackle structure, and even the type of co-passengers we had were a big change for someone upper middle class like me. It took me a couple of minutes in the darkness to find the blanket. A couple of sleeping passengers stirred because of the little noise I was making.
As I walked back to our seat, I first thought I had forgotten where we were sitting. In the darkness from a distance, it seemed like there was a different couple in what I thought was our seat. But as I approached the seat, I realized with a sense of anger and trepidation that it was our seat.
I was too shocked to even say anything. Sitting next to my wife on my seat was a burly bearded guy I had noticed him eyeing us meaningfully when we got on the bus and walked past his seat. Regardless of the fact that her husband was with her, he had ogled her shamelessly. I remember thinking that if she were alone, he definitely would have groped her. So I had decided that we should sit in the back, as far away from him as we could.
And now, a few hours later, he was sitting next to her, his thick arm around her shoulder. Her face wore a look of utter terror. Her wide eyes stared into mine.
“Whaa…” I started to say when Niyati put a finger on her lips signaling me to be silent.
Then with her eyes, she signal towards the thug’s waist. His left hand was holding a gleaming gun there. I stared at the gun terrified and then looked at the ugly bearded face. He was smiling.
“Sit there.” he whispered, signaling to the seat across to aisle to his left. There was another man sitting there by the window. Presumably his friend, because I know that the seat was empty when I had left to get the blanket. He saw me and raised his right hand to display a gleaming knife.
“Sit down saab.” the other man said with a smile. He was skinny and short, not a big lug like his friend. Barehanded, I could have taken him. But with a knife in his hand, I didn’t want to take any chances.
I sat down as ordered and tried to reason with the big bearded fellow.
“Listen sir, please leave us alone.” I whispered.
“You leave us alone.” he growled in a low voice and pointed his gun at me. “This beautiful lady is cold. I am going to warm her up.”
Petrified, I looked around. Everyone around us seemed to be sleeping. The couple of rows in front of us were empty anyway. I started considering my options. But they were limited with a gun pointed at me.
I looked over at Niyati. Our eyes locked. She seemed as helpless as I was, flinching every time the big lug rubbed her shoulder with his hand.
“But listen…please…you cannot…” I started whispering again, when the guy to my left gently poked the knife against my stomach.
“Ustaad told you to shut up.”
I clammed up, still staring at my shivering petrified wife. We were both so tense, but our two tormentors seemed very much at ease, as if threatening people was second nature to them. Normal people don’t carry weapons with them, especially not gleaming foreign-made semi-automatic guns like that big thug had. Clearly they were criminals of some sort, maybe muscle-men for a local politician which is common in the cow-belt.
Which really limited my options. I could, of course, raise an alarm, wake up the other passengers, and hope for some help. But what if these two started using their weapons? Besides, this was a really low-end ramshackle bus with mostly poor and lower-middle class people. I didn’t know how much they could help us out when confronted by two armed bullies.
Niyati was staring back at me. The thug was still rubbing her shoulder and holding the gun in his other hand. I was that he was also sliding closer and closer to her, pushing her towards the cold window on her right.
“Throw me that blanket.” he said. I did as was told and it landed on his lap. He then said to my wife. “Cover yourself, darling.”
Niyati’s shuddering hands unfolded the blanket and she pulled it up to her neck. The thug smoothed it out with his other hand.
“Raju, make sure saab here behaves.” he whispered and then put the gun on the seat next to him on the left.
For a moment I considered lunging and grabbing the gun. It was just an arms length away from me. But Raju must have read my mind because he increased the pressure of the knife, as if to warn me. Soon some movements started under the blanket. I could still see Niyati’s face, although she had turned it away from me. I could see tears starting to stream down her face.
“So saab…what brings high class people like you to a bus like this?” Raju asked.
I closed my eyes to fight back tears, cursing the decisions I had made to put us in this situation.
I wasn’t in the mood for chit-chat. The movements under that blanket were now getting a bit more hectic.
“Just shut up.” I said to him.
“Suit yourself. Just trying to pass the time.”
With the knife still pressed against my stomach, I alternate between looking to my right and looking straight ahead, trying to figure out a way to end this. But nothing came to mind.
We would not even have been in this position if I hadn’t been so obsessed with my career that I forgot the basics of being sensible and safe. Here is the chain of incidents that landed us in this pickle.
We are both in our mid-30s and we live in Delhi. I am one of two co-founders of a very lucrative tech start-up, and my wife is also involved in it. After years of putting in long days and weekends at multinationals in our lucrative post-MBA jobs, we started feeling the entrepreneurial itch. We had no kids, so decided to take the risk. Quit our jobs and entered the start-up world with one of my classmates from b-school. This other co-founder was getting married at his ancestral home near Hazaribagh. We had gone to attend that wedding. I cursed him for having the wedding during the school Christmas break, because that meant everyone was traveling and tickets were very pricey and in high demand. When you are working at a start-up, you have to be careful about such expenses. Why didn’t he get married a month later I asked. He said that was obviously the only time his relatives and friends with kids could travel all the way to Hazaribagh. I cursed him some more, although I understood his compulsions.
So we flew into Patna. Took a private cab to his home. Had fun at his multi-day wedding. The very day of the wedding, I got a call from a friend at a Venture Capital firm. Our spunky start-up had caught the attention of a Silicon Valley investor who was visiting India. He thought there was real potential to make us a multi-hundred million or even a billion dollar company. And the investment he was thinking of was massive. The only problem was, he would be flying back to the US in a couple of days. So if one of us couldn’t meet him before that, we would have to fly all the way to California.
I spoke to my co-founder. He instantly said we should both fly out after the ceremony. I told him not to be an idiot. Big investments are fine, but a newlywed should be with his wife and on a honeymoon. I told him that I would take the meeting. As soon as the wedding was done, my wife and I were going to take the private cab to Patna. And that’s where we got the first piece of bad news through SMS. The flight was cancelled. I called the airline. In fact all flights out of Patna were cancelled or postponed due to fog. They did not expect the fog to lift for at least 24 hours. Which meant I would not be able to get back to Delhi in time for meeting the investor. I called other airports nearby, asked others around me for advice. And the most optimum plan was formed.
The only flights available for the next morning were out of Lucknow. So the plan was to take a private cab to Lucknow. And from there take a 1 PM flight back to Delhi. So we set off. We were on the road for a couple of hours when the next unfortunate thing happened. Because of the fog, there had been a couple of accidents on the highway and traffic had slowed to a crawl. One of the cops we spoke to said the delay was such that it would be tough to reach Lucknow in time for the flight. So the driver suggested taking backroads through the countryside. He assured us that he knew the area well and would get us past the accident soon.
So we set off through the back-roads. That is when I should have started thinking about just postponing the meeting. So what if we had to go to California? It would be a few lakhs more. Hardly anything when you look at the total investment potential of so many million dollars. But start-up guys will understand how we like to pinch pennies. And so we were traveling those back-roads.
“This looks so…shady and weird.” Niyati said to me in the cab.
“Yes it does. But it will be over soon.”
We were both privileged upper middle class kids born and raised in the rich confines of New Delhi. Rural cow belt areas were something we had never been exposed to. In the dark, they seemed even scarier. The fog didn’t make things any better.
A little while later, the driver said he would like to make a stop at a dhaba for some food and tea. He promised it would be just for 20 minutes. We didn’t want our driver to nod off while driving, so agreed. And soon the car pulled up into a nearly deserted dhaba. The driver went off to have food and tea on his own while Niyati and I sat on a separate table munching on some snacks.
“This almost seems like a foreign third world country.” Niyati said as she ate the pakoras.
“I’ve got news for you, honey. India IS a third world country.” I said.
“Haha, yes, I know, but still it is…”
There was a loud deafening noise. We got up, as did the waiter and the dhaba owner and our driver. We rushed out of the dhaba through the fog. The cab was partially crushed, and a truck was speeding away.
“BHENCHODDDD!!” the driver yelled, and crying, ran to the remains of his car.
It was obvious what had happened. In the fog, a truck had veered off the road and rammed against the car. And then driven off. There was no way the car could be driven any more. For all purposes, we were stuck in that nondescript dhaba in the middle of nowhere in Bihar. The driver looked so distraught that I didn’t have the heart to ask him if he could call his boss to send us another cab. I instead spoke to the dhaba owner.
“Lucknow by noon? That far? I don’t know saab. This is not a big city so I am not sure we can find you another taxi. There is a small sarai nearby. It is safe and trustworthy. My suggestion is, stay there till the fog clears. And they will arrange something.”
“No no, I absolutely have to reach Lucknow by noon.”
“There is a bus that comes by this time. Not a state transport bus or anything. A private bus going to Benares.”
“Oh great…what time does it come?”
“It will be here soon. But saab…you…and your wife…I don’t know if it will be right. This is not some luxury AC imported type bus. It will be very bumpy and cold and…”
At this point, in hindsight, I should have listened to what he said. But instead, I said,
“That’s fine. It will be overnight anyway, right? No problem.”
I was so eager to make that meeting.
So a little while later, I gave our cab driver a couple of thousand rupees for his trouble. And the bus arrived.
The bus was indeed very ramshackle and not the sort of transport we were used to. It was easily a few decades old and was very basic. The seats were very flat and made of rexine, not the cushy reclining seats we were used to. But I was too focused on that investor meeting. So I decided that we should get on it. I paid the driver what was a surprisingly low fare by our standards. And we took our luggage out of the remains of cab and got on the bus.
“This is…interesting.” Niyati said as we got on. I could sense a little uncertainty in her voice.
“That it is.” I agreed but nudge her forward.
A few passengers had gotten off at the dhaba to use the bathroom or get some food. The others were mostly fast asleep as it was close to midnight. The bus was less than half full, with most passengers sitting in the front to avoid the big jolts you get at the back of such old buses. And the passengers were almost all male, with the exception of two old ladies.
As we walked slowly past the aisle, a few passengers woke up. Some men checked out my gorgeous wife, but furtively. I was used to it so didn’t think much of it. She is a conventionally good-looking, in fact hot woman with a petite frame but big boobs. She was wearing a simple white t-shirt that accentuated her bosom even with the cardigan on top, and sweatpants for comfort so she could sleep in the car. Soon we passed by the big bearded thug and as I said earlier, he was the only one to ogle her shamelessly. He had the body language and expression of a bully so I felt a little disconcerted.
“How about here?” Niyati said stopping at a seat a couple of rows behind him.
“No, keep going.” I said in English.
“But the farther back we go, the bumpier it will get.” she said.
“Trust me, keep going.” I solemnly said.
Another mistake? If we had been seated there, I could have just put the bags above us and never had to leave her side. And maybe, just maybe, so close to other passengers, he would not have tried what he did. There is no way to know.
I led her almost all the way to the back.
“Right here.” I said.
“But there is no shelf for our bags.” Niyati said.
“I’ll put them in the front. We’ll be asleep the whole way anyway.”
I put our bags in the front while we settled in. The bus got going. And soon we were sleepy, although Niyati complained about it being chilly even with her cardigan on.
That entire sequence of events played out in my mind as I sat in the dark bus. I wondered if all the obstacles had been a sign from God to just abandon my efforts to reach Delhi for the meeting. If I had just mad a different decision at any of the stages – after the flight cancellation, after the highway traffic, after the accident, or even after getting into the bus and seeing that dangerous looking bully, things would have turned out differently. But they didn’t. And here we were.
My classy innocent gorgeous wife was in the grip of a boorish thug. And the motions under the blanket were getting really hectic. I couldn’t imagine what was happening under there. What ignominies she was being put through. For a while, I tried not to look. But then I just had to.
Niyati’s face was pressed against the window and Ustaad’s bearded face was gently kissing it. Soon the blanket fell off with all the motion. And I felt like the knife being held against my stomach was plunged into my heart as I saw even in the darkness that his big hairy hands were mauling her tits over the t-shirt. Tears were still rolling down her cheeks, although obeying his command, she had kept her noises to a minimum.
While her tears bothered me in one way, they seemed to bother Ustaad in a different way. He reached for the gun, picked it up, and pointed it in my direction. Then he whispered to Niyati in a voice loud enough for me to hear.
“Now listen, darling. I can understand you crying a little. But it is getting too much now. Stop the waterworks or I will shoot your husband in the head.”
“Okay…okay.” she breathlessly said, wiping her eyes. Whatever of the tears was left, he licked off with his raspy tongue and softly chuckled.
“Good girl. You seem like an intelligent memsaab type. So let me say this very plainly. We are in a dark bus in the middle of the night, and you are at my mercy. I like you. I think you are hot. But I don’t want to hurt you. Nor hurt your husband here. Let me do what I want for a little while and I will leave you alone. But if you keep resisting and crying and whining all the time, I might lose my temper.”
He said that last bit with a scary edge to his voice. She opened her eyes wide, turned her face towards him and stared into his eyes.
“Do you understand?” he said.
“Yes.” she meekly said.
I felt so powerless and ashamed that I couldn’t do anything to stop this. And that my wife had to give in to such horrible demands from a common thug.
“Good. Now…take off your sweater.”
Niyati sighed and slipped off her cardigan. It dropped to the floor on top of the blanket.
Tugging at her t-shirt, he said,
“Pull it up!”
I had been watching and listening to all this with rage and shame building up inside me. Niyati looked at me sadly and then started pulling her t-shirt up until it was rolled up over her bra-covered boobs.
“Nice.” he said, fondling her tits and fingering her cleavage. “Open the bra.”
She reached back with her hands and unclasped it. He roughly pushed the bra cups up and started mauling her tits like they were ripe mangoes.
“Your nipples are nicely big and erect. You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” he whispered with a chuckle.
“It’s cold.” she flatly said as he licked her nipples one by one.
“You are right. It is cold. We could always pick up that blanket to cover you up and I could play with you under there. But then…your husband won’t get to see anything.”
He said that and then pointed at my crotch.
“Clearly your husband is enjoying this.” he said and cackled. Raju next to me also laughed a little.
My first reaction was, what nonsense. But then I realized that he was right. Without meaning to or wanting to, I had developed a hard erection even in this harrowing situation. My body or subconscious mind or whatever was aroused at the sight of this burly thug attacking my wife’s exposed tits in the dark bus hurtling through the countryside. What the hell?
I was distraught. I looked at my crotch. And then I looked at Niyati. She had seen my obvious erection. And there was a hurt expression on her face.
“Can you imagine how angry, humiliated, and hurt I felt when I saw that?” Niyati thundered angrily.
It was a while after the incident when we finally felt ready to talk about it honestly.
“Here I am, in the control of a lunatic thug in a bus in the middle of nowhere.” she continued yelling. “I am being forced to do unspeakable things. He is having his way with me. And my husband sitting there, instead of trying to figure out a way to end it, is turned on by it?”
#rich #husband #wife #encounter #unsavory #characters