Long, long ago there was a kingdom. And like it happens in all kingdoms, there was a king. Hence the name.
There was also a queen. There were also some very wise ministers, clad in brightly coloured turbans. There were also some valiant generals wielding arrogant moustaches and whiskers. There was a competent army and a perpetually overflowing treasury. The river never dried out. The farms always yielded the ripest of crops. The horses were vigorous, the elephants grotesque, the cattle fertile.
In short, the kingdom was preposterously prosperous and the men were outrageously happy. They always laughed, drank ale and made merry.
Not too far from the palace (but not too close either) lived a man. He was so blatantly ordinary-looking that you'd struggle to remember his face even if you saw it a thousand times. He always wore one of those checkered shirts that one refers to as bush-shirts; and ordinary trousers. His shoes were not always polished, his hair was salt-and-pepper, he wore horn-rimmed glasses and he had an clean yet unorganised look to his face.
He was about fifty.
He had a family.
He had a wife who always wore nice clothes, talked to people and laughed loudly and danced at parties. She was very proud of her life: comfortable, stylish and social.
He had a son who came out with flying colours in his MBA and managed to acquire a substantial salary. He was very proud of his life: smart, suave and sleek.
He also had an attractive daughter who was a good student, sang well and was engaged to one of the most eligible bachelors of the land. She was very proud of her life too: full of dreams of all sorts.
He also had a job.
It was a job that paid well. It was not something that he enjoyed doing a lot, but it indeed came with a lot of perks. Every morning he went to his job in bush-shirts and trousers and earned his money in a bored, ordinary sort of way. In fact, he was so ordinary that he often turned up for work in a safari suit!
He also had his friends. Three of them.
They met for dinner every weekend. They played bridge, discussed politics, drank whisky and ate tandoori chicken, then a light dinner. Their families often went on holiday packages and had their photographs taken in front of glamorous tourist spots using the latest SLR cameras.
All was well.
Then suddenly, one day, the ordinary man saw an ordinary, dilapidated bus. It was a bus so old that even the route number and the destination were not legible, and it seemed that it could fall off any moment.
The ordinary man did a strange thing. He took out his cellphone from his pocket, gently placed it on the pavement and took the bus. And never came back.
Just like that.