A ride on the rickety auto thru’ potholes and puddles
From over bridges and hoardings,
Women smile in namaskar and gold, selling sarees
The pigeons and crows do their business
Reminding me that we (read I) should also, do my karma
The little sacks of burden and the wobbly walk to school
The hot tiffins and the neon bright water bottles,
The neatly oiled hair infested with lice,
The kohl rimmed eyes and the flower adorned plait,
Such is one slice of life that I saw.
Either you or me,
Says the driver and the chap crossing the road
The resentful man shouts, “Phat!”
With a matchstick for a toothpick,
The auto driver rubbishes him off like dirt!
The buses honk, the cars cram.
The bikes jerk and the scooters hoot.
The kids wail and the mothers yap,
The fathers are grumpy and the servants crib,
The air smells foul and the jasmine makes it worse.
Over-ripe tomato carts and pushy vendors
Fish and fowl, live harmoniously with fruits and nuts
The lemons and the melons smile in their seasonal importance
Like the mangoes who suffer from a major superiority complex
Food is in plenty, you just need to know what to eat and when.
Enter the maze-
People speak in a weird jargon,
Trying to outwit each other,
Waiting for their moment,
You are either in or out.
Famished thoughts and fanned hunger,
Fans on in an AC room,
Papers rattle as much as the packets-
Mobiles ring, hostile looks
“How was it? “ “It’s ok, they smiled and laughed…”
Saturation point, patience running out
Two parathas and canteen chatter
Dog staring at you and hoping,
Like you hoping in a Micawberesque manner
That something good will happen.
End of the day, nothing happens
All sound and fury end in a whimper.
You don’t even get your five minutes of fame.
Came, showed and shoved, we are running out of time,
Another way of shielding inefficiency.
The long way home, home seemed so far.
You just long for that Momma special warm hot beverage,
You just want to hit the sack, you just want to bury your head somewhere
You just don’t want to answer any questions, calls or whatever.
Animated voices in the car, I drizzle off…