Monday, August 1, 2016




A spire of a church loomed through the mist
As the refugees trudged on with their meagre belongings
Utensils, rugs, bundles of clothes and sundry other things
Eyes fixed on the spire in the distance.

Had they reached?
Had they? The sky was still gray.
“Pray, have we reached?
Son, why don’t you say something, have we reached?”
Asked the old man clutching on to his son’s elbow
Whose one hand clutched his toddler, whose speed was slow
Tears welled up in sky’s eyes at the old man’s plight.
Suddenly, the stately height of the church appeared spectral
Alas, the atmosphere suddenly became sepulchral.
The old man slumped under the tree
Untethered but free, free, at last, free!
Parched lips too tired to utter the words,
“Have we reached?”


The roads shone reflecting the glow of street lights
threading down in two golden festoons.
The moon had the air of a goofy stand-up comedian
lopsidedly it smiled and then quickly hid
behind a horde of clouds. Gray and ominous.
The rain stopped.
Maybe tomorrow it would come again?

Morning came, with pitter –patter of rain.
The bitter, the teeth-gritter, the fence-sitter, the web-knitter,
the hard- hitter all were swept by rain's refrain.
Patter-pitter! Pitter patter!

I could hear the water gurgling down drainpipes.
In a spurt of juvenile glee, ran I to the balcony.
The wind drove a stinging breeze into my face.
Trucks rattled past shooting a spray of mud.
Someone slipped on the road with a thud!
Another tittered.
Pitter patter! Patter pitter!
The rain- drenched cow stopped chewing the cud
watching the scene with bovine curiosity.
Was there a bud of a smile on the cow’s lips?
A phlegmatic man watched on, hands on wet hips.
The awning dripped,
Pitter patter! Patter pitter!
In the rainy dawn, the wind lashed on with withering scorn.
The clouds went into paroxysms of untrammeled glee
They rumbled and roared, and the rain poured.

The streets throbbed with rollicking humor gay
with a devil- may- care recklessness, the rain was at play!

In tattered clothes and grey hair, hunched by care
An octogenarian hobbles around
Wheezing out her tubercular lungs
Thriving on leftovers flung from high rise mansions
With the garbage and rats for company
Money she has none.

In days scorching and sunny
She carries with her an unmistakable stench of decay.
This woman in tattered clothes and dreadlocks, gray.
[Were the Rastafarians here?]

She washes and scrubs under a public tap
But the stench remains
Like a pesky refrain.
Not even the perfumes of Arabia will wash the stench away.

Cars rumble past, shining and sleek
As her dry eyes leak on her withered cheek.
Auto rickshaws sneak past rickety buses
Ignoring under- the- breath muttered curses.
Taxis halt tantalizingly near commuters
Looking down upon outdated scooters
Pedestrians negotiate dug-out roads
Under the contempt  of ostentatious billboards
She hunches on a bench, but cannot shake off the stench.
At night she sneaks into her hellhole
Leaning precariously against a termite –ridden wooden pole.

But the stench still clings to her with an incredible resilience
It refuses to go- this stench of societal apathy and indifference


No comments :

Post a Comment