Sunday, March 22, 2009

Route #6784 - slow rolling wheels

Wannabe poet frenzy, frazzled, frantic
Philip Roth tucked in the haversack
Bag of fruits and nuts with some pennies
Worn out clothes, dirtly linen tucked
I carefully handled the crushed up ticket
For a while capturing my emotions that ran helter skelter
I gobbled them up hurriedly, burped a big burp
While the whirring of the bus handed to me
Envelopes two fold
One the dejection of leaving the green pastures asleep
Two the joy of moving towards land of the living
Path strewn with thorns, pavements dotted with unclean
under nourished pan handlers

A short, blind man takes the wheels
Ignites the engine, the asthmatic cough
Gasping for breath, spewing fumes, muted sound
Standing adamant and statue still.

Walks in a man, far away from sleep
Clutching a small bag, rummaged out of Mohenjedaro ruins
Mid month drought, I suppose, that made him weary
Too far from pay day and yet too close for the next
Stuck in between, his motivation to work co joined with the unwillingness of the bus to move

My neighbor trekked in with a bag
The flaming sun was his clock, I reckon
No bags no paraphernalia et al
His pockets display cleanly folded pieces of paper
A pouch of tobacco his companion
As he rolled a small ball and tucked it in his mouth
The brown scorpion juice sunk in
His body assimilated the nicotine
No smoke, no trace, no smell and no fuzz
He smiled a big smile as his stained half broken teeth
Orchestrated in unison the genuineness of his heart

And then a woman with his son
His fingers a gory sight from acid burns
And the mother whose swollen legs with wounds unhealed
Her face at intervals displayed the agony of pain
While her son hardly spoke to her and sat dead pan
The eyes of the woman kept surveying for ears that can listen, and mouths that can speak
Her eyes were moist bearing the pain but she was in good cheer
Joy surpassing that of Dolly Paton and Madhubala in their hey days.

I was far from the world of frenzy, that sported jewels on wrists for time keeping
While a few voices raised feeble protests about the lack of movement
The others had nothing to look forward to
The destination and the starting point made no difference to them
Their foot had trod the same ground
So the green grass or the brown arid ground
Held no promise of joy, they were but the same
For their delight jumped as just born calfs from inside them
As they interacted by sight and sound with those around
I was privileged to be among these real people, 21 wonderful hours
Travelling with them, sharing with them, looking at them, listening to them
It made me feel wanted. It made me hate time.
While my back hurts
My heart rejoices.

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