Sunday, October 9, 2011

on a train

Sick sweet scent of fake perfumes
Talc and sweat, mingled breath
Bustle, noise and opinions voiced.
Incoherence and the occasional snacks
Chai Chai, Coffee, Samosa, Vada
Alighting departing faces and suitcases
Hawkers, beggars, haggle over coolie baada
Beyond the cattle grazing, crops ripening, unheard children waving
Far away clouds, thatched huts all chug chugging with the train

Unfilled, empty, untaken,  a seat just got taken.
The foreground sprinted away to be the oblivion
An unknown face, unheard voice
Scooters, rickshaws, cattle at a level crossing
Hello… Books we read, songs we sang
Illusions of familiarity were none exists
Come hither lines revealingly concealed, exchanged
Fated getaway or was it just the Indian railways?

Deities of common trivia became alleged religion
What-really-matters alighted at the last station
And the less it mattered the less it matters
Strumming notes for the orgiastic dance
A roach unhurried through the floor
Behind a biriyani scented curtain a button came undone
Atop the hard upper berth, creation got played in mute
Omelet, Cutlet, Biscuit, Femina
TT, Bengali babble, bawling child, snoring uncle
Satiated and spent, two hearts thump thumping with the train

Spiraling languid aftermath, hushed psychedelic white lights
Take a bow, he says, the dance is done
Applause fades, descend from the limelight
Fervor and passion the intensity dampens
Whence it all sprang forth, never to be traced.
Naught sustains of the blaze brazen
And my runaway train tracking a way home
Breakfast madam? sir? 
Thirty Rupees.

Bogie world, fleeting, departing, alighting
Billows and my deep sigh spewed out of the train
A knowing gnawing silence in the soul
The span to the station is all that holds
Then we drift like those never met
All that remains is the tracks
We are just strangers on the train
Hawkers, beggars, cops and beepers
Gawkers and refreshement stalls

A passing train hoot...
A track , A face, A restrained shudder 
A biriani curtained berth,
All in memory’s labyrinth forever stashed

Now flood my senses
Uncalled a solitaire tear trickles to commemorate
Chai Chai, Coffee, Samosa, Vada

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