Mumbai- Life at Local Train


The hustle bustle of traffic
The anxiety to catch the local at sharp 8.01am
A  second of delay will impact the entire schedule
The train rumbles on,
it is an overcrowded one –
not an unusual sight –
she stands in the space
reserved for women,
there’s hardly any room
to breathe.
a gush of wind
through the window
brings along smoke, dust
and other such components
of ‘city-air’.
She looks out to see
impressive malls,
Large glass façade offices
billboards advertise
latest discount offers

NSE and BSE stocks
In a black board with red and green lights
Where rich plays with money
Station and bus stop where
Kid plays with the life for a penny
A mother tying  her kid in her waist
in hope to feed the little kid
With a drop of honey
if someone has offered her a penny

The train halts with a jolt,
she steps down,
tries to make her way,
through the crowd
avoiding hawkers lunging at her
on every side,
eager to make sales;
the smell of
pakodas fills the air,
autos carrying five or six passengers
limp away, surreptitiously,
at the sight of khaki clad men.

Out of the blue,
an elbow knocks into her chest,
she turns to look at the lout –
lecherous eyes mock at her impotent fury –
she mouths standard abuses,
walks away as if unruffled.
For this was not the first instance,
“Won’t be the last either.”,
she thinks at the back of her mind,
her heart chooses not to agree though.

She moves on,
pushing, shoving, cursing
her way through
‘Battleground India’.


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