The modern steel chariots unloaded packs of them
On the paved street; A motley crowd of four generations
Unwound from their stuffed air-conditioned cars;
Flaunting their pelf, pride wealth, youth and mirth
The young and old marched in tandem
To catch the vast sea with its timeless roaring waves.
The distant sea appeared tranquil and calm,
The inviting beach soft and coarse;
The tireless vendors shouting aloud their wares and eats
Would not allow a tranquil march to the waves;
The four generation crowd tumbled, screamed and marched on
To meet the perennial call of the eternal waves;
With their hearts lightened and limbs lean as their conscience
The funny little crowd edged on and on.
The darkening skies revived the glorious stars
Dimming and twinkling in perfect rhythm,
Forever witnessing and forgetting man’s agony on man;
Yonder on the beach were crawling thousand vendors
Each peddling his wares to earn his day’s dream.
Miles and miles the impoverished vendor walked
Shouting aloud his wares for a heartless crowd.
Young wives with starry eyes held on to their husbands
As a gasping patient to the last whiff of oxygen.
Many a lover moved around in gay abandon
Thinking of a morrow that could never be theirs;
The well worn dimmed eyes could see the misty froths
Thinking of yesteryear’s loves, dreams and lost visions
That forever remained as a child’s lost balloons.
The tumultuous humanity met its mirthful match
Chasing in unrepentant ecstasy the retreating waves.
Away on the sea were a few lighted houses sailing past
To distant lands; Solemn and majestic, the silent ships
Appeared as shy maidens escaping from their quiet frenzy;
The massive ocean with its myriad creatures heaved and swayed
Revealing nothing except its peaks of cosmic wavelets;
Bare chested men with hairy flat breasts
Squealed in victorious cry each time the dissipated froth
Vanished from their powerful palms; Their strong bulky thighs
Monstrously held in soft caress the retreating waves.
The little master firmly ensconced on the child’s shoulders
Pulsating in the shrill breeze, shrieked in frightful delight;
The mother, father, brother, uncle, aunt, grandfather and all
Ran to meet the waves with laughter loud and screaming
In tuneless joy challenging the mysterious chant of breathless waves,
And dancing wildly on the retreating mystic designs of cosmic waves.
Some fell, some danced, some splashed, all shrieked
As the salty frothy spray smashed their bodies;
With hands entwined, skirts lifted up
Each heart danced in joy with each mystic rhythm.
Away stood the child guarding the childmaster,
Watching the Maruti generations in playful splendour;
Each roar and each laughter threw up a repressed smile
As tired hands firmly clasped the childmaster;
Far from the gentle retreating waves the child stood
Constantly afraid the childmaster’s shriek would invite disaster.
Far from the gentle retreating waves she stood
Straying in thoughts and wandering in gaze,
Clutching the childmaster in unmatched sparkling smile;
With a thundering heart the child watched all the games
Even as the childmaster grew frightened of distant waves;
With a frothy smile, the retreating waves beckoned her,
The whistling evening breeze in solemn embrace twitched her,
Dancing noisy waves and frothy white called her to dance;
With unkempt hair freely fluttering in the breeze,
The child yearned to caress the shifting sands;
Each time the child moved, the childmaster would shriek
Forcing the child to stay fixed as a gazing star;
There stood in stony silence the child with childmaster
Away from the thunderous laughter of her other masters.
The grey melancholic evening shifted in top gear to night,
The Maruti crowds returned home to a night of frenetic rest.
With the childmaster away cocooned in mother’s warmth,
The little child as the waxing lonely moon amidst twinkling stars
Roamed, wandered and danced around the splashing spray
Unmindful of the approaching sun
Heralding yet another destined day serving the childmaster.