In a Bangalore bus

a poem by Subramanian K S

In a Bangalore bus sullen faces
appear trapped in a maze:
Sun’s rays, damp in December,
tingle indolence.

Sights flit past – a crumpled
cement workshop, the aroma from
Klasgow Biscuits, minarets-crested
mosques abutting luminous temples;
lurching on a bumpy, dusty track,
festival music eggs the bus on.

A snaking causeway held my eye!
“MRTS forking its way”, said a

“Mysore in one-and-half hours”

Its forked tongue, set to decimate
a mighty meadow of palm trees,
unspoiled as yet by the odorous
creek; “All antiques to make way
for the Day the eye will see,
but not recognise.”

“Growth’s bugle needs no ears”, he said.

Grey fumes echo the earth’s groan.
Dug-up fields, impaled by jutting
beams, are clothed in brown cement
haze; Dhoti-clad, bare-chested
coolies mutter a cocktail of Tamil
and Oriya; From the dry, scorched
Kalinga they have journeyed a long
way to seek roots.

Uprooted from home,
living in a strange house.
A vale of memories snuffed out
in a tenuous silhouette; the
drift as impenetrable as the
cement cloud; Birds hover high
against the wind for a perch
in a leafless world.

Skills, seeking an aesthetic
haven, flounder on the ridge.