Friday, October 16, 2009

Faces on the Underground

On the Underground no one speaks.

No one talks to their neighbour
or looks over the shoulder of the nice lawyer lady
in an attempt to read her paper.
There are no women sitting by windows,
chatting, cutting vegetables
or discussing Salman's moves
in the latest Bollywood blockbuster.
There are no men playing cards perched on briefcases,
as they furiously debate the fate of the stock market.

There are no ladoos distributed
for the birth of a daughter's son
or the 90 percent score of a cousin's exam result;
nor any marzipan strawberries to celebrate Christmas.

Instead,
there are people on the Underground
trying hard to read the London Lite
while plugged in to their selfish melodies,
white earphone wires disappearing into black coats
or black bags or black pockets in black pants.

There are faces that you meet-
brown faces on the Underground:
eyes looking for recognition,
wondering if you're a tourist
or a commuter,
trying to figure out which part of the subcontinent you come from
and if you might
just
happen
to speak the same language.
There are glances on the Underground:
looks that say they've seen you,
and they know how you feel,
as you try your hardest to navigate a new city
from the inside out,
within this bubble you need for yourself
and with nothing
and no one without.

5 comments:

gunjan said...

I really liked this one!

Iniyaazh - இனியாழ் said...

Nice one! Your poems are vivid and clear, yet they make me think - to decipher every line and come up with various interpretations of what your words could convey. Nice work.. keep writing!

Raman said...

Good one Captured the reality well Keep it up....

Dad

unreuly said...

wow. this one struck something in a fellow brown face, on a wholly other continent. la même chose, toujours, non?!

Ruchita said...

@unreuly...oui...c'est toujours la meme chose. la meme chose partout

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