Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Meandering Road

The Meandering Road

There is this beautiful road
A broken down, beaten down road
A road so narrow that two oxcarts
Or two cars cannot pass it together.
When two cars approach each other
From opposite sides, it’s like a friendly
Battle of wits, of who would back off
At least a hundred meters to give way
So the other could pass you in triumph
There are potholes big enough to
Swallow a wheel ,
A road where you have to remember
When to take the car gently over
Huge gaping holes,
Where exactly to avoid a speed breaker
Carelessly erected by a villager.
Yet, a road so beautiful,
That none can equal its charm
Up gentle hills, down the dales
And then up again in its gentle pride
Crossing a dry stream here
And an angry river in rains.
Near the river,
By the side of the road,
Is the burning ghat
I see a tiny pyre
Peasants in white
Their women in black
Wrap arounds
With colourful backless blouses
With flowing dupattas
Covering their heads
They all sit around the pyre
Looking at that fire
Which is consuming a loved one
I always wonder,
Why always such a small pyre
Do only their young ones die
Or only the old shrunken ones die
These peasants are nice and sturdy
Maybe they live long and
Die only when shrunken and old.
I pass the pyre in thoughts deep
Till the road meanders again
It passes through coconut groves
Then come in sight the sugarcane fields
Bananas grow on one side
And peanuts on the other.
Millet and castor and fields of wheat
As far as my eyes can see
With greenery all around
And a road that can never be straight
It snakes through turning left or right
Rubbing its shoulders with acacia trees
There are lovely trees with firy flowers
Ah, the moon has come out
And I watch it as I go
It accompanies me like a friend
All through the meandering road
Now on my left and now on my right
From behind the clouds
It plays hide and seek
Sometimes I see a fox or two
Many a times a majestic
Leopard too can be seen
The cows and buffalos are returning home
Make room for them
For they have the first right of way
Here comes a lone shepherd
With his crook in hand
Minding his goats and sheep
They all have patience
No one is in a rush
Neither me nor the shepherd
There comes a bullock cart
Laden with sugarcane
Now we just cannot pass
For minutes we reverse the car
Till the cart passes us by.
Ah , here we are truly stuck
A tractor with a harvester in tow
All we can do now is to bow
We back again and with
Lots of maneuvers let it pass
Now I see the stone houses
My destination is not far
I see the pond on my right
With lotuses shining bright
My home is near
I say good bye to my
Meandering road with a sigh
I promise, I will come again
Dear road you had better remain.
Mired Mirage
Ghughuti Basuti
Post script : Alas, my meandering road has been almost fully washed away in this years heavy rains.
Now I can no longer go on my beautiful road.
Mired Mirage

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


More destruction

Rains play havoc with Saurashtra

Rains have been battering our area almost non stop for the last three days. We were forced to close the school , our buses got stranded and thankfully the passengers found refuge atop a goods laden truck and spent more than twelve hours in the lashing rain. The village houses have been inundated with the rain waters. We are trying to provide them relief to the best of our ability. Here are some pictures of the sorry state the roads have been reduced to.