Monday, July 16, 2007

The Platform

On the platform the hiss of steel,
Is like hiss of snake; the clang of wheels,
It’s the 8.30 a.m. local arriving,
And, the 8.31 a.m. local departing.

Travelers, their faces expectant,
Thoughts of home and contentment,
Faces staring at the far horizon,
For trains to arrive to their destination.

The announcer’s trained voice,
Impersonal in its insouciance,
There are voices humming,
Insistent shouts and hurried running.

Tired-, haggard-looking men,
And sweet-, spent-looking women,
They walk, shuffle legs, and shift,
Churning; regimented mass of three shifts.

The bhel-puri is tangy and sweet,
Mixed with the vendor’s own sweat,
Eat we must, spit, and drink,
Of civic sense, we must not think.

Births, this platform has seen,
Deaths, when the lights turn green,
As bogeys trundle in in the night,
There are many a curse and a fight.

There are aimless people here,
Embarking, disembarking to nowhere,
The weak lights cast shadows everywhere,
The neon light’s glow is so bizarre.

Some faces tragic, some faces sad,
Some are bored, some are mad,
Some long to rest their weary heads,
On the soft comfort of their beds.

The platform is now empty,
And, now, full of girls pretty,
Their talk and walk fills one with hope,
But, age has caught up, you dope.

The stoic platform in the early dawn,
Look, how it reposes in the sunny morn,
It bakes in the relentless heat of noon,
And, at night it sleeps in the glow of moon.


I work very close to a railway station, in fact, I can stare right into a platform from my office. So, I have been working on this poem and hope it works for you.

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