Friday, 2 November 2007

Into Dust

A Kabaddiwalla’s shack marks the entrance to a dirt road into oblivion. His children run naked around a burnt out Godrej fridge, empty cardboard boxes, stacks of old newspapers. At night you can see the whole family snuggling beneath a thin blanket under the sparkling sky. But no one would dare tread this path in the dark.

The best time to take a leisure trip down this lesser known tributary of Borewell Road is at sunset. The magnificent beauty of the orange sky is the only thing that can hypnotize you away from the stench. Plastic bags strewn by ‘civilized’ BPO workers contribute to the wasteland on either side.

A few steps later, on the left the grass that swallows the garbage erupts into tin tents sheltering migratory workers. Members of this community would gladly accept leftovers from the housewarming ceremony conducted across the road. Here, the village plumber has converted his one room space to a multi-storey money-making machine.

Further down the same side of the road you would find the greedy ration lady selling government provisions at outrageous rates. Ignore the public toilet on your right as you squeeze through an unruly Lantana bush where snakes hide.

This minor hardship is worth the wide expanse of open field encountered on the other side. Stretch your arms as you kick up the dust where neighbourhood cricket champions search for a sixer-ed ball.

But the only ball you should be focusing on is the fiery globe sinking behind the once thriving eucalyptus grove. Temple bells ring in the distance. The shrine of Kali is only visible to the familiar eye.

Your treacherous journey down one of the last dirt roads of the now hi-tech, Coffee-Day loving Whitefield draws to a close. The heavens darken above you as my village remains but a star in the night sky of your mind.

1 comment:

  1. sigh... the ending is beautiful... hehe! the reasons being obvious!