Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Driver

He woke up as he always did in the morning
Misty and cold yet for him waking
And boiling some water in the saucepan
Bought in the Sunday Haat by his wife from a man
Known to be a philanderer who drank too much,
For tea and some to bathe was no longer a problem as such.
For years, though, he didn’t remember how many exactly
He had been doing the same day after day and at precisely
Seven as the wall clock in the right wall of the only room
In the house showed with a somewhat occult doom,
He took out the car parked on the verandah he and his
Family shared with three other families the men of which were neither his
Friends nor foes as for either he didn’t have time to waste
Though he knew one of them, the oldest, was not half as chaste
As his (and the others’ too he believed) wife thought him to be
For once, he had seen her with a local lady having tea
And smoking at a place and time he had no business to be.

Driving up the slope thinking who for the day were his passengers gonna be;
(Not that he cared; he had seen all types)
The ones from the big city who’d come for the hypes
That had been built up by the government of late about
Smaller towns and even smaller villages a small way away though doubt
All of them would always about the accuracy of all the superlatives
About the places being wettest to cleanest and the others- natives
From the nearest city in the plains to simply escape the heat
Or just to after a long week’s work cool their feet,
He took out with his left hand from his grey
Trousers’ pocket the paper, which would say
Where his passengers for the day were to be picked up
From and before which he could have his second cup
Of tea and buy his day’s stock of cigarettes and kwai
And brace himself for the day on a mental high
As the first day he had driven a car and instantly
Decided that this was what he would do incessantly
Till the day he could hold a steering and press a clutch.
And in his career of two decades (at least), from a dopy Dutch
To a motor phobic film actress whose name he always forgot
He had driven in a career, unscathed so far ,the whole lot.
But today is a new day and the lake is placid
And the horizon is, for a change, vivid.

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