An Indian Railway Station
The banshee shriek
of arriving trains,
The chug- chug sound
of departing ones,
The commotion and hullabaloo
of swelling crowds,
of incessantly falling footsteps,
The rising haggle
of blue clad porters,
The screech of trolleys
across tiled floors,
The hurried departure and goodbyes
of those heading for the sleeper coaches,
The thud of falling boots
of cops in khaki uniforms,
The cries of children
jolted out from sleep,
The engine’s grate,
The hiss and rush;
A jumbled medley of scenes
and raucous sounds
A railway station never is still
Always thronged by people,
it is the haven for a floating population
not only of daily commuters
and long distance travellers,
but of people who do not have
a roof over their heads.
As the evening train
departs with a long whistle,
the crowd vanishes
making one wonder
where the exodus of people
have disappeared in seconds!
The din subsides.
The rush narrows.
As the light dims,
wayfarers who have no shelters
come and occupy the empty corners
They lay down their tired torsos
on soiled sheets spread on the floor
and soon wafted into sleep
and glide into a world of oblivion
but broken by disturbing dreams
and the bite of swarming mosquitoes.
As the daytime business is closed down,
the vendors of fruits and snacks,
of plastic baubles and stuffed toys,
wind their way homewards.
Then the night business commences,
in the dark pockets around the station!
A woman in heavy makeup,
and heady perfume
lands unseen from somewhere
as driftwood on a lonely beach
and waits here, at the appointed rendezvous
for her prospective customer
The railway station thus
plays host to all
receiving and seeing off thousands
set to locations different
and missions varied!
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