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(October 22,1972 / Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)

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At the Bus Stop

Eight-thirty! .... still no sign of the bus -
The driver must be sipping his coffee
By some roadside dhaba, why should he care
If the passengers suffer? …… if I suffer?

A quarter-to-nine! Gosh… I wonder whether
That driver is still having his coffee there
Or is gossiping somewhere, maybe chewing paan -
Or is that dhaba owner a breasty woman?

Nine-fifteen! When shall now I reach office?
Have those drivers all called a sudden strike?
Lo! Gandhi taught them hartal and now
They are striking everyday - bless Democracy!
They will pilfer the diesel, then sell the tyres
And will strike now for more salaries!

Nine-thirty now! ….. Bless me Lord!
Is that bloody driver debauching somewhere?
Oh I know these drivers and those dhaba women -
Go debauch whole night, who stops you rascal? -
But you will debauch n-o-w at nine thirty! !

A quarter-to-ten! …..Oh my Lord!
Has that driver met with a crash or what!
Must be drunk with hooch, and dead asleep
Or maybe the helper was driving, who knows now
Anybody can get a license these days
By bribing the R.T.O. - the cursed lot!

It's ten! … Oh no, I'll take a taxi -
Taxi! …oye, ahoy! Taxi! Taxi! Taxi!
Hah…no, why should he listen
Cursed lot!
I'll walk to office ….!

Arrey, what! The bus has arrived!
Ah, at last! Oh, thank you dear driver -
Thanks Lord! I won't have to walk to office
Slow down, slow down! Do not hurry now, dear driver!
I think there must've been a traffic-jam somewhere -
The bloody city traffic these days! !

********
Note: -

Dhaba: - a roadside eatery for truck drivers
Paan: - betel leaf with lime and areca nuts chewed in India as a mouth stimulant
Hartal: - Call of strike to force the authorities to meet a demand
R.T.O.: - Road Transport Office

Submitted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 09, 2013


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Comments about this poem (Give Me That Promotion, Sir! by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan )

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  • Flash Bulb (3/20/2014 1:23:00 AM)

    That was fun!

    I love the cultural education too!

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (3/19/2014 5:21:00 PM)

    .......enjoyed this one much....an everyday occurrence somewhere for someone...love the touch of humour you added... made this one fun to read...

  • Patricia Grantham (11/1/2013 9:14:00 AM)

    Very very good Dr. Pradhan. This type of situation reminds me not about
    the bus stop but riding the subways in the large cities. They are sometimes
    slow, crowded, dirty and most times late. When you have to get to work on
    time it can be a horrible situation to be caught in. It is difficult to stay calm
    and patient. Definitely not for the weak minded. Another eye opener from you.
    Well said.

  • Chitrangdha K (10/9/2013 2:29:00 AM)

    you have managed to succintly put together the various thoughts that run amok one's mind while waiting for the bus.. i love the link ups created that could have been responsible for the possible delay and how u have succeeded in co-relating it to the myriad of emotions that a human mind is entangled in! !

    awesome imagination and profound linkage. kudos! ! |

  • Chitrangdha K (10/9/2013 2:27:00 AM)

    you have managed to succintly put together the various thoughts that run amok one's mind while waiting for the bus.. i love the link ups created that could have been responsible for the possible delay and how u succeeded in co-relating it to the myriad of emotions that a human mind is entangled in.! !

    awesome imaginations and profound linkages. kudos! ! |

  • Prem Surya Kumar (8/21/2013 11:38:00 AM)

    What a original poem. Never read anything like this. Perfectively depicts the state of mind of passengers at a bus stop. I give 10 out of 10.

  • Aswath Raman (8/17/2013 6:22:00 AM)

    This is a good write sir, you have beautifully portrayed the tensions that can spur in the mind of a commuter. I felt this also as a mockery towards the general public who are fickle minded in having a stand. Bravo!

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