Written in June 2008. Followed by a poem written in December 2013.
Every morning is a new night. Every morning the struggle begins. For they are the condemned – the lesser of god’s children.
In this incarnation, it’s no fault of theirs. But who knows how the karma bank works?
Every morning, after a bath as quick as a blink, and a breakfast as frugal as an ejaculate, these lesser, yet envied from afar, men and women go about doing what they are best at. Or what they got to do out of no choice. But their destinations vary and a journey has to be undertaken. This journey is where they are tested the most. Not only are the weak weeded out, they are mercilessly banished. All they had to do was say yes to the journey and then survive it.
This journey is none like the ones we hear in lores and legends. This journey is different. It happens everyday, for one. It happens everyday, twice, for second.
And it is no child’s task. Heck no! It’s no man’s task either. You have to be much more than just a man to survive it. Or maybe less.
Another peculiarity about the journey is that you can’t just go about it by yourself. One of the most important elements is you need to take up someone else’s place. You have to dethrone someone in order to win. Even if your objective doesn’t need you to win over others.
It happens in more than one stages too. Stage one requires one to get out of the house and onto the land. From here you catch a feeder ship to get into the current. The current is what carries you to your destination or your final shuttle. Getting to the feeder ship is a task by itself. Walking for what seems like miles in the scorching sun, the freezing wrap of winter or the wet muckiness of the rains, you reach the feeder ship port. There are other warriors waiting there. They watch you with interest and disdain when you arrive. Eying you from head to toe, they try to intimidate you with their wrathful stares. You defiantly stare back. While this war with stares and glares is happening, you and everyone else hears a distant roar that grows louder each moment.. On the horizon, you can see a cloud of smoke. Everyone readies for the arrival of the feeder ship…
Tension mounts as bags are clasped harder than an orgasmic nubile girl clasps the bedsheet. Eyes are squinted and the foot adjusts itself inside the shoe, resting on the toes, ready to run, jump, kick… The air is balmy, with a disgust of the curse, more than anything else.
At last the feeder ship arrives. Before it has even chance to harbour, people leave port as if the land is poisoned. Some get in, some stay hanging at the porthole. Some sadly never make it. But not one soul waits behind to tend to them or even empathize. Some get in. For them this day, shall not end here for. A good start is always a good omen. And a good omen is the most worthless thing in this land.
The feeder ship moves swiftly for sometime. No one is comfortable. No sir. Not at all. But then comfort is a luxury for rarer times. Suddenly the feeder ship stops. None are too unaccustomed to care. No one even cares to ask their neighbor why, or even stare out of the window. Maybe it’s a crushed boat. If it is, the people in the feeder boat will just curse their luck, for they will have to be inside this hell for some more time. And time is something, every one has on wrist, but none has on hand.
Stopping like this more often than not, the feeder nonetheless reaches the current somewhere near the appointed time. As people get down on the created port near the current, they heave a sigh of despair even as they get ready to get into the current.
The current was created both as a curse and a respite. It was actually created as a respite. But man with his infinite amount of resourcefulness, managed to turn the boon over on its head. The current is an extremely long, serpentine device which enables the lesser of god’s children to undertake their journeys. Only problem with it is, it makes the feeder ship look like Eden.
Getting ready to get into the current is describable in no words. It takes guts, nothing else. And it takes guts that are ready to get churned. As people get onto the man created port, they can see the ones already in the current. These onboard people evoke extremely mixed reactions. Envy, for they are already on. Relief, for they are not you.
After undergoing a battle with others, at least three times fiercer than undergone to get into the feeder ship, the lucky or the more skilled ones get into the current. Inside the current is no romance novel setting. You are dumped with those who share the same genitals as you do and these genitals brush against yours and other anatomy. It’s not pleasant and there are so many of the cursed ones, you cant even move. The collective body heat is so much, it would make the Queen sweat and smell dirty. The current is no man’s land and no man wants to be in it. Condemned is not an adjective these souls took on by choice.
Having borne the current, the final shuttle with the intensity of the feeder ships seems like a rose garden. Having gotten down on another man port from the current, the final shuttle is taken with much more ease.
Then after a day’s work worth every man’s salt, the journey back home begins. They call it life in Mumbai. And it is lived every single day
The Travel Poem
Walk-walk, Run-run, Catch a bus, get a Rick;
Bustle in the busy local, get in Quick Quick!
Hands up, bag down, feet hanging in the air,
Fourth seat, get it NOW, stare a butt in the face.
Sit-sit, Squirm-squirm, Shift seat, do it now!
Quarrel in the ladies dabba, Boom Boom Pow Pow!
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