Vignettes from a Car Ride

1 minute read

Tearing apart the lull

Of summer routines,

My mother and I,

Scuttle towards the car,

With hopes of a respite

From recollecting

The after taste of

Luscious, honeyed mangoes.

She the mellifluous driver,

I, the furtive companion,

Trudge along in reverse,

No destination in sight,

While the sun blares on,

Playing broken records

Of heat and dust

On the parched windshield.

Vexed, I open my copy

Of Twilight in Delhi,

Its words a frosty balm

For the searing summer,

As my mother

Switches on the radio.

Kishore Kumar barges in,

His voice slyly crooning

Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhagi Si,

Quietly melting 

The discordant noise

Of sweltering silence.

His baritone lingers on,

Suturing the unpaved paths,

Till an ineluctable bump

Sends us tumbling backwards

Through the cyclone of time.


Suddenly I am five,

Tardy for my bus

On the first day

After summer vacations.

My mother swiftly

Races the car,

Cursing the crisscrossed hands

Of a mismatched clock,

While I scamper

Towards the hefty bonnet.

Bored of the distance,

I dreamily hunt

For slices of me

In dark corners,

Mourning the loss

Of another home 

I physically outgrow of.

Gradually, I settle down

In the crevices

Of that familiar trunk,

My hands twisted,

My legs warped,

My smile as bright

As the midday sun,

While my mother speeds

Towards the amber dawn,

The school still miles away.

Through the misty glass

I see the smudge,

Of a crescent moon

Unwilling to disappear

Despite the receding darkness.

Only then do I realise

That every once in a while,

 The fading night

Cannot help smiling back.

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