Skip to main content

Upgrade

I bought myself
an upgrade today.
I had a ticket
- Bengaluru to Mumbai -
railway sleeper class.
Berth no. 5,
in a compartment
shared with some
students returning home,
and sundry others.
Whom I considered
below my class.
As a minister
recently put it,
"cattle-class".

I'm well-educated,
and have a well-paying job.
I'm certainly above
the great numbers of
people,
whom we call the 'masses'.
Cattle-class is for them.

I walked over to the
A/C 3-tier coach,
and there
begged the TTE
to give me an upgrade.
He did.

Rs. 635/- I paid,
for an upper berth.
The money got me
air-conditioning,
and some bed-linen.
What I hoped it
was buying me,
was the company of
refined people
who read Goethe and Aurobindo,
and listen to Aerosmith.

What I got,
was a group of twelve
returning from Puttaparthi
- who saw nothing amiss
in keeping everyone awake
all night with their
loud chattering,
and littering the floor
with the remains of their lunch.

I could not fight them -
they had paid for their tickets
as I had for mine.

Comments

Banno said…
You forget to mention the stains on the bed linen and the cockroaches that come for free. :-)

Popular posts from this blog

She's complicated

She's complicated. She'll charm you with charts, statistics and that corporate smile. But look into those eyes, they're fiercely bohemian. She's complicated. Her chatterings seem to resonate with happy sounds, but listen with the other ear, to an unhidden lament. She's complicated. Her silences agonise, her voice echoes in her absence. And yet there is a mild dread as her name flashes on the ringing phone. She's complicated. Sometimes she's a poetess, shallow, romantic, trying to hide a sardonic, world-weary wit. She's complicated. She could be a spiteful Fury, wrath unabated, but that's just to hide the lamb-hugging girl within. She's complicated. She's an enchantress, a fool, a tyrant, a nurse, an imp, a priestess, but she's generally a good friend. She's complicated. Published in Making Waves - A Poetry Anthology , ed. Pam & Bill Swyers; Swyers Publishing 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9843113-6-1.

Nellie, 1983

Very often the sun rises in warm, golden rays on opening buds, birdsong and dewdrops, and the stench of stale death. Very often the sun rises Upon mutilated men - blood drying over their eyes and gore-caked machetes rusting in their abdomens. Very often the sun rises over hyaenas fretting over the carrion going waste - they can eat no more, nor can the vultures. Very often the sun rises on a day already defeated - shrieking, screeching, screaming, demanding that it go back for there was peace in the night. Published in Tranquil Muse 2018.

The Flying Scotsman

Yont   brattlin  clood an seelent glen Tweetlin a-lood the ingine skirls this noisome train wi lanely men hame-comin whaur thair lassies birls whit lends thay awe, an whit dets thirls whit ailin mam, whit seekly bairn thair dreams forby the train-smeuk swirls bi new gless tour or auncient cairn thay ken nae sang, thaur herts made airn thair mynds full o the twalmonth tack regairdless o loch, pen or tairn thay anely think o whit thay lack ay but thinkna muckle o it ye an a, we're an aw in it Published in Amaravati Poetic Prism 2017 ed. Padmaja Iyengar, Cultural Centre of Vijayawada & Amaravati