The Grind


(Third Floor)
A nonchalant company label,
Atop the elevator panel reads
“Committed to people flow.”

I descend, to a lower level.
Shoulders stoop, the diaphragm allows,
Some discontent to uneasily pass.
The coup did not happen today;
Another of several unremarkable days.

(We go down a floor.)
But fret not believers.
We work at ministries of magic.
We, who fashion charms, work spells.
We who talk education, agitation,
And unsettling
The order of things.

(Ground level)
Outside, October is grouchy still.
The summer was unconstitutional.
Sweltering, the monsoon,
An uninspiring fall.
How does this city not relent at all?

(We are in the metro.)
Regardless, regardless,
The grind must return tomorrow.
We’ll fight for space,
In the penultimate compartment;
Find equality,
Inside a shared rickshaw;
Maybe even reflect at the intersections,
Contemplate the race.

(We are at the exit.)
A cyclist swims through the pool of traffic.
He blurs into the tumult, reflectors intact.
Some fifty metres above me,
A few hundred people, huddled together,
Are flowing through the middle of the night.

Some will disembark at platform no. 2,
Some will have more flowing to do.


Cover image designed by Raneesh P.R — Creative Director, Indian Ruminations


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