It is evening,
the people climb down the stairs of their offices,
they take turns, wait,
move; they maneuver their way out,
a long line of vehicles standing by,
bikes leaned one over the other,
cars huddled together;
machines seem to have easier, more fulfilling lives than people.
Then again, human beings are resources,
so in a way they have to be utilized.
So, after a good long day of utilization,
the swarm of humanity appears on the roads of the city
to get back home.
They shall not reach their homes early; they wish
but they won’t,
because there are so many of them,
and the people and the motors choke the traffic.
Isn't that another problem?
Them, being so many ?
Isn't that the reason why the big firms outsource their jobs?
because so many desperate people would work for so less
and yet consider themselves lucky?
lucky to be alive !
lucky ? they are?
In this ‘developing economy’, a piece of life you steal everyday is luck;
for, there is no trace of those perished;
they are not counted. Their incomes are not taxed.
their pizzas are not ordered and their smartphone are never bought on EMIs;
they are not ‘successful’ — the nightmare children of working classes;
the ‘unworthy’ ones.
But for the worthy children, the skies parted and prayers were answered.
‘so be it’, the great capitalist lord mercifully acquiesced,
therefore things are now in motion.
Darkness descends as the sun adieus good bye to this hemisphere
the buses carry the people home,
they stare from the glass panes,
at the people whose buses haven’t come yet.
They will have to wait,
but at least the day is over,
that is a relief.
Has to be, there can be no two ways about it
now they shall eat, what they managed to buy from malls last weekend;
shall rest if they have time,
shall watch TV,
shall clean their socks,
shall rear their children,
remind them what it is at the stake here;
shall take their insomnia pills and blood pressure tonics;
and then shall retire to sleep through a silent aching restlessness,
probably on their side of the bed.
That should be it.
One day at a time,
isn't that what we were taught?
One day at a time.
One generation of survivors taught the next:
One day at a time,
and you might live to grow old like us,
Spent, worn and diseased.
but you will live;
that’s a promise as valid as the one written on a thousand rupee note signed by the Governor.
Did they say it in those exact words? Of course not,
why do we have to spell out the truth to each other?
Makes it no easier. Makes us remember —
Something like freedom. Something like sunshine.
But this is no freedom land,
so many lives squeezed in those buses
tired and suffocated. Tell them about freedom.
Something never really climbs down from that bus.
It stays there. In that bus. Yes,
in those cushions, on that bolted flattened steel floor.
Inside those automatically swinging doors.
It lingers in the the scented air streamed from the air conditioner,
but mostly, it sticks with badly crumpled bus-tickets that people mutilate and throw away when their drop-off point draws nearer.
It is something like a wish, a craving, a wordless prayer
because words do not help when there is nothing to say
a subtraction everyday. One day at a time.
But the buses move.
It should be fine as long as there is another day to repeat.
Has to be.