Saturday, September 03, 2005


The heat. Nothing but the heat wherever one can see. The heat that one can actually see, not just feel. Wafting up from the asphalt that has gone soft under the relentless sun, making those leaf-bare trees seem to shiver in this scorching summer afternoon. Dusters rising in tight columns, dancing frenziedly around trees like demented ghosts, snatching away whatever dry leaves still left hanging on their bare branches. Not a green thing in sight. In the distance, flame trees in full bloom as if set afire. Up ahead, this relentlessly straight patch of road threatening to catapult my speeding vehicle into a bright cloudless sky. The white hot sky, not content to wait for me at the horizon, stepping out on to the road and teasing me with its white flames dancing in the shimmering pools of false hope.

Trying to avoid the glare from the mirage, I roll down the windows. The air-conditioner already dead, several pothole scarred miles ago. A swig from the mineral water bottle parches my throat even more. The water has turned unbearably hot. Must stop somewhere and get a refill. But no shops, no villages in sight. Just a forlorn bus stop, its roof casting a futile piece of shadow, its walls diseased with AIDS slogans. That too soon becoming a distant past as the Safari races ahead impatiently, as if she too wants to end this travail in a hurry. While I wish not to reach there, anywhere. I wish for no end to this journey. As if to cling on to the few last pages of a book that I have grown fond of. Afraid to read ahead for fear of losing a friend that the book has become.

Once on such a bright lit summer day
I had gifted her
a full-blown bloom of flame trees
of my primal passions
and then forgot to tell her,
never to succumb
to the lure of rain-gods
and allow little green leaves
to sprout from her womb.
Now, I am afraid of reaching there
before the rains do.
And afraid to be
too late too…


© Rajendra Pradhan


Dan Husain said...

Raindrop is lovely. Good work!



Pincushion said...

Now I'm afraid of reaching there....'

My god! That hits hard....
Feels like its written straight from the gut...
great words :)