Traffic Jam


The motors pick their weary way

Slowly down the thronging roads.

Like ants, one behind another intent on their tasks.

Somewhere out of eye sight,

there is a mishap –

a scooter skidding

or a cow gone astray.

maybe the infernal autos

taking on more than is their right.

Somewhere a brake is applied

and the reaction bouncing backwards

freezing as with the wave of a wand.

The screech of tires on tar and gravel

and then the wait –

sullen and tiresome.

The maruti van, with homeward-bound children

sounds it’s horn.

Someone picks up the cue,

and others follow suit,

the sound rising and falling in agonizing blares.

The block is cleared soon enough.

The wheels begin to churn

making their onward turn,

presumably to reach

the safety of sought haven.


By Gulsum Basheer.

Published in Youthink, Indian Express.14-5-86.


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