Monday, March 28, 2011

Apu, the chai walla...

This poem is for Apu, this ever-smiling 10-year old kid who sells chai on Platform no. 3 and 4 of the Pune railway station.

“Chai Garam ! Chai Garam!”
Apu waxed lyrically.
His voice baritone-
Practiced to perfection.
Even as the train
Serenaded her
Bumpy halt.

Recalled he,
His childhood,bundled
On his father’s head
A porter – Red!
The clamor for seats
- a handkerchief !
A battle won !

Running along
Life’s train, keeping pace
A palm with coins,
In lieu of a cup of tea.
Half spilled on his
Corroded hands, burnt!

The pretty girl- Memsaab!
Like a fairy in the bookstall.
Who kept turning back
To look at him.
And smiled even as he
Wiped his snotty
Face –striped with salt.

Pucker-nosed, she laughed,
As he slyly wiped the filth
On his shorts.
His fastest sprint then,
As the train stuttered,
Punctuated by
Silent whistles.

Recalled he,
The porter -Red,
The coins -Few,
The fairy –Dream!
And his never ending – Marathon.
And whispered softly
“Happy Birthday Apu. You’re ten today!”
Creative Commons License
Poetry by Wandering Gypsy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.