A Bus Ride in Sri Lanka


Seated at the corner seat
You can catch a nose-full of smog
Carbon in mono- and di-oxides polluting the lungs
This is a typical bus-ride in Sri Lanka
When you pounce on a death wish
A fast death – in collisions or derailments
Or a slow death, as you inhale poison vapors
And listen to the diabolical decibels
Shattering your ear-drums

We still take the bus
Because in-spite of all the mishaps
You still get to hear the harmonica-playing beggar
Or buy some unhygienic finger food
From the chickpea and pineapple salesmen
And if you’re feeling a little lucky
Share a spontaneous smile with a beautiful woman
Who slides her fingers next to yours
And holds on to the same railing

And if you’re one of the lucky ones
You will meet your future wife
In that same bus ride, when a seemingly
Casual conversation develops and you only see
Beautiful mists around a soft-feminine visage
And all the hardships of a bus ride
Pale next to the castles of the heart
And the open drawbridges of lust

And someday, in the twilight years
You and your beloved will share
Your bus-stories – the heart-to-heart conversations
The chest-cuddles, the power-naps on the lap
And even making out on the back seat
When you realize that the bus on the street
Is only a matchmaker on asphalt boulevards
When fate is the driver behind the wheel
And a diapered Cupid issues a ticket
To take a bus-ride to a faraway bus-depot
At the very edge of eternity.

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