Treasure Island

Daniel Trevelyn Joseph

(21 December 1945 / Mumbai, India)

Car-washers


As I walk half a kilometer
To MIG Cricket Club for my gym
I see cars parked on either side
Of the wide street outside the compound-gates.

Time is 7 30 am, and the month is of Janus,
The Sun is rising, and it is chill
This year (2008) unusually in Mumbai
Never been so cold in forty-odd years.

Around many cars are water-patches
In irregular design on the asphalted road.
Every other car is being tended
By the car washers. They charge
From 200 to 400 rupees a month
Depending upon the society they serve.

The car washer gets the key from owner
To open up and clean including floor mats
Made free of yesterday's dust,
Some bathe the rims and tires too.

He takes a plastic bucket, blue or white
Rarely green, and with water
And a duster cloth goes lovingly,
Over the entire body of the car
With all the curves, nooks and crevices,
And action leads to erect wipers
Waiting for a wash beneath.

Never seen the tribe elsewhere
Outside India, but it is good source
Of income to the poor.

Submitted: Friday, February 08, 2008
Edited: Sunday, June 08, 2008

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