Padmanabhan Ananth


Coco Coolers


The noisy smoke-spewing pickup truck
Lumbered to halt under the huge banyan tree
Shaded green, should be many scores old
On lonely stretch of narrow village road

Bunches of tender coconuts carelessly thrown
Fresh green, golden yellow, mottled brown
The street vendor collected, placed in stacks
Neat piles for more to-be-quenched throats

Cars, trucks, even bus loads of thirsty travellers
Alighted for fresh air and sips of natural coolers
For a few rupees of their pocket money
They got true taste of refreshing cool 'honey'

Stopped our car on our tiring journey
Stepped out under the shade rather gingerly
Well the kids had preferred a 'better' joint
For cans of chilled Coke, Fanta or Sprite

This time I won but risked a mouthful
If my choice of refreshers had gone foul
'Cos I believed my call wouldn't rupture
As I had placed wager on Mother Nature!

The cheerful vendor all of 30 no more
Knew like his life of this seed wonder
Had stocks from corners of the peninsula
As from Andaman, Lanka, faraway Malaya

He rattled proud in store many variety
Went on: 'Best Chowghat, tasty Arasampatti!
They're delicious, wholesome, nutritious! '
In vernacular, he continued his sell tales

On to my tales: Papplion in Guiana survived
In prison, on this very endosperm liquid
Brit magician Dynamo, by sleight of hand
Slipped colour and flavour into the seed!

Tales aside the girls chose their own picks
Deftly with question-like sharp sickle
He readied the coolers with coloured straw
One sip they were thrilled and so much in awe
No match those carbonated soda waters
I claimed, for these nature-fresh chillers!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2014
Edited: Saturday, January 04, 2014
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written on Dec.1,2013. Inspired by my teenaged daughter Shreya who challenged me to write a poem on this topic.

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