Mamta Agarwal (March 27,1951 / India)
Life in a Metro
I live in an apartment on the first floor,
With my name engraved on a brass plate on the door.
Since I am most of the time alone,
The only time I see a soul
Is when I step on the terrace,
Above my garage.
I see some watchmen playing cards,
And maids walking their wards.
It seems people prefer to stay indoors,
I wonder whether they get bored.
It’s the month of May and beads of perspiration
Cover my face and I wonder why I had this aspiration,
To live in a metro while I was growing up
In a small city, I really feel stumped.
You are on a nodding relationship with your neighbors,
And hesitate to ask them for a favor.
People are always fighting for parking space
And don’t mind swearing at the offender’s face.
There are so many cars crammed on the narrow road,
The pedestrian can barely afford
To take a leisurely walk, the children play cricket
On whatever little space is left.
And have to step aside, as a limousine glides blaring a horn
And spoils their excitement of a good game on a Sunday morn.
No wonder they return to their homes,
And sit on the play stations and listen to their I pods.
You feel a sense of alienation
And just eat your dinner in front of television.
If you dare to venture out at night
On the streets,
A leering man behind the wheels will slow down,
While you try to increase your pace with a frown.
I long to walk on a patch of green to lift the gloom,
But have to be content with the sight of gulmohar bloom.
You have to keep your curtains drawn
And are unable to wake up with dawn.
And see the sun’s rays dancing through the window,
The light that dispels the shadows
Of the night and announce it’s another day
I really miss my small town in many ways.
Comments about this poem (Life in a Metro by Mamta Agarwal )
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