Treasure Island

santhana louis

(21.06.1953 - Tea-time poetry over a hot cup of tea - / Tiruchirapalli - simple verses, poems for all ages)



A long distance Corporation bus
leaves Tiruchi by 10.45 pm every night
front half is reserved, rest no seat left
by 10 pm itself, the bus bleeds full.

Blue shirt driver gets in, in time
takes charge by turning the gear & keys
certainly, with the resolve to cover 320 kms
in single shift - full of vigil, in sleepless flight

passengers positioned themselves
for an undisturbed sleep and are in ease
stacked their baggage, adjusted the windows
mineral water, wrapped around a warm shawl

who knows or cares the name of the driver nor
his family background or his personal habits or
his woes and worries nor his liabilities on hand
or of his mood before touching the steer-ring

yet in him, we have entrusted the precious lives, numbering 50
for a lonely journey through dark, winding deserted highways
negotiates, in shivering cold, curves, ups and downs, bridges, on-coming vehicles
with fullest attention on the safety of the souls, placed under his charge

quickly, everyone has fallen fast asleep, except the violet night lamps,
the untiring driver and his Leyland engine are only awake
does anyone ever stops to think or wonder, at the extraordinary driver
who boils his blood, for flawless discharge of his duties, all alone.

yes, it is 5 am, Veerapandipattinam, church bell is ringing
in announcement of I have almost reached my station, Tiruchendur
collected my baggage and jumped out of the bus
with jubilant mood of joining my family

without any slightest thought of thanking the vigilant driver
whose meticulous service, has brought me safely through
the hazardous night journey, wrought with full of mishaps
but for this ‘unsung poor driver's devotion, and dutifulness'

…in taking charge of the wheels in clean-slate mindset
all personal, family bickering bundled up and left behind.

Louis Santhana

Submitted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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