An Endless Traveller - Poem by Ravi Panamanna
(Once upon a time bullock carts were a common sight on our Indian roads. Now, in the change of tide, these carts are swept ashore. Here in this poem, a bullock cart is recollecting its breezy days. The last eight or twelve lines apply to the nostalgic feelings of the reader as well. Thus, two planes of reading is possible) .
Once upon a time
When the winds were soft,
Among the endless dales
I was a common sight.
Once upon a time
When the winds weren’t smoky,
Up along the roads
I was an endless traveller.
Endless clatter of wheels,
The pathways crammed under my feet.
With a song unto the flying birds
I wheeled on unto the distant markets.
From hamlets to distant towns,
Those were my breezy days.
When I arrived on the scene
The markets sprang to life.
Day and night, up along the road,
I was on an endless trot.
We were our cartmen’s breathing life,
We were the breathing winds of the hamlets.
A flying bird followed our beaten ways,
A swinging lantern marked our pathways.
Rain or shine, our wheels were perfect,
Unto nights and beyond, we knew no rest.
For long I was the symbol of Indian life,
For long I carried her on my wheels.
It was a silent revolution on the Indian scene
My bullocks took her to glorious heights.
And upon the roar of the motor age
I was driven to my perils.
Before the clock of modern age,
My wheels picked up no pace.
And I disappeared over the winding lea,
My peaceful sojourns were now over.
Where is now the winds of yore gone?
Where is now my flying wheels gone?
From the corner of the world
I am dreaming of the distant dales.
I wish I had my wings
To pace along the forgotten avenues of life.
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