The Changing Face Of Bangalore - Poem by K.S.Subramanian Subramanian
The changing face of Bangalore (a buzzling city in India)
The day remains a millstone
but rolls into years in a flash;
So is it with the changing face of
a city; its face, pockmarked with
concrete wrinkles, has a messianic
look; the blank eyes, defying death,
have a frightening candour; Face it
if you can, but face it you must.
Is decay the apotheosis of growth?
the bloom of innocence, the ruddy
power of a surfer against mercurial
currents and the comatose stage where
hope and despair are buried alike in
wrinkles; Like the matted soil of a
sun-blown river bed.
So is it with a city,
dead in its loins,
breathing in spasms.
I have returned often, as if drawn
by a magnet; my eye captured its
tingling breeze, languorous cold, green,
luxuriant canopies, the measured
commerce of Brigade Road and pink youth
heading for an azure horizon;
Shy, introverted burr of the native;
grey cells alive to currents
deep down; the obsession with nursing
the pristine green cover; an aura of
peace torn by rare bursts of passion;
the sparkling humour, quite like early
dawn, at truant bus services, power
cuts, thirsty days; delicious,
tongue-caressing cafes and time
at beck and call.
Now the sky has turned pale,
stunned into disbelief; every
inch of space a hub of mammon;
the strain of here and now
pacing through every limb,
brick on brick for a wall
around self; the burr of innocence
browbeaten by bravura of guile;
Flora and fauna snuffed out by
perforating masonry, making
asphalt sting more; the cover
no longer green, but vapourous.
A whacky trendiness in fashion
shows; hopes soaring higher than
the spires of colleges, a generation
seeking a nail-spot in alleys
narrowed down by growth; Hope
unseated by despair, youths
splutter down the steepling slope
like a wounded goat.
With gnawing uneasiness crowds
besiege shops of glitz, junk food
joints; veins crow out the refrain
'Live for the day for beyond is the
tip of the unknown.'
Death catches up with age;
But a city ages even in death.
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