Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
Town Planning - Poem by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
As the plane climbed up at dusk over
Meenambakkam Airport in Chennai,
I look down from window-seat to see
The concentration of twinkling lights
That indicate the main road in the city,
Not straight but perhaps formed over time,
Narrowings between two developed areas
Or the result of some indecision or litigation?
I recall my long flight to Buenos Aires in 1987
And a week-long stay in Claridges' Hotel mid-town.
The concierge pulled out just a palm-sized map
Of that city of ten million - before the advent of laptop -
And could give me directions to reach any part of city
With just two of three turns according to that map.
It was truly a planned city: flying above it at night,
One would see a lit-up chessboard,
Not the Chennai-type of snakes and ladders!
Well, does it make a difference, one wonders at times?
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