Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Night Bus to Sringeri

The  Volvo's headlights cast
A pearly ghostly glow
On the fecund flora that dot
The serene countryside
Of Karnataka's  Western  Ghats .

Pilgrims sleep ;
Some try to.
A few lucky ones
Even snore blissfully ;
The big bus ploughs the darkness .

Small hill towns with shuttered windows
That promise interesting tales ;
Pockets of lighted streets and doorways,
Some hooded heads shuffling by....
Then the  forests close in, again .

My spouse cannot sleep ;
Finds an empty front seat .
I doze, slide, recoup ;
Peep through the cold sweating windowpane--
Spy a lonely man and his dog .

Pit stops are made
At appropriate stations--
Hassan, Belur, Chikmagalur...
They all look alike , these bus depots--
Biscuit'n'tea  stalls, loos, shawlled figures .

Relieved passengers  clamber back,
Shuffle their way to their seats;
Take a sip from a bot, adjust, settle in,
But the hairpin bends have started.

Awake again through this scary  section;
Peep out, say prayers , see...
Cliffs on one side
Sheer drops on the other;
The big bus slices through.

Then dawn starts to break.
Just about.
The pilgrim town is wide awake;
Freshly bathed figures can be spied
As we reach the gates
Of the Sringeri Sarada Math.


1 comment:

Sudha said...

I like this one a lot :)