Jul 13, 2007

People 7

Hay in the Subway.

Moist Highway. Drying Sun. Milling morning vehicles. Sub-terrain Pedestrian pathway. Choc-a-bloc with arms laden with lunch boxes and scurrying legs. Away from the prying rays of the sun. Still Sequestered with little pools of inky black water.

An abandoned heap of hay. Soggy and damp. Condemned to decay.

A body slumped against it. Wrapped in rags, that could have once been pink or orange, or brown or may be even white. A lifeless head hanging down. A messy tuft of silver and grey.

Was he dead? Was she dead? Will they dispose it? Is he/she dying? Is he sleeping? Drunk? Did she shelter here from the nightly lashes of rain? Hungry? Will the sun breathe life into yet another life-form?

Joy Ride

A crowded metro bus. A family of gypsies. A mother, a father and a bunch of kids, of all ages. The adults carrying an infant each, balancing all their bags and wares.

A bus ride. Window seat. Sitting on par with others. What excitement ! Chitter chatter. Peals of laughter. The eldest is the noisiest. The others are too young to realize this unbridled joy. The mother watches them with sedate eyes. Her infant tugging her pleated skirt, that clashed with the rags wrapped around her.

The father holds on to his little one, like a beast of burden. The merry of his oldest stirs in him a vehemence, uncalled for. He swings around, and thrashes the lad.

Striken face. Bawls of shock, and bawls of pain.

Did the noise disturb his reverie? Was he embarrassed in front of the ‘saaamys’ and ‘ammas’ ? Was he afraid that some saamy or amma would scold him? What if the conductor pushed them out of the bus?

Or was he afraid of letting his son taste a joy that may not always be his ?


musafir said...

This is such a difficult piece to comment on. Simply because, on one hand, one is thoroughly impressed by how the choice of words contributes to the incisiveness of the imagery, like "milling", "sequestered" etc but then one feels you could have done better with other words, especially the "body"; for example "messy" {shaggy / disheveled would have been better}. I guess description is tough simply because a word here or a phrase there can either pull a piece down or elevate it to sublime levels. "Choc-a-bloc with arms laden with lunch boxes and scurrying legs." has all the right words in it to convey the sounds and the images but somehow the sentence feels laboured. A little more polishing perhaps?

Sub-terrain? Or "subterranean"? And what's with the random capitalization of "Sun", "Sequestered" and "Pedestrian"?

I also felt that you started off with a lot of energy (the first paragraph of the first piece is very good) but then the vitality sort of dissipated as you went on, and is quite palpable in the second piece where you seem to be content to amble on.

Hari said...

I liked the second one better. You time and again remind me of John Steinbeck!!!! He has a style of using chapters exclusively for describing the surroundings. None of the characters in these passages delivers a dialogue.Its just the author dwelling in detail on the surroundings. They are interspersed in the narrative of the story as a whole. Just pick up "Grapes of Wrath" and read to understand what I mean...

Where did you pick this style of writing from?

~SuCh~ said...

@musafir : Would you consider an offer to edit my posts? I badly need someone like you.. Name your price.. And you shall have it.. :)

@hari: thanks.. didnt pick it up from anywhere.. as they say... "thaana varuthu.." enna seyya.. :)

justrohin said...

reminds me of an activity I did long back when I was in HCL, Noida. One day on the spurge of the moment I took my friend's cell 6300 to be precise and started taking common man's pics on the road from my office bus. That was the last time. After that I have got a much better phone with an excellent camera, I have two other cameras too but I never did anything like that again... Your blogs are always thought provoking

~SuCh~ said...

@rohin :
Welcome back, and thanks...Looking around sometimes makes one look into oneself in a new light...