Monday, April 26, 2010

Please Stand Clear Of The Doors

That’s Shauqat, the campus Chai wallah. The department of Psychology owes many an intellectually stimulating sip to his hot, dented kettle. He had a younger brother. And a school that he went to when he could. I haven’t seen him around much of late. And I think it was two bucks a cup.
Shauqat can’t be the guy looking at the camera and smiling. He was always busy. Or maybe he wasn't serving us tea at that moment and that’s how I wanted to remember him.
He’s inseparable from my memories of the campus. Just like the Metro.
It hasn’t changed in all these years. The Delhi Metro stops at Rajiv Chowk and the crowd tumbles inside. Humming like a honeycomb full of angry bees. I realise I am in sync with my surroundings. That the metro is my home. And the cubicle is my room. My head tilted to one side, I am listening to time rustling by. A girl on my left pores over Strategic Marketing, her eyes trying to focus on the letters, hiding her uncertainty in the course she has chosen. The girl in front of me is concealed by the crowd. She is sitting beside a shock of fluorescent green and her socks are peeping out in stripes of mauve and red and black.
Outside, the rickshaw puller calls me and I walk away with no regrets. This is a walk I look forward to. A walk down Chhatra Marg.
I could photograph the road, maybe. I could even take a photograph of empty tea cups lying on the road but never one of Delhi University’s North Campus or the classrooms we sat in. It’s too close to where I am.

1 comment:

  1. perhaps a polaroid version of Morrison could break on through to the other side of the classroom, but would poetry feed Shauqat's hunger? Five to still counting.