In the wrong halt, dead in an October night,
Along an unfamiliar route, the
Bus drops me off saying that that was the place.
Took me a second to realize, and in the conductor’s eyes, too, he saw
He had just erred. The bus, all the same, through the dark disappeared.
Two bags hanging on either shoulder
Facing an alien chill I stand like Mulder.
Much much later, stumbling into some
Through-the-night, long distance bus,
I pop out with a sigh near the familiar school sign.
20 past 11, half unlit front drawing room of an almost done night
You part a quip and a jeer about my clumsiness.
I’m given some rice from somewhere,
I insist that I don’t want and I am hungry like I’m mad.
A newly laid bed amid all rotting woodwork.
“Put me up at 5 – 5.30?”. You ask me why so early:
I’m on my way to Galle; “But, I’d return tomorrow itself”.
You switch off the lights on your way off
And I’m thinking of the journey that lies ahead, the next morn.
From here to Panadura, from there to Galle, from Galle to business
And, then, the way back. Phone blinks. “Put the net. Don’t be smart”.
As if mosquitoes ever bit me. Mosquitoes never bit me.