The Road

he locals identified it as the cement road of the town,
Built in the years after the independence by an honest man
It needed few repairs;
and stayed like that for fifty years
It started nowhere and turned only once,
but branched off in two places
It formed the longer road of the small town
and is used by the local Gods and Goddesses
on their yearly stroll to bless the town folks
Lit by tube lights on the poles that faced each other,
the road got ready for political rallies and movie stars.
Apart from small cars and rare buses,
mostly bicycles, children, people on foot, cattle and bullock carts
made their journey on this road
Along the side of the road, men, women and children
made a spread of spool of yarns on poles
and applied starchy paste to get them ready for the saree loom,
blocking every neighbors direct path to the road from home
Darting under the paste dripping yarns, children got on their favorite road
No vehicles entered the road on the days of celebratory mode;
White screen, put across the road, made an instant open movie theater in the night
People on mats and bed sheets dotted the front yards on the road
Children and elders vied for better seats
to catch the action of movie star of their dream
The ash gray road that spoke of rich history
now sports cracks and open spots,
sees less people out on their porches,
and more vehicles that zoom past
No more big screen old movies of movie stars;
Locked in their houses are people in front of their small screens
The small town has found its new luxury
and our old road becomes a part of history


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