Monday, September 25, 2006


Midnight sounds. A train, dusty and weather-beaten, disgorges its passengers to the metallic clang of a tea vendor on a sleepy platform. Shouts of recognition, running feet, metal on metal doors slammed shut. The whoosh of airbrakes before the wheels take up their song. The scrolling neon on black signage with tempting names, hints of long distance journeys that stir the blood- Gauhati-Bhuj. Chandigarh- Kochi. Red and blue lines crisscrossing the country. Dust . sweat. Boredome. A promise. Blurred voices over the announcement system, at an everyday job. You shake someone awake and claim your berth as the train ambles out. It’s twelve minutes past midnight.

Red eye. Suddenly it’s not something that happens when fist connects with said eye. DSCW 30, basic basic but oh so beautiful. One flounders, an edgy all thumbs, marvels at the ingenuity and frets about being able to do some sort of justice.

Virii mutate. That’s basic science. Overflowing private hospitals, temperatures readings that start at a hundred three, symptomatic treatment for the want of anything better to do, patients four to a room, crowded beds in corridors and too early discharges to accommodate the rush of new patients. Is C’gunia an epidemic yet? Not so, according to the powers that rule. Let them eat cake.


Cherie! said...

Now who are we beheading Queen?

abbagirl74 said...

Thanks for moving. I couldn't get through half of the time. Beautiful words, once again. The trip was good?

austere said...

cherie- the ostrich in the sand handling of the chikungunya epidemic in my paret of the world- its bloody awful.

abbagirl- oh i didnt know that! the trip was very good, will write up in some time

Taraana said...

There are some very interesting stories on And you can also use Jhanki to get a wider audience for your writing. Highlight some of your interesting posts by sharing them on Jhanki.

Paavani said...

thats cool that you moved here.
Now make the comment section available for aam janta too not only for bloggers users.

Heretic said...

Badiyan hai... so the last bastion on rediff falls! :-)

austere said...

taraana- will post some newsstories from time to time- interesting concept- abt my posts, that is a little pretentious, no? you can take what you like but.

paavani- should have thought abt that earlier, sorries

heretic- it was that, or asking pixie to post for me day after day-not right, no? bastion- dont agree, polite baah.

driftwood said...

Guess Marie Antoinette decided to make a reappearance, no?

Most of the people I know have it here. There are kacchua chaaps in every room come six o'clock every evening in the house now.

Naya ghar mubaarak ho, Austy!

austere said...

driftwood- a superstar appearance, I'd say.

Back home the virus has mutated to some strange forms,like tomatogunia where the face reddens and swells some.