‘Window Seat of a Train in the Past’: a poem by Debasis Tripathy

    Photo by Parichay Sen on Unsplash 


    Window Seat of a Train in the Past


We travel on the train now.
          I have grabbed the window seat
                    seeing many kinds of my country

& characters. My father wants us
          to note down the names of
                    the stations we cross.

Platforms & new passengers.
          Each passage is a new cinema.
                    So much of sounds & sights.

& smells. So much to share:
       food, space, toilet
              & stories, of course.

              And, the locomotive echoing through the dark
       tunnels. The conductor in white & black
demanding a bribe, the colorful hijras clapping

       & begging. Wailing babies & their awkward-smiling mothers.
              The reader who reads all through.
           The impatient children wait

for the next vendor, the next station
         to buy their Aloo Puri & Jhaal Muri
                   spiced with tamarind & chilli.

We eat what others share.
         We cross the bridges
                   on wet rivers & dry mountains

& fields of paddy & coconut. My father is
         in his village
                   like the one we go past,

running barefoot, herding the cows.
         He is a child now.
I’m also a child now,

         waving at strangers,
                   waiting to meet my grandfather
                            & grandmother, who are dead.

                   The smoke of the diesel engine
         obscures the view. I hold on
to my window seat. The shutters are drawn down.


Debasis Tripathy

About Debasis Tripathy

Debasis Tripathy lives in Bangalore. His recent work features in Mad Swirl, Rogue Agent, Vayavya, Leon Lit, Mantle Poetry, Eunoia Review & elsewhere. Occasionally, he tweets at @d_basis.