Pause

For Mumbai.

The railway coaches stand like zombies,
like they have been assigned a job they never signed up for.
They look desolate without the crowds.

The sea-link looks like a lonely strip,
the flyovers show off their curves,
but who’s there to watch?

The maidans lie bald,
speckled with spots of brown and green.
The temples and the churches look down on empty roads,
perhaps wondering
where their subjects have gone.

This city
whose veins have dried up
has its heart still beating.
I wonder how it must feel
to see its pulse grind down to a slow tick-tock.

This city
that never sleeps
is now sleeping
through a long night,
waiting its time
like it has done often enough,
like it must do,
often enough.

And while its children
rest in the womb,
its roads whisper lullabies
of survival,
silent,
unmoving,
unyielding.

In some corners,
the city sees new stories unfold.
Some of these stories
will become lullabies
when the city wakes up.

Till then,
this city
lies waiting,
for like all it has seen,
this pandemic too will not outlast it.

Day 11 of the 21-day lockdown​ in India​

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