Ode to Bangalore Traffic

Bangalore traffic!

You zig and zag,

You create a drag.


You flow like river

rushing downhill

revving engines sub for melting snow,

and there’s no dam

to hold you in,

not even the traffic light.

At other times,

you’re a machine

with revolting parts,

each with its own brain,

each talking,

no one listening,

in the universal language

of shrill and screech.

And every vehicle

does preach

to another.

Preach while it’s stalled behind,

Preach while it zips past,

Preach while it crawls beside another.

Bangalore traffic,

You dance

with the grace

of an elephant standing on a pinhead,

you move

with the sensitivity

of a crow swooping on a dead rat,

you advance

with the efficiency

of a sledgehammer

chiselling a statue.

You sing

like a piano

belching all its notes at once.

You talk

in monosyllables

and yet you mean so much.


Yes someday,

I will understand

every word you say,

and even the spaces between the words,

when you pause to insert them.

I’m not nuanced enough yet

to distinguish

one honking beat from another,

still tone deaf

to appreciate the subtle differences

in the notes of your mobile symphony.


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