Friday, January 28, 2011

Wait unto Empty.

We waited at the bus stop for the 9 o'clock Volvo that would take my parents to Calicut. It was half past 8 and night had just set in. There were still a good many vehicles on the road.But the crowd was thinning as the sky grew darker.

I leaned on the dirty,greasy pole of the shed and watched the people on the street. There were men with satchels slung over tired shoulders,women with infants and hand baggages,worn out and sleepy-eyed boys and girls going home late after their night classes.Out on the road there were those heroes on their Apaches and Bullets who never missed a second glimpse at the pretty girl on the footpath.After a while I began to categorize them---the lean,average build men with satchels had to be construction workers, saree-clad stout women with spectacles and an old fashioned leather handbag had to be a middle-class clerk,an office employee of some sort or teacher, bike boys with backpacks (and sometimes a girlfriend) were the techies.

The "fancy-stores" and the most of the restaurants had already closed at 8 pm. Eventually the auto-rickshaws disappeared and rarely would a battered old bus rattle past.  The giant night coaches began zooming by one after another carrying doze passengers.I kept my eyes skinned for a bus called "Madathil",the one my parents were to board.

At about 9 the medical store behind our bus stop too pulled down its shutters.So did the bakery across the street.The men who had been talking animatedly over some local feud too were gone.Suddenly the air felt cooler and the amber glow of the streetlights seemed more pronounced. Someone made a catcall and it rang out through the nearly empty street. The prowling cat with bright eyes had slunk away. It was as though everything had stepped back into the shadows waiting for the night to cross.

image courtesy: gettyimages
At last "Madathil" came. We bade goodbye to my parents and left the empty street.


wordsmaid said...

The writer doesn't say which place she is at. But she skilfully draws the place vividly. "Men with satchels slung over tired shoulders, women with infants...worn out and sleepy eyed boys..." I can see them all. That is the power of description. Amiya, you have given us vivid details.

My young readers. There is a galaxy of difference between 'a bus goes' and a 'battered old bus rattles past." Find the best verb hat describes a particular action. Be verb sensitive when you read. Write down all the interesting verbs you come across while you read.

Thanks Amiya for that piece.

Sabz said...

That was a good Jemu. My exercise was, as I began reading the piece, to identify the writer without looking at the name at the bottom. And, to my own surprise, as I read on I heard 'your voice', and I knew it was you.

That is not because of any of my Sherlock Holmes-ian traits, but your success as a writer.

Writers, we must have develop our own 'voice'. Every writer has a unique voice as his or her unique character. We have to develop it by writing more and more.

Thanks, Jemu. Looking forward for more.


Mercedes said...

@Wordsmaid Elated to have been called a writer!

@Sabz Thank you :)

Cris said...

Agree with both Wordsmaid and sabz here. The adjectives can so easily grab you. Coincidentially I too started reading, deliberately avoiding reading the name at the bottom. As soon as I read the first line I knew it was Miss Mercedes. Then came "dirty,greasy pole" and I could admire the young writer, who'd so easily make a simple line so beautiful.

pooja said...

I agree with what wordsmaid said.the descriptions were so good that I was there waiting with you in that street.Beautiful.......