“Whirr…… dirr…..” is the music heard throughout the day on the streets of Triplicane. The city was buzzing with activity as I was speeding on my way in my Ladybird.
I had many “companions” on the street — the dirt, rubbish, stagnant water, threatening cows, angry dogs, active crows and, of course, dirty minds and dirty people. They were all in fact my childhood friends. I’ve been acquainted with them since my childhood. I was enjoying the sights but suddenly had to stop.
The open manhole had made a truck driver stop and simply gaze around without knowing what to do. The cricket-crazy fans were shouting at him as they were getting late for their match. Behind them I stopped my “Titanic” and watched the show.
Meanwhile, the school children kept finding their way through every nook and corner possible. How clever! Surely we are going to witness this intelligent (!) India tomorrow. Anewly-wed couple had taken some other route to the movie hall. The auto rickshaw-walla kept sounding his horn but no one took notice of him.
Now came the brave man; a corrupt man rather, perhaps from the corporation, to close the manhole. The truck driver however had to “gift” him something; I couldn’t clearly see what.
Anyway, soon the traffic was cleared. Everyone went on with their work. Children were safe in their school, the cricket lovers in the stadium, my “companions” moved on to the nearby lake.
As I continued to cycle, I heard the voice of a little girl asking her mother, “Why is this street always busy, amma?” I wanted to correct her saying, “Are the streets busy? Or the people?”
M. THILAGAM, X, The Hindu Senior Secondary School, Triplicane
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