Thursday, June 28, 2012

City Streets

Am back to grumbling about one of my favorite cities. A poem I read by an old Indian poet, Santan Rodrigues, stayed impressed on my mind with everything it said several decades back in the early 70s. This urban poem still holds good today and even more so. Infact, had Mumbai been what it was in the 70s, I am sure it would have been the best city in India!
Just so I get a chance to read this poem anytime, here it is, on my blog, with all due credit to Santan Rodrigues.

City Streets

i’v e lived too long in your arms
to stand the stench
of gutters parading our promenades;
blaring horns –the music you play,
have now deafened my ears.
greasy seas you float in, have changed
their song, its waves the color
of their foam; and I stand
on a traffic isle death scared
of creeping cars. Why do your
unkept walls hang slogans.
your streets opening like mirrored
doors into streets, soon lose their way?
i am tired of those tall shadows
of skyscrapers, trodding my path
and the only greenery I see on your barren roads is dust.
why must my feet walk, where
people too busy to talk have
pawned their tongues? And the rude
nudging of the crowds remain
the only warm things I felt.
shucks I’m thro’ with you,
you rotten album of overcrowded
slums; and I am sick of
your tall-talk and
your canvassing smile to be enticed
to stay on
                like hell!
the city has lost its hold.


  1. Felt incredibly sad reading this.

    1. Me too. It is a lovely poem that encompasses all that ails our urban cities that have become nightmares now.

  2. Lovely poem and it holds so much true till today

  3. Such is city life. The harsh realities portrayed perfectly!

  4. An apt voice echoing the pathetic state of the city we live in!

    1. Yeah. No hope that things will ever improve.

  5. Missed reading this sordid tale of city life! Nice writing Richa:)