At the Seashore

By Dr. Taher Kagalwala

I
The sun
sinking slowly behind
Walkeshwar;
Giant tetrads under me,
storing between them
the garbage of the city;
Hawkers plying their ware
to unflinching couples;
Waves-
lapping gently at the shoreline;
The silent, patient fisherman-
awaiting a pull on his line;
The reverent Parsee,
bowing before the sun;
Birds in flight,
returning to the mainland;
Teenagers, couples, loners,
children, old persons-
walking, just walking along the Drive;
these I have often seen!

II
The wind-
caressing my cheeks and ruffling my hair;
Cars speeding past-
screeching horns;
A servant walking the family dog;
Coconut-shells and corn-ears,
bobbing gently with the tide;
Urchins-
gathering refuse from among the rocks;
A young man-
jogging past at this late hour;
An old man taking a skinny-dip
(in these dirty waters?!!)
Clouds drifting past, endlessly-
beckoning the night sky!
Beggars, imploring,
tapping my shoulder, arm outstretched;
A lone ship
anchored afar, visible thru’ thesmog;
Serene sea-watchers’ faces,
seen in the windows of posh, seaside flats;
A crab, scurrying past me, foraging for food;
I wonder-
Will these EVER change?

III
Darkness
stealthily creeps in;
Neon-lights go up
in a colourful display;
The fly-over
comes alive as lamps light up;
The bewitching Queen’s necklace-
enthralls!
Traffic lessens,
couples leave-
The fisherman draws in the line,
and collecting his wares and his ‘ haul ‘,
departs;
Countless windows light up
and the tide comes in;
Waves crashing, breaking,
resigning their force to the shore;
Moonrise-
expected, yet still unseen;
Waters-
darkening, rippling;
Distant sands at Chowpatty-
floodlit!
I do wish-
I could remain here-
FOREVER!

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