Of Maya in a Mofussil Mall

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mamta depicts life in a mofussil in this verse.


Adrenalin in their bloodstreams
The crowded frenzy
Peaking on weekends and ‘Sale’ season
Reaches dazzling swanky place                                                 
With five levels of cool comfort
Faux green plants, artfully dressed windows
Mannequins that stalk at odd corners
restaurants, food courts and multiplexes
Incongruous in a town
Of long power cuts and pot holed roads
Erratic traffic snarls
No decent affordable place to luxuriate in
Animated students, excited women
Bored men, ebullient children
idlers, film goers
Heterogeneous crowd
Homogeneous choice
Aimlessly loitering
More comfortable                                                                                           
In air conditioned ambience
Than at home
Occasional stoic foreigners
Pushing carts full of exotic fare
With purposeful strides
Absorb their attention
Looking at others
Their vacant lives find meaning
Distracted temporarily
By an amusing spectacle
An inexperienced old woman
with frazzled old nerves
Holding onto her large bag
and voluminous saree folds
Tries to climb the escalator2014.07.11 - 04 - Patna Mall
Egged by her embarrassed family
A faltering step hurtles her
Onto the moving stair-case
Her balance regained
smoothly she is transported
to the next floor
The exhibition over
The ogling crowd
Seated on benches
Leaning on balconies
Turns attention on ecstatic newlyweds
Inebriated with love
Clicking selfies
before an ice-cream parlour
To be flashed instantly
on net-working sites
A happy preoccupied air
surrounds the interiors                                                                             
above muted music
A delicious polyphony
A Rhythm
Difficult to decipher
In a decaying town
Of fractured dreams.


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Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from University of Allahabad. She writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on everyday life in national dailies and international e-magazines. She writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, she has been interacting with young minds, understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour and rumour too.