Last bus from Mirzapur

The last bus

from Mirzapur

leaves at 9.15

for a destination

475 kms away

to be seen only

in the light of day

the ones

who board it

travel at their

own risk

they sleep,

they sing,

they eat,

they write,

all with the knowledge

that the bus

may never reach

where it’s

supposed to

night falls

grows eerie

the wind

carries the songs

of the banshee

in pain, afraid

of the dark

just as we are

it needs the smooth

caress of a traveller’s

hand, who sticks it

out his window and

waves it around

as if a ship through

rocky waters

there is a stretch

in the middle

where the driver

will stop and

say a prayer

for all the souls

that travel this nightly ride

and then restart

convinced that

death has been

cheated once again.

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