Ode to the yellow taxi

The bus turned a corner 

to an old part of the city

and I turned back in time

to days when life was a 

little sweeter. 

When in place of square 

buildings sitting neatly in 

every corner, there were shapeless 

ponds donning green shawls 

of hyacinth and boys played 

cricket in fields and rang 

the bells of makeshift temples 

loudly to bother bored men 

slumbering in their shops 

before dusty jars of chanachur 

and candy. 

Here, banana trees 

annexed empty plots beside 

thatched roofs trickling with 

moss and roots and I could see 

me in a frock, with my yellow 

dog watching children crowding 

around the shop where coloured 

jelly sat in various shapes in 

fat jars and men spread out cards 

on the causeway. 

Here, the radio still played 

the old songs mother 

likes and I could crush 

wildflowers to sniff their 

wild scent and watch vans 

laden with plant pots bobbing

down the street. 

Here, cows had 

places to rest and shaliks could 

squabble their day away, the

crows could meet on electric 

lines to discuss politics and 

stray dogs wearing a cloth 

wrapped lovingly with string 

would sit patiently before 

the challah for the rice to boil 

Here, the dreams were a little

more real, fairy tales a little

more believable and the horn

of a yellow taxi at the gate

still meant dadu and dida were

here with easy smiles and 

mandatory pocket money

for firecrackers and the terrace

would soon be host to dried

chillies, mangoes dipped in 

oil, dollops of pulses for 

pickles and fill up promptly

with the smell of longing

Srabani Bhattacharya

Srabani Bhattacharya is a writer, editor and translator. She completed her Master’s in literature and is currently working as a copyeditor and script writer. She writes poetry to be in touch with the natural and human world. Poetry helps her experience, and to observe to live more consciously and deeply.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN