The Rickshaw Ride at Tiddim Road 

It was a sunny calm afternoon,
With no bandhs and no bombs,
I walked stirring the dust on the road,
Watched the dust fall on my blue flat pump shoes,
The road starting from Kwakeithel,
A new found freedom filled me,
Walking alone on this road,
The road I once feared to walk,
The fear instilled with unpredictable bomb blast,
The fear instilled with frequent kidnappings,
With a freedom bounded by my protective parents.

I waved to a Rickshaw across the road,
I ask him if he could take me to moreh dukan near Keishampat,
He said yes,
I hesitated as I got a whiff of alcohol from his breath,
Then I climbed up the rickshaw,
Feeling safe looking at the wide open Tiddim Road,
Telling myself “What could he do?”
Having the confidence to punch if required.

I watched the half broken buildings on the way,
As all the landmarks I knew disappeared,
The familiar shop and signboard were all gone,
A result in the attempt to widen the Tiddim Road,
A thick compensation offered which bought people’s silence,
The man pedals steadily,
I inhaled the dust getting the taste of the lovely cold wind blowing across my face.

And soon I was greeted with the familiar sight I seeked for,
Bringing out my smile,
I asked the man how much was the fare,
He said whatever was the going rate,
I didn’t know what was the going rate,
I asked him if he had change and gave him a crisp 100 Rs note,
He slipped an old 50 Rs back to me,
Thanking him I walked towards my destination,
Feeling accomplished,
It was my lone Rickshaw ride,
The Rickshaw ride at Tiddim Road.

~The End~

An Experimental attempt to put thoughts in writing by Monica Ingudam.

Authors Note: It’s a small event but a huge leap for me giving me the rush of freedom riding a rickshaw in the conflicted place of Manipur, India.


Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous

    nice poem on overcoming fear, accepting risk, and continuing to live in an uncertain world. Well described narrative that was much more than a simple rickshaw ride. it was traveling beyond the known and out of a comfort zone. Well written

  2. Anonymous

    You have provided a view of a life experience not always known or understood by Western minds, such as my own, I was refreshed by the poem’s creativity and that the main player had a personal victory in courage. Well done

  3. Pingback: Portrayed low ebb of humanity in Manipur? #IromSharmila – FINDINGTHEVOICES

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