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Exit Route

By Amit Ranjan

This is that same curved flyover
On which cars blink their orange blinkers
On the left lane
And they hide the tunnel ahead to
The chowk-a-block of Dwarka[1]
Of the wretched urchins of Palam roads
Waiting to be crushed
Of the demonic grey pigeons
That have found their camouflage here
The other road leads to exit through the gift shop
Exit through clouds no one looks at

Careful what you wish for

I had wished this curved road may manifest often
To fly through my exclusive clouds
And so it did, with elephants in the sky
And unearthly sunsets
And I exited completely once to swallow
An ocean whole. Such was the hole in my wretched heart.
Till the wish was completely granted
And now the exit was through the gift shop of the
Tunnel hidden and bidden by those trippy blinkers.

And you can drive through this game
Of television watchers driving back to their couches and Zomato meals
With your mind half asleep.
And your eyes wide awake

[1] Dwarka is an ancient city in the north-western Indian state of Gujarat.

Painting: Bijay Biswaal

Bio:
Amit Ranjan is Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Florida International University (FIU) for 2021-22. He has a PhD, MPhil, and MA from JNU; and a BA(Hons) in English from St. Stephen’s College. Amit’s poems, short stories, and essays have been published in various journals like La Zaporogue, Anti-Serious, Coldnoon, Muse India, The Equator Line, Joao Roque, etc. Amit also has written four plays. His poetry collection Find Me Leonard Cohen, I am Almost Thirty came out in 2018 to very warm reviews. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of English NCERT, New Delhi.

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For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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