Shillong in Haikus

Shillong’s hot debate—
is it a town? A city?
Ragged settlement.
Shillong’s hot debate—
is it a town? A city?
Scotland of the East.
Scotland of the East—
roads pockmarked by jumbo pits,
cars do twist dancing.
Cars over potholes—
gut-jerking see-saw, always
full of expletives.
Driving in city
when traffic is chock-a-block—
stampeding wild beasts.
Liberal police,
traffic run by unruly,
client-mad cabbies.
Cars through crowded streets,
aximum rate per hour—
caterpillar speed.
Locality roads,
linking each one to city—
wide, as kettle necks.
Scotland of the East—
teeming, disorderly streets
fragrant with garbage.
Survival technique—
woman gorging with dogs from
brimful garbage dump.
Riots in city—
the police, dog’s bark harmful
to communal peace.
Ïew Mawlong Market—
vehicles plough through mud fields,
crowd scale rubbish heaps.
Famed Umkhrah River—
reeking serpent of sewage,
bodies and drowned gods.
City’s many streams,
gushing from wooded catchments—
all drains lead to them.
City’s cluttered drains—
even unwanted infants
are often thrown in.
Queen of Hill Stations—
flies swarming hearts, lungs, entrails,
dangling from meat shops.
Scotland of the East—
favourite architecture,
squat concrete boxes.
City’s preferred paint—
grey lichen and dark monsoon
fungus, with green moss.
Shopkeepers’ city—
footpaths, over-bridges are
favoured shopping malls.
Scotland of the East,
suitably provided with
very own wonders.
Ïewduh Flyover:
hanging garden of whole world’s
second-hand garments.
Crow Borough Hotel:
a government dream project,
forever a dream.
Multi-lane By-pass:
amazingly by-passing
construction for years.
Public Health Centres:
mooing and baaing noises,
oh, livestock shelters!
End of hot debate—
Shillong, a town? A city?
Scotland of the East.


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