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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