September 01, 2011

Down The Dirt Road


Boy Riding A Bicycle

Goa, 2008.


From the house in the shade of trees,
A little boy in red cycled down the winding dirt road.
Past harvested fields and coconut trees he rode
Clasping an empty bag against the handle,
As he flew down the stretch.
With the loose end of his bandana bouncing behind him,
He pedaled furiously and was soon upon us.

But before I could ask him
What it was his mother had sent him out on an errand for,
He curved past me before turning into a blur on the road
We had ridden along on our way to the river Zuari.

When you’re young and raring, any road will do.
And freedom is pedals under your feet,
A set of wheels at your command,
And an excuse to hit the road away from home.


18 comments:

Riot Kitty said...

Sorry if I say this all the time, but you are such a talented storyteller and photographer. I so enjoy visiting your blog.

Daisy said...

Anil P, you did a wonderful job writing this poem--you chose just the right details to include to describe it all perfectly. Great photo too. The red road adds to the urgency of the boy racing away. I really enjoyed this post.

Ugich Konitari said...

And when you are still younger,
you rush back
with the special bread
from a special lady
in a special shop in the next village.

The bike chain has slipped,
the pedals useless,
but visions
of your Mom
and the Sunday lunch
power you on.

The road meanders,
uneven and rocky,
as you pedal
innovatively,
tilted once this way, once that.

Voila.
You've just learnt about life.

Anu said...

lovely! in addition to your wonderful way to telling a story, today we get to read a poem too! loved it!

Lynn said...

A wonderful poem to go with the wonderful photograph. Just beautiful, Anil P.

dr.antony said...

Anil,
You are too good. But I have told you the same thing at all your posts.
You paint with your words.Your words take up color and shapes.Unseen mysteries.
The photograph,is it original color?

Amber Star said...

Gosh, between the two of you my whole younger life is told and I live a world away.

Anil P said...

Riot Kitty: Thank you. Such a pleasure to be told so :-) And it's wonderful knowing you enjoy reading the posts here. :-)

Daisy: Thank you. The red of the dirt road is the red of the laterite. He was in a hurry for sure.

Ugich Konitari: It helps the shops are not next to the house like they would be in a city, allowing the little boys enough pedal space to run errands.

Folks back home would keep a watch at the window for signs of the cycle bell ringing to announce the return of the little boy bringing home goods from the shop.

Anu: Thanks. Picture poem :-)

Lynn: Thank you.

Dr.Antony: Thank you. The street is such that they invoke the words by themselves. And there're so many things happening on the street, many interesting things.

The image is the original colour. When dirt roads are newly laid or newly relaid, more so where laterite soil is used with laterite stone broken down and used as a base below the laterite soil, then the sight is as you see in the image above, red, bright, deep red.

As school going children at play we would suffer many a fall, invariably with deep bruises over jagged laterite edges that also left our white school uniforms stained red, and it would not wash off easily.

Amber Star: Thank you. How nice it would be to have that carefree cycling days back again.

Anonymous said...

Anil,
I was wondering which part of Goa is it (if at all).
He was perhaps rushing to get 'paav' for lunch in the mid day sun as unannounced guests may have come to their door step.
You are getting lyrical. It is a nice addition to your literary journey(pun intended).
Magan

Lucy said...

A wonderful life-filled moment you've captured.

Anil P said...

Magan: This was in Maina, along the Zuari.

That too could be possible, the boy setting out to get Pao for lunch, or else maybe something else. It was half past ten in the morning at the time. The stretch was sparsely populated so it's unlikely if a Poder would cycle off the main road all the way to this point to sell Pao.

Lyrical? Not much really :-)

Lucy: Thank you.

Balachandran V said...

"When you’re young and raring, any road will do."

When you are old, you look back at the roads you have come and sometimes wish you hadn't taken this one...

That red laterite soil is typical of south-west coast.

Anil P said...

Balachandra V: That too is true. The benefit of hindsight is something one will avail of age, but age will not let us avail of the hindsight before our time, surely not before we've blundered onto roads for a while!

Anonymous said...

Anil,
Maina as I understand is a very generic name (I will try and get it's meaning)and there are at-least 3 Maina that I know in Goa. Two in Sanquelim and one in Santemol. Obviously not close to Zuari but one across Savoi-Verem is on Khandepar river.
Magan

Anil P said...

Magan: You're right. There's more than one Maina. It must have some generic meaning though I'm not sure what it is.

This place is most likely Bomsad, and I think it adjoins the Maina that in turn adjoins Santemol. The place is located not far from the Maina lake.

This place lies almost on the banks of the Zuari at a point where it curves away on its run to Borim and beyond, passing the Rachol Church just past the bend, not far from Bomsad.

An Iengar Chick .... said...

The pic says it all, You have caught the moment brilliantly.

Nisha said...

Beautiful poem with a equally good picture. Your words tell a whole story.
Here are some more photos of dirt road & beautiful sky.

Do we see another poem for these pictures? :-)

Anil P said...

Iengar Chick: Thank you.

Nisha: Thank you. Will check the pictures. Not sure of a poem, was never much of a poet :-)