I woke up at 3 am this morning — a cold day in Bangalore
to the sound of a lizard clucking disapproval.
Fortunately, it was outside.
By 4, the birds had started singing
And the construction workers were coming in.
I could hear the sound of their baskets – full of rice and watered dal
That would be cold when they sat to eat finally at 9.
By 5, the construction had started.
Whitefield is where the work is.
Houses, hotels, now the metro.
We lead in all the pollution studies.
It doesn’t matter as I can still hear birds
And somewhere I imagine jacarandas still bloom.
By 6, my father bustles in after his walk
The i-pod blaring old Dev Anand songs.
The neighbours start their noise.
I hear a flush from the neighbour’s house
And a strong, well-bodied belch.
I’m only glad that the wall, however thin, shields us.
At 7, another neighbour’s Rottweiler starts to howl.
He’s out, chained in the yard and miserable everyday
For at least an hour.
The maid cannot work with him chewing away at things in the house.
The babies in another house wake and get ready for school.
I can hear the panic of assembling text books, checking homework, eating a hurried breakfast.
At 8, the school bus comes with a hoot.
And at 8.30 the garbage van blares Kannada music.
I sit typing a story on my laptop.
Delete it all when I am done.
The cadence is all wrong.
I am my harshest critic.
Besides, who cares for angst anymore?
Urban angst, especially, is overdone.
My mom wakes up at 8.30.
She sleeps in late these days.
I’ve asked her to as she is not too well.
She drinks her tea, says,
“Why do you never go out? How will you ever know what’s happening in the world?”
Written for the challenge Urban Angst on ode.la.
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