The Creative Section (Vol. 5, No. 1) is on its way and will be published by the end of May, 2024.




-         Gopikrishnan Kottoor (India)


Sir, come. I have reserved this seat for you.

Pandey removed the fat copy

of the Annual Report.

I took my place beside him.

My interview is tomorrow

For the post of Deputy General Manager.

They ask questions mostly

From the Annual Report.

If I get through I can even become GM.

I wished him the best.

From just behind

The chorus rose;

Ramaiya Vastavayya*

Ramaiya Vastavayya

Mene dil tujh ko diya

Mene dil tujh ko diya

The ghost of Raj Kapoor floated past

Wearing the overcoat of Charlie Chaplin.

The train started light as a butterfly

Loaded with morning pollen.

We parted ways at BoriBunder.

Onam came.

We left for our native places.

Walking past the Harbour line again

I realized I hadn’t seen Pandey

For a while. So I walked into his office in Cuffe Parade.

Pandey? AGM?

Who gaya.**

Ek mahine hoga.

Cancer tha.

The silver sachet in his left blue stocking

Suddenly flashed before my eyes.

Back in BoriBunder

I sat in the evening train,

The same place

Where he had reserved a seat for me.

Tu na aaye toh kya, bhool jaaye toh kya***

Pyar kar ke bhulana na aaya hame

Pyar kar ke bhulana na aaya hame

Ramaiya Vastavayya

Ramaiya Vastavayya

Mene dilt ujh ko diya

Mene dil tujh ko diya


The old lady

Of Bori Bunder

Ticked 6.30 sharp.

The train started,

Ripping an annual report

Across my face.


*Ramaiya, won't you come?

I've given you my heart

**He passed away. A month ago.

It was cancer.

***So what if you don't come or will forget me

I know not how to forget you having  loved you.

(Lines from the Hindi film song: Shree 420).

Bori Bunder, or Victoria Rail Terminus,  Mumbai, India.