Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Road to Hell

The small town station is deserted as you step away from the counter where the bespectacled clerk disinterestedly informs you that you will have to wait another two hours for your train. Wondering what you are going to do for the next two hours, you buy cigarettes and a cup of coffee from a stall that sells local magazines too. You take a sip of the lukewarm liquid which has traces of coffee. Lighting the cigarette, you walk the length of the platform, passing the station master’s cabin from which the clatter of the typewriter breaks the monotony of the mid-morning silence that has descended on this station. A strange sense of emptiness envelopes the place as you reach the end, you turn to see a boy in his loincloth taking a bath from the tap that’s fixed to a tiled wall that comes up to two feet. He laughs and asks for a cigarette, which you ignore. Walking back, you throw the coffee cup in a trash can and crush out the cigarette and put on the Walkman and this song comes on, eerily befitting the emptiness of this place. Lying down on a stone bench, your eyes blankly staring at the old, dirty but still functioning ceiling fan. If ever there was a portal that transported you to a different dimension, this was the place. And if they ever played any song as you boarded the craft, this was it.


  1. His voice does have a portal-like quality, doesn't it? To me, this song is a walk back from Naz cafe down to Breach Candy, after having swigged some super-cheap beer while looking over one of the most beautiful vistas the city has to offer, never quite overcoming the uncomfortable feeling of how it was possible that you could be spending an evening at a commercial establishment in Malabar Hills with the kind of money you made/had. And then this song comes on in the walkman, and somehow, the question suddenly seems irrelevant. No connection.

  2. Especially this song, his other songs so-so. This one has a totally Biafra quality to it.