On time

We would have been on time, but a verdict over turned

led to demos in the city and several buses burned.

A human chain was forming along the busy street

And activists in righteous rage thought road rules obsolete.


Just by the smartest shopping mall, some uptown lady’s car

had blocked the double highway, to save her walking far.

Half the road was potholed, and the other half was blocked,

the traffic lights weren’t working and so all movement stopped.


The rumors of a Hartal had spread from BNP

and someone threw a cocktail and thousands stopped to see.

All hope was gone and beggars scratched persistent at our glass,

until a kind policeman allowed us to slip past.


We thought we’d take a short cut and make up some lost time,

we realized that climbing curbs and U-turns weren’t a crime.

We bumped along with CNGs towards our destination

and zigzagged through the rickshaws with great determination .


Just then the school gates opened, and students flocked the road,

precisely as dark monsoon clouds released their daily load.

The water rose almost at once, the road was soon submerged,

the bikes and walkers stepped aside and now the traffic surged.


A garbage truck was merrily unloading in the flood,

the building sites and footpaths became a whirl of mud.

We stopped amid the chaos, with garbage floating past,

peered through the foggy window – and saw your gate at last.


I thought I’d be on time, but I hope you understand,

when you’re in Dhaka traffic, things don’t go as you planned.



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