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Radhika Praveen » 2005 » February



February 3, 2005

don’t take that road at night

late one evening

it was about 8pm (i think)

a girl, 15, walked

alone

on a lonely road

fast

she had disobeyed

a warning

don’t take that road at night.

it was a quicker route

and no one would know

she thought.

night-crickets chirped

the sound of her chappals

on the gravel and tar road

suddenly

was interrupted

by a whirr…

a cycle

perhaps, she thought

and continued

through the shadows

more towards the right

the whirr came closer

was it someone she knew?

she grasped her books

to her stomach

still walking…

it was a cycle.

dangerously

it came this close

and whirred past

the wind in her hair

sending

a shiver down her spine

she should have listened

she regretted

taking

that road

that never seemed to end.

then again

the whirr turned

a streetlight far away

glistened on a wheel

this close

the shiny spokes

not making her see

a quick hand

slapping

her young breasts

cycling away.

pain

shot through her senses

sharp tears

anger

and shame

even as she entered her house

she never reached home

that night.

miles away today

i wonder why

this long-forgotten

story

came to me

i just

am curious

i guess

if young girls

are still being warned

don’t take that road at night.