February 3, 2005

don’t take that road at night

late one evening

it was about 8pm (i think)

a girl, 15, walked


on a lonely road


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


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.


it came this close

and whirred past

the wind in her hair


a shiver down her spine

she should have listened

she regretted


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


her young breasts

cycling away.


shot through her senses

sharp tears


and shame

even as she entered her house

she never reached home

that night.

miles away today

i wonder why

this long-forgotten


came to me

i just

am curious

i guess

if young girls

are still being warned

don’t take that road at night.


  • vineeth said:

    vivid. almost tangible.
    arent these interludes like storms in our otherwise placid lives, from our lives across dimensions far away.

  • Kate Allan said:

    Very thought provoking.

  • Sai Ramachandran said:


  • nick cook said:

    Hi Radhika,

    excellent poem. You built up the suspense very well. And I really liked the way you said she reached the house but she never reached home.

    Maybe last line could be: never take any road alone at night with the any and the alone emphasised.

    Like your blog-web (the first I have ever ventured into!!)

    Keep writing,


  • chandramohan said:

    Hi Radhika,

    A lovely poem penned with feeling.

    Your writing has an elegant straight-from-the-heart style which is very appealing.

    If you do get nostalgic about Kerala do visit Ratheesh’s site which has a similar direct appeal

    Hope your back is better now.

    Take care.

  • Sukanya M said:

    Reading your poem was like as if I had taken that road myself….

  • Twin-Gemini said:

    We can only wish that this is a poem or a figment of your imagination. This, still will be stark reality in many parts of India.

  • Anumita said:

    Sending a chill down my spine… sounds so familiar too.
    Excellent post!

  • The Inspiring said:

    Hey Radhika,

    Reached here from http://www.keralam.at And am glad to reach here again..!

    It was touching – will be a so insipid statement…

    I just loved these lines… “Even she entered her house, she never reached home that night.”

    Meet ya again…

  • vaibhav said:

    Just checking.Will be back for more.
    Read my kissay@

  • Sampada said:

    Hi Radhika,

    Was going through Google searches because I have nothing better to do, and came across the fact that you had studied under Shubhani Karnik. I am a big fan of the English Department at Kelkar (graduated from there myself in 2001) and was so nostalgic when I read some quotes of Karnik Ma’am’s that you had put up. Would like to talk to you sometime about the good old Kelkar days, it’s always nice to meet an alumni.

    Good luck

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