"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Road Mending

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The sound of loud chatter assailed me just latterly – noise that had come from outside.

To wit this disturbance – a certain perturbance –  my manservant also espied.

Shaji ran in from the yard’s lofty gate,

He spoke like a prophet or seer:

“Sir, please. Come quickly. No time to be sickly!

Road-roller and workers are here, they’re here – they’re here!

Road-roller and workers are here.”

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Fort Cochin’s new mayor is aware of the prayers that voters have made for their streets.

Casual labour’s been summoned. My dream is they’ll come and create a road fit for aesthetes.

At present it’s pot-holed and traversed by fissures.

Driving’s a challenging feat.

It’s quite hard to ensure, in taxi or rickshaw, one’s bottom remains on the seat, the seat – the seat!

One’s bottom remains on the seat.

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While tarmac is pouring, and neighbours adoring the new mayor’s fair-square policy.

I can’t help but notice this finishing coat is effectively foundation-free.

Beneath the thin layer of asphalt and concrete

Lies soft earth and loose sand combined.

At the monsoon’s returning, we’ll soon be re-learning

If dreams remain merely moonshine, moonshine – moonshine!

If dreams remain merely moonshine.

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With apologies to Edward Lear

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4 responses

  1. We get people offering to do our drive all the time with some ‘left over tarmac from another job’. I should get out there and enjoy the smooth ride while you can.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:30 am

    • I intend to!
      But I can’t help wishing that the money had been put towards thorough and lasting repairs to the main roads in Cochin.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:10 am

  2. a good foundation is everything …

    January 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

    • I am reliably informed this is so…

      January 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

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