Chandramohan S, Caste in a local train

Caste in a local train can be deceptive
Like the soul of a Pakistani fast bowler
Camouflaged in a three-piece suit
And anglicised accent.
Though seated opposite me
I can feel him charging on to me.
If my surname is too long
I could be – caught behind.
Will I be trapped leg before wicket
If I attempt a bloodline crossover?
Hope I do not lose my nerve
At abrasive queries like bouncers.
I try to find myself a place
In his skull
Beyond his caste mark amidst his eyebrows
Like trying to find my way around
An ever changing map.
He tries assessing me with an in swinger first
“What is your full name?”
Then he tries an out swinger that seams a lot
“What is your father’s name?”
By this time he loses his nerve
And tries on a direct Yorker
“What is your caste?”!

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Chandramohan S, Caste in a local train

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