Vista-71: Cute Mujahedeen


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Cute Mujahedeen

By Nikhilesh Dholakia

I spotted them first
In Ho Chi Minh City
Dotting the phalanx of mobikes
Covered from head to toe
In flowing soft white Ao Dai
Slit stylishly high above waist
Feet planted, waiting for Green
Elbow length white gloves
Faces wrapped in Euro-scarves
Donning caps
Goggles piercing the traffic
Saigon sirens
Waiting to outgun
Hapless male riders on either side

Their Ahmedabad cousins
Swathed in a riot of color
Sometimes jeans, rarely skirts
Most likely in salwaar kameez
Chunnis wrapped from heads to necks
Colorful masks revealing only specs
Coming from all sides
Zipping on scooters
Usually single, sometimes a pair
Weaving, dodging
People, bikes, cows and cars
What’s that, a slung bazooka?
No just a tight-rolled umbrella
Warding pollution, protecting skin
Cute scooter-riding Mujahedeen

Ahmedabad, August 24, 2004


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