The Story Of A Showman


His daily fare was a simple thing.
Idli’s and chutney in the morning.
Rice, sambhar and curds at three
with sliced onions and green chilli.

No grunting, sweating in any gym,
Nor kusthi or weights for him.
For the night it was a thick uthappam,
and a glass of hot pepper rasam.

Protein supplements – what were they?
Never heard of tofu or whey.
His muscles, if any, did not show
how much weight he could throw.

And that he could stop a van dead,
merely with his hands stretched.
Though, doing all he did,
did leave him a bit stressed.

He could with ease cars and trucks,
not so a plane on tarmac or a train on tracks.
Until one day he faced a twenty-footer boldly,
that, it was sad, didn’t take him seriously.

he doesn’t do what he did.
He does what he didn’t.
What is it? You may want to know.
They were kind, moved him to a desk at the RTO.

Had it easy with two, four and many wheelers,
Not so with milling brokers and irate visitors.
If you haven’t figured him out yet,
It’s the hapless traffic-cop at Fort Market.


RTO is the Road Transport Office, usually a chaotic place overrun by touts and middle-men than genuine visitors.

Idli’s (steamed rice cakes), Uthappam (dosa like?), Sambhar (a thick lentil soup?)and Rasam (a thin spicy lentil soup?) are popular South Indian breakfast/meal preparations. Chutney is a kind of spicy paste/pickle.

Kushti is free style wrestling sport common in rural India.


10 Responses to The Story Of A Showman

  1. S R Kannan says:

    Wow! A nice composition


  2. theotheri says:

    Great story. And thank you for the translation of the Showman’s regular fare. We regularly have Indian meals – our own or those of friends – and I thought I knew most of the main foods. But I needed your translations for everything but chutney.


    • tskraghu says:


      Chutney is pan-India and comes in great varieties from very dry to semi. Just like pickles.

      All those dishes – small pleasures in life!

      It may not be a exaggeration to say every 100 miles the cuisine is different in some ways! Diff to get fed up:-)



  3. Nithya says:

    God suspense!


  4. V Narayanan says:

    Iyya, ungal muulaiyela eppadi ivvalavu pookkal malarhindrana ? How does it thosusands of flowers blossom in your small brain ? Wonderful keep it up.


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