1. 13-15: you seem to move… between his eyebrows: With his eyes rivetted on the old man’s brow the pilgrim can only ‘feel’ the onward movement of his journey little aware of the goal or destination. He has obviously a goal and a purpose which is beyond religion of which the caste mark is a symbol. The journey seems to be an aimless, purposeless movement in a wasteland of darkness relieved now and then by streaks of sunlight shooting into the bus.
11. 22-25: The pilgrim has arrived at his destination after a bumpy ride. But he neither carries with him nor shares with the old man any of the religious sentiments associated with the temple.
The following comment made on the poem by William Walsh in his Indian Literature in English deserves to be recalled:
Travelling by bus in India through the night towards dawn affords an immediate experience of immensity of space. There are two observations to be made on the management of this element in the poem. First the hugeness of space is controlled and deftly directed by the poet. He translates space into distance and distance into light, diminishing and intensifying it into the little light trickling out from the bus, the image in the old man’s glasses, the sunbeam resting on his right temple.
The poem focuses great forces, turning them into visible and comprehensible points of light. A second and related observation is that, as in perception, our basic experience itself, in this poem the subjective and the objective flow in and out of one another, modifying, correcting and dissolving each other.