He arrived with a rucksack
Not of canvas but of rags of rags.
His arms were open carrying
An open card of message.
He, a leper with broken
Fingers and toes with
Insensibility to pain,
Recovered from a serious
Severe leprosy attack,
Unbolted the gate.
His was a life secluded why,
Because people he thought
Would stay away from
Him for fear of being leprous.
Instances like running away from
Him by even the paupers,
Spoke to him in ears
“Better, for you is solitude, if not
You will pick in your collection
Derision and disdain from your kin.”
Two lovely little fingers unlocked
The door and loomed at the verandah.
Unfurling his toy wallet, a coin
The juvenile took out, withdrawn
Long back and dropped on the card
The beggar had held for alms.
“Where it became discernible?”
“From brother’s coin- holder.”
Naive prattling to mother
Flew from his lingual tender.
The tinkle of twinkles knuckled
At the table charmed the tiny eyes.
And they had found their way
To the folder the toddler held.
The tot addressed leper*‘appooppa.’
Presenting an unruffled smile.
That most heart- winning word,
He had ever heard from a mouth
Since his misery from malady
Amazed him in profound grade.
*A solemn word in Malayalam to address grandfather with concern and affection.
The seed of the poem is a real incident. In haiku if I cut short,
‘Toddler calls beggar grandfather.
He raises eyes gaily and sends fondly
A glance astounding. ’