The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Visitor

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Begging is bad...and who can contest the statement? As a poet I had once seen in it something worth pondering about. Aha! The great feeling of endearment! This poem of mine that I present here from my poetry collection, 'In Harness' was the result of that feeling of endearment. I had liked it then as I articulated my feelings on a paper and even now, after fourteen long years have elapsed since its creation, I still like revisiting it. In my opinion poetry should always be like that--they should function as the repository of the one's present emotions for their future retrieval...and in a more concentrated form. Here, the theme is simple, say one of give and take. And it happens to be the highest form of quid pro quo---blessing in exchange of a bowl of rice.
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The Visitor


The shrill cry at the door repeats
Routinely, for the occasion umpteenth,
The theme of sufferings and famishment 
And nettles, but pleasingly everybody—
The bed-ridden patriarch included.

The freshly bathed lady
Then appears in her pious sari
Finishing her daily worship
With a fistful of alms
And releases her grip
Slowly and contentedly.

The grains of life-giving rice
Pour out in a flow rhythmic
From the palm of the serene lady
Into the visitor’s empty tin
Once used for packing
The hydrogenated ghee.

The hapless visitor
Fervently friendly and familiar
Throws his expectant look
On the face of the generous Juno
And pleads with all his humility
For a bowlful of water-rice.

In a matter of minutes
The fermented rice with tamarind,
Salt sprinkled affectionately around
Reaches the hungry soul
Jumping in satisfying sequence
From tongue drooling to stomach empty.

And then follows
The rich series of blessings
For the lady and her offsprings
In a style of thanksgiving
The friendly visitor has perfected
Over a period of decade
In the ritual of mendicancy.

The visitor leaves the door
Beaming, in a satisfied mood
Skipping a few prospective donors
To be approached in his next round
And reaches the ancient Banyan
And its benign shade
For a refreshing nap
And a nourishing dream.

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VISAKHAPATNAM
28-10-1998
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By
A N Nanda
Coimbatore
25-12-2012
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2 Comments:

Blogger NS said...

Dear Sir
The poem “The Visitor” appears that contains a simple begging incidence but some interesting features I found. The donor is a lady and the recipient, here the beggar is a man. The donor before his proffer used to bath ,worship and then provide food to needy. He got his food in exchange of heartful blessing to the donor and her kith and kin. He never gets free but for giving blessings. When his stomach was not hungry he never tried to get more food but went to sleep. In Tamil Vedic, THIRUKKURAL, it is told that, “ Begging is bad; refuse to help the beggar is so bad than the begging”
A nice poem stood beyond the time. Thanks for reposting your nice poem.
--- N.Subramanian Tirupur

10:03 AM  
Blogger A_N_Nanda said...

Nice to get your feeling about the poem, NS. Thanks.

4:04 AM  

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