A young boy in his later teens knocked at my door today morning asking for some money. He was deaf and dumb hence giving me his request on a piece of paper. Initially I felt somewhat reluctant in offering him a few rupees but like it is a practice on the part of many a boys in the city to resort to such measures as a device to make money but finding that he is handicapped I did offer him a twenty rupee note. He was happy and had a smile, a smile of satisfaction. I returned to my adjoining office. I had hardly settled into my chair when I heard a knock again on the gate. My attendant being away on leave, this knock too had to be attended to by me. I found it was the same boy again. I thought he is asking for more money and I obliged him once again but he was not leaving and repeatedly used his gestures to communicate something to me which I couldn't follow. By now I had lost my patience thinking that like many others possibly he too was a cheat. I asked him to go back with some thrashings. He got nervous but picked up some courage again trying to convey some message by use of his gestures showing a small piece of a dust laden paper which he picked from the garbage nearby. Again I failed to follow insisting that he should leave. He left.
While going through my papers on the table I came across a tiny sized small note. Infact this was the note of request he had written in his hand for help or may be this was the one he got some one to prepare for him. Instantly it struck to my mind that what he was insisting through his gestures and a speechless language was to return that piece of paper to him obviously for the purpose that he could use it for similar help from others as whatever little amount I gave him was not sufficient enough to meet his agonising pain of hunger or may be he was to manage some food for some hungry loved ones like a mother, a sister at home. I feel guilty on not being able to understand him and am overgripped with a feeling of repentance.Handicapped he was hankering for love and affection and what he got from me at the end was just the opposite. I feel like tracing him some where offer my regrets and apologize.