Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I am that man (Part 2)

This is the the continuation of my previous post . . . a translated article from the Malayalam daily, Mathrubhoomi . . . 

 . . . ‘My daughter’s blood were on your hands. It’s a blessing to have kissed them’.

The next day was the 8th anniversary of Sr. Mariya’s death. Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil initiated the procedure for proclaiming Sr. Rani Maria  a saint in the memorial program.

Sr. Rani Mariya’s family gave it in writing that they have forgiven Mr. Samundar Singh. After a long legal process, Mr. Samundar was released on 22nd August 2006. The next day, he reached the grave of Sr. Rani at Mirzapur near Udayanagar. He cried loudly in front of the grave. Later, he went to the Nachanbor hillocks, to the place where he had stabbed the nun to death. Later, he reached the convent where Sr. Rani lived, asked the nuns for their forgiveness and had food with them.

Later, Mr. Samundar reached Kerala along with Fr. Sachidanandan, popularly called Swamiachen to visit the place where Sr. Rani Mariya was born. On 20th January, 2007, in a scene akin to the return of the prodigal son in one of parables of Jesus, with folded hands, he begged forgiveness from the debilitated father of Sr. Mariya, Mr. Pylee and her mother Mrs. Eleeshwa. The elderly couple places their trembling hands on the forehead of their daughter’s murderer and blessed him. Sr. Rani’s siblings and other relatives took good care of him. They had prepared a great feast for him. Mr. Samundar could not bear the goodwill that everyone had towards him. He wept like a baby. Then, he proceeded to bite and injure his hands. Mrs. Eleesha embraced him and urged him not to do so saying, ‘Never, son. We all have forgiven. If you cry, we shall feel sad. Aren’t you also our son?’

It was a tearful sight. Samundar visited Sr. Rani’s parents once more along with Swamiachen.

I saw this Samundar standing with a rose flower in front of Sr. Rani’s grave. Now, Samundar is a farmer. He has cows and buffaloes. Whenever he gets time, he reaches the convent. Sr. Selmi is the Mother Superior in the Sneha Sadan convent. The congregation allowed Sr. Selmi’s request to allow her to serve the same area that her murdered sister served. Whenever Samundar visits the convent, he does not forget to take some fruit or other agricultural produce from his fields for Sr. Selmi.

On February 25th, 2015, Samundar had brought fruits from his fields as thanksgiving on Sr. Rani’s memorial day.  He fell on the feet of the chief celebrant, Cardinal Mar George Alancherry and asked for forgiveness. Those who came from Pulluvazhy village had started Rani Maria Foundation and Mr. Samundar was the first member.

On asking Mr. Samundar on what he felt now, after he remains silent for some time, he says, ‘Sometimes guilt fills my heart. I feel that it may be better to die. Later, I think. Everything is God’s plan. I’m just an instrument in God’s plan. I’m baptised in the blood of the Sr. Rani. I’ve learnt that if you do good, you’ll be happy and peaceful. I pray in the church and the temple. We’re all brothers. We’re all children of one God.’

He continued, ‘I would like to go back to Pulluvazhy village. Sr. Rani’s mother is not keeping well. I would like to see her. I would like to see my accomplices in the murder to have a change of heart and visit Sr. Rani’s home at Pulluvazhy village. Then, I want to see Sr. Rani beautified. I pray to God for that everyday. That way along with Sr. Rani, I would also be remembered’ . . . Samundar concluded with a mournful smile.

As I returned I told myself – This is also Easter. Not of the Son of God, but of a poor son of man. Where else can one find a better meaning for the word, resurrection? 

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