Monday, January 25, 2016

The Handmaid of the Lord

The novel, Black Hole, continues.

Story so far:

Chapter 1 - The Original Sin:  Kailash Public School in Delhi is donated by Sitaram Rana to Nityananda Baba of Devlok Ashram.  The ashram was founded by Kailash Baba along with the material assistance of Amarjeet and Mahendra Rana.  An Anglican Pastor, Aaron Matthews, is also an integral part of the ashram.

Chapter 2 - A Gospel: Ishan Salman Panicker is one of the English teachers at Kailash Public School.  His foot is fractured the day the school's management changes.  Lying in bed he begins to write a gospel which has its roots in Shillong. He was born of Farishta Kharmawphlang and Shankara Panicker  in Shillong. Shankara disappeared the day Ishan was born; it was during Indira Gandhi's Emergency. Father Joseph Kunnel becomes Ishan's guardian.  Ishan, however, cannot accept the gospel taught by the priest. He becomes "the lost sheep" for the priest, while for Ishan the priest is a worshipper of a helpless god on the cross.   

Read on:


What struck Farishta was the adoration that lit up his eyes each time she came across him.  He was George, Father Joseph’s nephew.  She learnt from Father Joseph that he would be in Shillong for a month or so.  He had completed MBA from a university in Kerala and would be taking up some job soon.  Where and what job, he had not decided.  He hardly made any decisions, said Father Joseph.  His parents made all the decisions for him right from his childhood.  “They have now sent him to me to help him make some decisions,” said Father Joseph.
 
George’s eyes assumed the vague, other-worldly look of a fervent devotee experiencing some spiritual bliss whenever he met Farishta. 

“Father has gone out,” said George that day.

“I’ll come later,” Farishta said turning to leave.

“No,” he said like a supplicant.  “You can wait in my room.  Father will return soon.”

When she followed him she felt like a creature trapped in a magical ring.
 
When she came out much later, Father Joseph was in the basketball court near the gate.  She had no courage to look into his eyes.

“I want to confess,” she told Father Joseph the next day.

“My sin, my sin, my grievous sin,” she beat her chest ceremoniously kneeling at the confessional.  “I have committed adultery.”

Father Joseph’s sigh pierced her breast like a sword. 

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” said Father Joseph.  “Even our Lord faced the temptations of the flesh.”

It was not a temptation of the flesh, Farishta longed to explain to the priest.  But she could not.  How could she tell him that his nephew was worshipping her like a goddess.  That he had elevated her to a plane she had never known in her life.  It was a worship with the body.

The priest counselled her on the necessity to be on constant guard against the temptations of the flesh before giving her the penance.  “Kneel down before the Blessed Virgin and recite the Hail Mary three times.”

I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Farishta heard the Virgin say as she knelt down before the sacred figurine.  Be it unto me according to thy word.

The seed of worship grew in Farishta’s womb. 

Farishta would never come to know what the sower of that seed boasted to his friends when he returned to his homeland.  “She was exotic, man.  Heavenly.  As beautiful as an apsara.  Just like one of those models in the Thai Airways ads.”

*


PREVIOUS PARTS

Chapter 1: The Original Sin


Chapter 2: A Gospel

2.2 Dkhar
     2.4 Cry from Calvary
     2.5 The Lost Sheep
     2.6 The Priest and the Prostitute

NextThe Y Chromosome

6 comments:

  1. Somehow I missed a couple of episodes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. My novel is such that even if you miss a part you will still follow the story. Because there's so little story :)

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    2. Well, I find it a lot interesting! Considering the detailed way you are depicting everything! Good and well researched description! 👍

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    3. I'm happy to hear that, Rakesh. This novel means a lot to me personally. It's a personal exploration into religion mostly. History too to some extent. I know it's difficult to follow it especially since it comes in fragments in the blog. I had no other option because i wouldn't have written it unless I am pushed by the necessity of having to put up the next episode.

      I'm grateful to you for being here as a faithful friend.

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