Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The nun, worn the veil of rain

Books were not my only weakness, but it was an indivisible part of life. To visit bookstalls, stare at the books; take them in hand and fondling them for a long time forgetting the outer world, was my hobby.
It was a burning summer noon. I was inside the shelter of a bookstall. I happened to see a book from the dark part of the shelf and it was a book on “rain” titled “the veil of rain”. At first sight, I thought it is a collection of poetry.
But, it was a study of rain, rain spread in literature. The first work regarding rain in the language, and who is the author? I was surprised, it was a nun. “Sister Cicila Maria”

I bought that faded yellowish colored book. Actually, it was waiting silently, patiently, after a long time my touching with my fingers and amazed eyes, awakened it.

Now I am sitting at the coffee house.the book was waiting in front of me as an unsmelt flower awaiting to be opened by the fresh reader. The book is quite unattractive I thought. But I liked it as a lovable old aunty of mine. I looked outside.
Wonderful, it is raining outside the glass wall. A heavy rain in extreme summer season.

I kept the book somewhere and forgot about it. After a few months in a cold and misty December night, I recovered from the shelf accidentally.
I opened the book to the winter…started riding through the letters with my eyes…cold freeze caressed me through the window. The cold became hardened and the strong slap of the raindrops fallen on my face. It was raining in the misty December night.
I stopped reading.
On another shiny day, I continued reading of the book. There was heat and sunshine and I expected the rain. But surprisingly nothing happened. On the roofed terrace lying on the chair, I completed the book. A beautiful blend of poetry and rain, I liked it very much. Then I came back to the bio-data page of the author, Sister Cicila Maria. Suddenly rain dropped to the page. Unexpected rain showered to the page of Cicila’s life story. I was not at all taken aback, but actually, I was awaiting the raindrops. Rain continued for sometime. The cold air embraced me. The rain continued its murmur of something through the leaves. I sat on the terrace for a long time chewing the lines, the raindrops ,..suddenly I thought why should not I write the sister regarding her book. Why can’t I write a letter to her! At that time a visitor came, and I went downstairs.
On the next day I took the paper and started writing to her;
“Respected Sister Cicila.”
I started writing first words.
The calling bell told that there is a visitor for me. I went downstairs, chatted with the visitor. Suddenly rain started scattering through the window and soaked the paper.
The sky became darker and there was a drumbeat of thunder and sky started showering its love through raindrops. Watching the rain is a marvelous past time and rain is an obsession for me.
The rain stopped its chanting. I went upstairs. The letter was soaked with rainwater, shrunk to as wet kitten.

Any way I wrote and sent the letter to the address of the convent and got a phone call from the convent as a reply. I decided to visit the convent.

In the visitors’ room, the mother superior of the convent talked to me about sister cicila, her activities, hobbies and character. Sister was a voracious reader. She loved the flora and fauna around the surrounding and had a great passion for rain. Rain always inspired her and watched rain through the window for hours in a trance. But she died a month ago the day on which I decided to write a letter to her.

On the day when most of the inmates were
Away for a Bible convention, she wandered around the vast compound. Cherishing the plants and flowers. Meanwhile the rain started dancing among the flora. As an after-effect she was affected by pneumonia and admitted in the hospital and died after one week.
On her funeral day it was throughout down pouring. She loved rain accompanied her to the graveyard.

We stood prayfully before the marble tomb of sister cicila. I put a red rose on the tomb. Some raindrops scattered on the flower and the tomb, or I felt so?