What should I write? Was it my own desire and decision to say ‘YES’ to that priest about joining the seminary? Yes, it was my own. But what happened now? Who is the reason for this?
The first unforgettable day in my life!!! When I was studying in the SSLC class, Fr Thomas D’Souza came to our school one afternoon. I was greatly moved by the words that he spoke about the life of religious and their self-sacrificing deeds for Christ. I felt that the seed I had in me to become a priest got a good fertile ground to let the roots go deep and to let the shoots reach high in the sky.
When I came back home in the evening, after school, I told my parents about my desire and the decision of my life. My Father said to me, “Go ahead and don’t look back.” My mother, though not happy with my decision, said after a long time, “It’s your wish. I don’t say anything. But remember, if you become a priest, you will get everything but not marriage.”
Months and years passed in the seminary. I was happy and joyful about the present state of life. I came to know more about my God and made lots of friends in the face book, what’s app and even in reality. There were any number of deadly storms, especially doubting my own vocation that arose in the path of my chosen life. I faced them calmly and patiently. I never shared my inner world with anybody, even with my God! I went on with it.
My Provincial sent me to a new place for my next stage of formation, that is, for my degree studies. I had no difficulty with his decision. I willingly went to that place along with my companions. I had ample expectations for my own life, like excelling in my studies and mingling freely and equally with boys and girls.
One month passed. I made only three good friends out of one fifty classmates. Shyness and fear blocked me from mingling with them. My superior and the companions were forcing me to come out of my limitations. I was working on them.
The second and the last unforgettable day in my life. She was a late comer to our college. When I saw her for the first time, truly, I did not feel or think anything. She was a beautiful and good looking girl. Her name was Gayatri. As days passed, I noticed some external and internal changes taking place in me. I embarked on giving more importance to my dress, hair style and my academic life. My eyes began to hunt for her in and outside the class. I spent my prayer time thinking about my life with her. I was conscious that all these changes were to please her and win her love. One day Rajesh, one of my classmates, told me privately that Gayatri was in love with me. That was enough for me. I was high up in the air. I did not ask him how he knew it. I just believed him. Even I felt that she was in love with me, because there were times when our eyes met and spoke about our warm and silent love for each other. However, I did not dare to say, “I love you” to her in words.
No one can stop time, but everyone can make a good use of it. But I did not. It was perhaps the most awful day in my life. As soon as I got up in the afternoon, I opened what’s app and was shocked to see the display picture of Rajesh. He had posted the selfie with Gayathri, who was kissing his cheek. With deep pain in my heart and tears in my eyes, I read his status which said ‘I luv u Gayathri’. Then I got a notification from Face Book saying that Rajesh had posted the photos. Suddenly, I opened the face book and saw so many photos of him with her. I clicked on ‘Like’ and threw away my mobile. I did not know what to do or with whom to share my inner turmoil. I just went and lay down on my bed to sleep, as I used to do always, as I was not able to face the struggles of my life. I tried my best to sleep, but failed. Her stunning eyes were piercing my heart and soul. I got dreadfully angry with Rajesh. But I could not do anything. I was helpless.
Rajesh has got a good partner and even Gayatri too. Gayatri will be happier with Rajesh than with me. Poor girl, it was not her mistake but mine. Being a boy I failed to express my true and genuine love to her. If I had proposed to her and if she had accepted my proposal, what would be next? She is a Hindu girl and I am a Christian boy; but much more than that, I am a religious. Would my family, my friends and the religious order accept my future life partner? If they do and if I leave the religious order to marry her, will not my relatives and the neighbours fool and call me, till my death, a ‘half priest’ and it will be a bad name to my family.
So what next?
I could not find an answer to this question. I went to the college. My eyes were searching for her. But she did not come to class nor did Rajesh. I attended all the classes and listened to the lectures with the absence of my heart and mind. After the class I returned to the seminary and rushed to my room. It was more than I could bear. I could face it no longer.
Sorry, father, mother, brother and sister…
As I began this new paragraph of my death note, something pushed me to go ahead. So I began reading it once again. Though I was fully convinced of committing suicide, the last sentence of the death note made me pause.
“Sorry, father, mother, brother and sister.”
This pause brought in ample of questions to my mind. Why am I committing suicide? Is it because Gayathri didn’t love me? What about the love of my family? Is it greater than her love?
Tears rolled from my eyes. I held back my tears. I crushed the death note and threw it in the dust bin and shouted, “I love you dad, I love you mom. I decide that I will not commit suicide. I will live. I want to live for you, for your love. Your love is far greater than hers. She is nothing for me. Sorry dad, sorry mom.”
Suddenly the bell rang. It’s a reminder bell for us to get ready for the game. I wore my shoes and went to the basket ball court.
- Amith Sandeep D’Souza SJ