Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nuns' tales - 3

My friend Sister Rose (name changed) was waiting with the crowd which thronged the pavements on both sides of a street in Ottawa (I think) waiting to see Nelson Mandela who was visiting Canada. This was soon after his release and so the halo around his head shone luminous and bright.

It was a summer day and so bright and hot (I was surprised when she told me this ‘cos my idea of Canada was that of a country always dull and freezing). The sun was beating down right into her eyes and she looked around for shade, as she was prone to migraine.There was no shade anywhere and she seriously began contemplating going back to her cubicle in the university where she was doing research. Just then she saw a demonstration moving up the street slowly, with a gigantic banner which cast a huge shadow on several rows of people participating in the demonstration. She craned her neck to see what was written on it. It made no sense to her ‘cos it was in French and she hadn’t picked up enough French yet.

Just then she noticed a lady who was shouting out slogans loud, beckon to her and those around her to join the demonstration. Delighted, Sr. Rose jumped out from the side walk and joined the demonstration. Since the slogans were in French she couldn’t follow what was being demanded but she lipsync-ed to the sound of whatever was being shouted. She felt terribly relieved to be away from the sun and travelled some distance with the demonstrators.

Once she regained her sense of well being from walking in the shade of the banner, she began to look around at the sidewalk, smiling at the faces from the university and the convents she recognised. It was then that she noticed that she was attracting a lot of attention. Her friends from the university were pointing out to her and laughing. The malayalee nuns were also laughing, typically covering their mouths. Even to strangers whom she didn’t know, she seemed to be affording a lot of amusement. They were pointing out to her and laughing.

“Possibly nun's dress” she thought. “Guess nuns don’t take to the streets in this part of the world. If only these people knew the role we played in the Vimochana Samaram back home in Kerala”.

Her row had reached a group of young students who were pointing out to her and guffawing and giggling and dissolving into peals of laughter. Sr. Rose was thoroughly confused . Just then a Canadian colleague who was with this group of students shouted out to her, smiling from ear to ear:”Hey, didn’t know you were one of these”.

Curious, Sr. Rose turned to the lady next to her who was yelling out something at the top of her voice.
“What’s this demonstration about?” she asked.

“Oh, you don’t know”, she asked looking surprised.”This is a demonstration for the rights of the lesbians, organised by the local Lesbian Club”.


  1. ROFL.. poor Sister :) hope she didn't face any disciplinary actions..

  2. Hahahaha! Good one! I wonder what Sr.Rose must have felt over the whole incident.

  3. It was the early 1950s. The Company was still a private Company. Unionisation was not appreciated.

    So, Joseph had joined the demonstration reluctantly. As the demonstration approached the owner's residence, the slogans grew louder.

    Joseph had been given a flag and he was dutifully but silently, carrying it.
    Scaria beside him was shouting the slogans insanely and holding his flag higher and higher in Socialist fervour as they neared the Capitalist's house.

    As ill luck would have it, Scaria's enthusiasm resulted in his Dhoti getting loose. It dropped down.

    Hey, Joseph Acchaaya, please hold this flag. Let me fix my Dhoti; said Scaria.

    Give it to me, Kariyaaccha, said Joseph.

    Scaria moved out of the demonstration, tied his Dhoti; and rejoined later.

    Next morning, Joseph was issued orders to Coimbatore [from Kottayam]. The family was aghast. Father rushed to the Company owner.

    Why did you punish my son, when you did not punish even that rascal Scaria? asked the dad.

    Acchaaya, don't get me wrong; said the owner. You think your son is a lamb. You dunno children of these times. That Scariah was not even in that jatha. But your son was there, holding not one, but two flags against me. Now tell me what I should do. I only gave him the job out of consideration for you. And this is how he repays.

    Joseph stayed on at Coimbatore even after nationalisation, to retire from there. His father had turned him out of the house.

  4. @ stoic :-). the mundu has always been a source of problem for many a mallu
    @ sujatha
    she ismy friend. has a great sense of humour. she laughed at herself - -
    @ dhanya
    none whatsoever.all had a goods laugh. nuns have a better sense of humour than many think.


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