Sister Jesme

This is one lady who suffered a lot in her life due to the Pseudo-Christianity that's been plaguing the world for some several centuries now. She is one of my friends and we got to know each other at Delhi, I found her and went to her to get her guidance and thoughts on my poetry book manuscript, just to get her feedback since she was a published-poet herself. I knew that to get something done, it is so important to get the guidance of the experienced ones, to get a review of their experience and to build on that.


Sister Jesme


She is a lady who always wants to be in deep connection with the world of Jesus. In fact, her name "Jesme" is a portmanteau of "Jesus" + "me" and so Jesme. I normally find priests and nuns to have to have lots of hypocritical arrogance and forced ignorance hampering them but this lady had something different going on with her.



She released a book last year by the name "Amen" which got published by Penguin. And she got interviewed a lot by the media. Her book is a simple report of her life with some good arguments and some daring straight from-the-reality type paragraphs.



Here is a small interview article from the Outlook magazine.

What provoked your break with the convent?

Convent authorities branded me a mental patient and tried to take me to a psychiatrist. So I'm trying to prove to the world I'm alright.



What did you have in mind when you wrote about the chance sexual encounters?
Wanted to be true to myself and my readers. Let the world know what's happening within the four walls. It's not what one expects.



Should priests and nuns give up celibacy?
Celibacy is laudable but very difficult. Let priests and nuns have the freedom to marry.



Isn't there an ombudsman-type authority to look into complaints by nuns?
Every three years we elect superiors. But it's a sham. I was once a member of the electoral college so I know what it is.



The worst form of exploitation in convents?
Making you do unwanted things in the name of blind obedience because we have taken the vow of obedience.



Is there parental coercion behind girls enrolling in convents?
Not much. But from childhood, we are brainwashed into believing that becoming a priest or nun is the best that one can aspire for.



How safe are you after leaving the convent?
Jesus protects. In houses I've stayed after leaving my order, the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel people have been protective. The church has perhaps decided to leave me alone.



Can sublimating yourself as the bride of Jesus substitute for a real-life partner?
When one's heart is filled with Jesus, one doesn't need a human partner. Spiritual bliss is far superior to that of physical ecstasy.



What ails Christian institutions?
Those who want to misuse the church can go to any extent. Lust for money breeds all other forms of lust for which you will even kill, as evident in the case of Sister Abhaya (allegedly murdered for witnessing sex in a convent).



What next?
To set up a shelter for women and provide food, clothing, and peace. Amen!



The New York times had written an article about her recently "Giving a Voice to the Voiceless in India".



It's been days since I called her on phone, I wonder how she is doing. And yes, I guess there was something that we liked in each other so much. She helped me and encouraged me very nicely to get my poetry book published. She is such an encouragement for the youth. And the best part for me is that, she wrote a paragraph about me in her autobiography under the code name "Agni", that was really so nice of her. I see it as a great achievement in my life. Friends can mean so much. Such value addition to life.


I really wish I could help her out with her activities to help the church to gain its purity back at least to some threshold extent. But that's a mission that my back can't carry for now. So I am intentionally keeping distance from her. And besides that, whenever I am in contact with her, I am always fighting with her and always into deep arguments yelling and shouting discussing about any general topic, I have tortured her so much with my thoughts, I always forget that she is a 50+ years old College principal and all that seniority. And yet after each fight, somebody takes the initiative to say sorry and she always takes pity on me saying that I am living alone in Delhi and so on and so forth and then we start again. I used to take her out for the poem recitals at the Poetry club meetings, we had a few good times with poetry alright. She never had any pride issues and I found her to be very friendly. She is my mother's age, coincidentally she happens to be a class mate of my mother when they were studying at Sacred Heart Primary school, Thrissur.



I feel that she has many good contacts, a good network right now to support her. So I know she should be fine. And whenever she is in trouble, she always contemplates on the life of Jesus and how he struggled.


I do miss her voice and her vibrant thoughts and plans for life. Whenever I call her on phone, on hearing my voice, the first thing that she would say in reply with such happy energy would always be "Kuttaaaaaaaa" which means "little son".



So she is such a beautiful lady, I just don't know how many students she must have genuinely helped during her career at Vimala College and at St. Mary's College. She has good intentions in her heart, she has the stuff to be a Saint type.



May she be even more vibrant, Amen!

3 comments:

  1. hav u published ur poetry..y dont u put it in blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes it got published. Yes I should put it up in my blog. Let me see.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw another brief but interesting review of the book at http://www.smartlessons.net/topics/booksreading/lesson5/part1.html.

    ReplyDelete

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