I heard a bizarre story yesterday. I don?t know if it is true for sure. But if it is, then there is a lot to be pondered upon. Ok first the story; no actually it is more of a headline of the stop-press kind than a story. I heard from the grapevine that one Sister (a nun) was caught pregnant in her eighth month. Like I said before I don?t know if it is true but I heard it alright.
When news of such macabre magnitude makes the headline one can always expect the usual reactions: the raised eyebrows, the sigh of horror, waging tongues and everything. But what is it that makes this news item so darn shocking? That she happens to be a nun? Yes, because nuns are, as we conceive: all good and honourable and holy. There is no room for mistake in a convent leave alone an offence. In a society where an unwed, pregnant layperson can come under relentless scorn and be treated with contempt then one can only imagine what should happen to a ?nun? with similar misdemeanour.
The most apparent characteristic of a nun is her celibacy, and with that gone there is nothing much to talk home about. But lets just be a little objective here, God forbid, had a priest done the same mistake, then he would have gotten Scot-free. Cause who could tell what he did, right? But it is true that this is just one of the few reasons why God gave a woman more resilience and prudence. I am not trying to conjure up a heated debate here, I am just trying to understand why someone resorted to such a thoughtless act.
Again the argument of Indian women not having the third asylum besides marriage and convent holds sway. When the Lord calls someone to join the convent or even the church (as in a priest), that?s all it is, there is no physical transformation; there is no killing of burning fire deep within, the need to love and to be loved is not diminished and there is no extra-ordinary power in them just because they join the convent or church. They are just human beings like you and me who chose the better route to salvation. Their desires are the same as you and me. And who can tell if he/she joined the church/convent because he/she wanted to or because someone else wanted him/her to.
The immediate reaction one would have when you hear the incident for the first time would be: ?what was she thinking?? Yes, she must have thought something, to get pregnant and then carry the pregnancy to its culmination (well almost). If she didn?t want anyone to know what was happening she could do it, oh! She could. Maybe she was trying to make a point; maybe she always intended to leave the convent and did not have enough courage. Ok so she was not smart enough to not think of leaving the convent and getting married before she got pregnant but she could not have been not smart enough to think that no one would know if she had given birth.
This is not an attempt to call the society to come together to terrorize the already terrified former nun but to try and understand what goes on in ?A MIND? when such extreme step is taken. In all this the looser would be ?the convent?. The credibility is gone, the question of ?if she can do it the other one can too? would gain momentum. But its not like that, not all are of the same mindset. This is just an indication of the adage: ?Times???? they are a changing?.
We the society hold a whole lot of stake in helping to reduce this. We should not try to intimidate the woman in question by repeatedly reminding her of her mistake. Instead if we show a little sympathy MAYBE there wont be a second time. If we encounter this harshly then the thought of unacceptability sits pretty and again someone else will want to resort to the same stupidity. We should let them know that: ?its ok if you want to leave the convent, atleast you have done as much as you could, now you are welcome to our society.? Because tell me from the deepest part of your heart: how many of you think that this nun in question did not once think of how the society would react to her if she left the convent and kept silent for 8 long months or three long years (as the case may be)? There must also be the thought disturbing her about how much the convent has done for her and how she could not repay the convent in the same coin. But that?s between her and her conscience.
Agreed that what she did was deplorable; all the excuses in the world cannot make her wrong right. But let us give them the free will to leave the convent if they so want to. Like they say: charity begins at home, so let us begin with I, ME, MYSELF.
Its not about what?s right and what?s wrong, its about what you can do and what shouldn?t be done!
Author: Rashmi Diana- India