I got this from my college classmate. Makes me proud of my Alma Matter !
Yesterday, a group of for BTech Electronics students finished an internship at my office. They came in for a courtesy call and I invited then to sit down for a chat. We talked of many things. Their lives ahead of them, their hopes and aspirations and their experience with us. Then I asked them about their placements, which is a very safe question to ask these days. Replies came about offers from the usual suspects including Infosys, TCS and Wipro. One girl was silent.
I asked her if she wasn't planning to work. And I was completely unprepared for the answer.
This girl, with an excellent academic record, wants to join the Missionaries of Charity. What impressed me was that she was not doing it for entering paradise in the herafter. There was no mention of god but only of service. She said she was joining a preparatory program on the 18th where she would be engaged in looking after the old, the destitute and the dying. She talked of lepers and Aids patients. She said she had wanted to be of service to her fellow beings from when she was young. Her parents asked her to complete her education and wait till she was twenty one.
I tell you this girl is special. Why would she otherwise put in the hard work that her grades must surely have demanded when those grades would mean nothing in her life? But that was over and now she felt she was ready to take up her true calling.
I then asked her the process the sisters follow to accept an initiate. Turns out it is much harder to be accepted into the order than getting a TCS call letter. The program she is joining will last six months. Her day will start at 4.30am. She will have to do the most menial of jobs, including cleaning the mess left by the dying. The order, she says, is looking for people with a good heart. They have already done their best to dissuade her. I later found out that very few will survive this program and even fewer will be accepted. Even after acceptance there is a 6-7 year period of study and missionary work before she is allowed to wear the simple blue bordered khadi sari.
She asks for nothing of life To see this in someone who is just twenty one in these times was a humbling experience. She spoke with an inner calmness and assurance of one whose life will be one of giving and not taking.
This is one kind of faith. The other which gets all the headlines, blows up airliners and destroys mosques.
It's difficult to convey what I experienced. I may have just talked to potential greatness. May the force be with her..
If you won't mind, is it possible to know as to what they teach in the so called 6-7 years training you have mentioned ? This issue has pained me a lot when I placed her in my daughter's position. I still maintain that one does not have to go through such sufferings inflicting pains to one's parents to serve the needy. If the regime is part of self purification, it is justified. Anyway it is worth probing.