A NEW BEGINNING
Scho. Sanjay D. Aind S.J.
Maurish, was quite well known in the town. He was handsome, young and well-built. He was brilliant in studies. He also had a great many creative skills. God had endowed him with many a Christian virtue. Being young, he fancied a beautiful girl named Leona of his own college. Leona was twenty two. She lived at a distance from Maurish’s house. She led the choir at the parish. She too felt drawn towards Maurish.
Inspired by his elder brother’s virtues, Polly too grew as a well-mannered young man. Besides being brothers they were very good friends too. They shared everything they had. Such a loving bond they had developed between them that they had become a good example for all girls and boys around. Polly always desired to become a priest, although he enjoyed all the fun with his friends in the college.
“Polly”, said Maurish one day, “I am in love with Leona…how do you find her…shall I ask for her hand?” Polly missed a heartbeat. Then he realized that he too had been fancying Leona, unaware of Maurish’s affection for Leona. Maurish’s question was a blow from the blue for him. Yet he gave him a smile and changed the topic for the time being.
One black day, Maurish met with an accident while going for a basketball tournament. He could no longer dream of becoming a famous sportsman. Neither could he dream of getting Leona as his life partner.
Considering Maurish’s disability and his own desire to become a religious Polly found himself in a great dilemma. Added to that, Leona’s frequent visits to the disabled Maurish stirred up his young heart. However, one fine day, he disclosed all his feelings to the parish priest. He was advised to take time over the matter.
With confidence in God and guidance from the Parish Priest, he decided to join religious life. The first few days in the seminary passed by quite smoothly. Within a week or two he had made good friends with all the seminarians and won the heart of Fr. Danny, the Director of the seminary.
As the days rolled by, Polly started missing his brother. He wept silently in his bed at night. Simultaneously, his heart ached at the thought of Leona. He spoke to the Director about his internal turmoil.
* * * * * * *
“Hey! Look at that man! He is so handsome!” cried a young girl pointing towards a stranger. He stood among a few parishioners after the Sunday Mass. August was a charismatic character. Many people had grown fond of him. Naturally, Leona too was fascinated by the personality of August.
Apart from his fascinating character, August was also a good speaker. He simply attracted people towards him with his enchanting voice. Gradually, he started preaching against the Church. People were shocked and enraged at his words in the beginning. But he had taken a good hold over them by then. Leona was so captivated by his magic that she did not even realize when she started helping him out with his preaching. It was a matter of great concern for all. Maurish warned Leona to be careful of her closeness to August.
* * * * * * *
The life of Polly in the seminary was going through a lean patch. Fr.Danny with all his fatherly advice helped him to discern. Polly confidently chose to marry. He felt a tremendous joy and satisfaction when he took the final decision. Fr. Danny as well as the other seminarians bade him farewell.
With a joyous heart he came back home to be with his elder brother. Maurish was naturally more than happy on his return. Polly noticed that Leona made fewer visits now to see his brother. He was quite disheartened to hear about the relationship of Leona and August.
Polly informed Fr. Danny about all the happenings and asked for his help. Fr. Danny knew August earlier. He had seen him enticing faithfuls in other places too. Now, when he saw him with Leona he felt quite uncomfortable. Out of great concern for Polly, he asked August to keep away from Leona because she belonged to Polly. That irritated August, and from the very next day onwards he looked for a chance to finish Polly. Meanwhile, Fr. Danny asked Polly to stop August from instigating people, and save the proud yet innocent Leona from his evil hands.
August, somehow, came to know of their plans. That made him all the more determined to kill Polly, gain Leona, and keep his secret identity safe. But there was quite sufficient time for Fr. Danny to do the needful. Without losing a moment he took Leona into confidence and revealed the reality about Polly’s special liking for her, and August’s plan to finish Polly.
Two days later, Maurish and Polly were at home. It was evening and the sun had already set. Maurish rested on his bed facing the window, while Polly sat at the study table in the same room going through some notes. That same afternoon, Fr. Danny was in town for some purchases for the seminary. There he saw August moving about anxiously. He sensed something fishy. He took Leona, and headed towards Maurish and Polly’s house. Leona was quite surprised at this strange behaviour of Fr. Danny.
By evening they were close to Maurish’s house. They noticed a shadow moving towards the open window of Maurish’s living room. At that moment they could neither shout nor hold the shadow. They ran towards the shadow, but it was already there at the window brandishing a revolver. Maurish, who was lost in thoughts, saw a masked man with a revolver pointing towards Polly. The masked man pulled the trigger. By then Maurish had made full cover for Polly. The bullet cruised through Maurish’s neck. Polly heard a loud thud and turned to see Maurish lying on his bed. Nothing was serious he thought.
Outside Fr. Danny took hold of the masked man. The masked man, not surprisingly, turned out to be August. Fr. Danny gave him a hard punch on his face, overpowered him and threw him onto the ground. When Polly heard the loud noise he came out running only to find Fr. Danny pinning August to the ground. Unable to move even an inch August pulled the trigger again and blew up his own temple, thus putting an end to his life. Fr. Danny fumbled through August’s pockets. And there it was his identity card and a locket that portrayed the logo of the secret organization that worked against the Church. Fr. Danny left him and motioned both, Leona and Polly, towards Maurish’s room. Maurish was lying in a pool of blood. Polly was astounded. So were Fr. Danny and Leona.
Fr. Danny took Maurish gently into his lap. Examining his body carefully he found the wound under his damp hair. He was still alive and there was a smile on his face. Chances of saving him were dim. He could scarcely articulate a word. Yet gathering all the remaining strength he uttered with a trembling voice, “Father…! Thank you…thank you very much for coming here. Thank you… for your great company…to me and…to my brother…and to Leona…!” Turning to Polly and Leona he said, “You two…are made for each other…Promise me…you will live together…!” And he breathed his last.
There was a deep silence in the atmosphere. Their eyes were wet. All at once, Fr. Danny got up and moved around. There was a sense of surprise on Leona and Polly’s faces. “Polly, what was Maurish doing when you were at the table?” asked Fr. Danny. “Why…? He had been looking out through the window as usual. Then he tried to reach behind me, and then went back to bed…wait a minute…oh my God! …he actually fell on the bed…!” replied Polly with a damp voice. “That’s it!” said Fr. Danny, “He saved your life, Polly! He sacrificed himself for your sake. He took the bullet on himself. August wanted to kill you because he loved Leona and you were an obstacle to him.” “Oh no! Why should it happen to him only?” grieved Polly. “Maurish loved you so much, Polly, that he showed it through action”, asserted Fr. Danny. Polly sobbed bitterly. So did Leona. Fr. Danny consoled them with encouraging words, “Let us make a new beginning!” Seeing Leona by his side and hearing the heartening words of Fr. Danny, Polly felt lighter. Fr. Danny looked at them, put his hands on their shoulders and blessed them.