such match on feast days, there used to be a hapless-looking Rector, Fr. Logroi, anxiously following up with prayers. That was life in the colds of Sonada, leaving no space for weaklings! Of course oral examinations in Latin were also a cause of some anxiety and concern for some; but good and sympathetic superiors were there.
metamorphosis from students to staff. I was told to go to Savio Juniorate in Shillong and I set out in the beginning of November 1967. What I remember is a hectic time doing all kinds of things and totally immersed and falling asleep even while walking to assist the boys in the late hours of the night. I felt immensely happy, teaching, assisting and correcting Latin home-works daily, putting off the light of the teachers’ room at ten in the night to escape the watchful eye of the Rector--after all we are well convinced of what that famous theologian and Ecclesiastic, Lacordaire said: ’Duty well done spells Sanctity’.
The narrow-gauge train slithering up to Darjeeling and then down to Siliguri like a lazy python belching out continuously lot of smoke enthralled us all and we often rather than travelling by it, ran along it for fun, reaching the destination before its arrival. But one bitter sight etched deep in my mind Fr. Cassaroti, the provincial, told me of his of which I feel sad even to recall is the good- future plan to send me to Rome for theolowill gesture of our beloved Rector, Fr. Logroi. gy after my regency. But an year later I was told that Rome changed its policy of acceptOn a day when we were all set to go for holi- ing young clerics before ordination. Around days from Sonada, the Rector, Rev.Fr. Logroi, that time there was some trouble at our Uniwent ahead to Darjeeling to request the guard versità Pontificia Salesiana (UPS) caused to get the train stopped at the Salesian college by some students including two of our own gate, as an exception, so that we, the students, from Guwahati against the Holy See’s strong who were moving out with much luggage intervention against a professor at UPS. I was might do it conveniently. After getting the not at all perturbed by that news for I was not guard, a friendly guy, agree to it, Fr. Logroi thinking in that line at that time but engaged got inside the next passenger compartment fully in my present tasks at Juniorate. I had, in of the same train. fact, developed much interest in Economics which I was teaching at that time and had half To the surprise of Fr. Logroi the train was not a mind to do a M.A., if I was given a chance. stopping at the Salesian College gate and so he jumped out of the moving train to tell the A tragedy of a life time guard to stop the train; but Fr. Logroi being an amateur in this sort of things fell out onto While I was studying philosophy at Sonada, I the road. What an awful sight! Fr. Logroi was got the news that my mother was sick and the rolling on the road all bruised and bleeding Superiors allowed me to go home to see my and still shouting to the guard to stop. Lat- ailing mother. She was so delighted to see me er the guard confessed that a little after Fr. in cassock that she nearly recovered. Logroi’s instruction, the train inspector got inside and was travelling by it and so the As time went by and I was in my regency at Juguard was afraid to stop at this unauthorized niorate, my father used to share bits of inforplace. Little consolation to us at his belated mation about my mother’s condition which confession after seeing our Rector so badly was diagnosed as cancer and undergoing rebruised with blood and slush from head to quired treatment. I continued as usual to be foot. Nonetheless we, the holiday makers, happily engaged in my hectic activities as a ran down to the next station Kurseong while cleric in Juniorate. The fact that my mother’s Bro. Varkey brought down the luggage to health condition was fast deteriorating was Kurseong before the train arrived. What a sad not made known to me by my father with the best of intentions lest I be distracted from thing: a noble gesture badly executed! my pursuit to priesthood. Though I was conAs Brother in Regency cerned with my mother’s sickness yet I stayed tranquil with prayers until that day when my The jolly good time of three years went very eldest brother broke the terrible news of my fast. We were reminded of the seriousness mother’s death on 17/12/1969 by a telegram, of life to come as Brothers in regency, a real the quickest means available at that time. AUGUST 2019
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