Symbols of the world's religions



Mani S. Irani

As I have said before, I was educated in the Convent of Jesus and Mary at Poona. Mehera, too, had attended the school before me. We were taught by the nuns, as well as by the regular teachers.

I loved the nuns, the habits they wore, and their gracious ways. They were always busy with their work and their prayers, and I marvelled at the time and care they devoted to the lilies in their garden. Whenever one of the nuns carried a long sheaf of pure white lilies into the church of the Convent, I would feel touched. "She's offering it to Jesus," I'd say to myself, "just like Mehera would offer it to Baba."

Apart from giving piano lessons and moral lessons, the nuns also taught excellent needlework. However, what I'll never forget is the fudge the nuns used to make for school fairs — it was heavenly!

Two nuns I remember with special tenderness. One was the jolly Irish nun who was our Mother Superior when I was admitted into the school. The other was the very kind, soft-spoken Sister Matilde who taught us French. Although we did not learn much of French grammar from her, she gave us a true knowledge and love of France. I was to remember and thank her for this when we visited France with Baba in 1937. Whatever we saw there, I felt I had seen it before — through the eyes of gentle Soeur Matilde.

I had always wanted to be a nun — a nun for Baba, just like Mehera, Naja, and the other women who had given up everything to be with Baba, serving Him in total obedience and strictest discipline.

One morning during recess, one of my school friends was being catty and asked, "Mani Irani, do you know why the nuns are so good to you?"

"No," I said, "Why?"

"Because you're going to become a Catholic nun."

"But I'm not going to become a Catholic nun," I replied.

"No? Then what kind of nun are you going to become?"

I don't know what made me say, "I'm going to become a real nun!"

Years later, after joining Baba as a "real nun," I realised the truth of what I had uttered as a little girl. There was indeed no nunnery like ours, so cloistered and strict, and yet so alive and buoyant with the joy of God's personal presence and love. Yes, being Baba's nun was being a real nun in the deepest and truest sense of the word.


GOD-BROTHER, pp. 115-118
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


 Mani S. Irani | Mandali | Anthology | Eternal Beloved | Avatar Meher Baba | HeartMind | Search