The Pope and Lavinia

“You are going to write a blog about your grandchild being blessed by the Pope aren’t you”, Alcira smiles knowingly. She is the only Catholic I know. Maybe there are other Catholics, but I have never asked. The reaction I get as I tell everyone my happy news is varied. Most are happy for me, others want to know how Kavitha managed to do it not once but twice, one thought it was nothing short of a miracle and then I get some odd responses. Atheists with a whatever expression and one fanatic with a why didn’t you just take her to a temple instead and get a blessing reaction.

The reply to Alcira’s question was that I didn’t know how Kavitha was able to pull it off and was waiting to talk to her first before writing it down. I later find out that the path to the meeting was not as smooth as I thought it was. When she went to get the tickets, the lady before her was stopped at the gates and turned away. The vantage position they were told to stand at during the first visit was cordoned off this time. They had to stand further away and were not sure whether the new spot was good enough to catch the eye of the cavalcade. In the end the holes in the Swiss cheese model came together, this time to our benefit. Lavinia was spotted and blessed by Pope Francis. Lakshmi had her chance and was blessed two years ago.

My grandkids are not Catholics. Their parents wanted to do it for them and made the choice. The rest was down to chance and luck. Regarding the question of the temple blessing. The question was raised by a descendant of one of Sree Narayana Guru’s disciple, which made the matter even more bizarre. Sree Narayana Guru, the social reformer who fought against casteism and whose philosophy was ‘One Caste, One Religion, One God for All’. He and his disciples worked tirelessly to bring about spiritual freedom and social equality in Kerala and yet a hundred years later we are facing queries like this. 

The children have been to numerous temples. They are being brought up to treat all religions and gods with respect. As long as they grow up to be good human beings, the rest doesn’t matter. From my point of view, I am over the moon. How many grandparents can say that both their grandchildren have been blessed by the Pope. 

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