While in the midway to my destination, the nature could not hold its suspense any further, and it started raining furiously, as if to lay bare its anguish hidden so far and so long for to share with someone who never came. I hoped to comfort, console and hear, but I was left ignored with myself.
The bus dropped me at Mayo’s crossing and was soon vanished. Like a spoonful detergent in the eddy of washtub, I melted into dense walls of rain. Before I could decide whether to take shelter or not, I had almost run a few hundred metres. My glasses were weeping. I crossed the road with all confidence in mind of getting smashed under moving cars. When I got myself settled comfortably, I could realise that I was still alive, drenched completely from head to toe and had fifteen minutes before the first lecture was scheduled to start.
It was for that lecture only I had taken all troubles to reach my college. Within a few minutes, I was knocking at the dark brown door of a first floor room in St. Xavier’s. “Come in” sounded instantaneously and I rushed inside to find him fully dressed for the class.
“Hey, Shishu ! You’re soaked ! Put on that shirt, quick !”—he spoke as hurriedly as his nature could allow him to do. While I changed, he lit a galloise ( a French navy brand of cigar) and put it between my lips. I enjoyed its strong gust running through narrow avenues of my lungs and puffed out a grey cloud of smoke.
It was time for lecture to start, and together we entered the classroom—a meagrely represented—to be soon greeted by bursting laughter of my friends. When it mellowed down to silence, my septuagenarian companion said, “Kids, today we will discuss how meaningful is the spontaneity of joy over experiencing a new piece of knowledge, as you have felt in observing Shishu having put on my shirt, and what is its functional relevance as explained in mathematical philosophy.” He went on explaining a new facet and traversed from nature, rain, life, mind, expression, and finally to its reflections through mathematical functions. What he taught was what he was scheduled to teach on that day; but he began and ended with a new event all together to make learning a joyous soulful learning.
The man, I was talking about, was Reverend Fr. Goreaux, a great mathematician, philosopher, physicist and a superb human being. He was twice honoured with Doctorate in Science for his outstanding contribution to both Mathematics and Physics, latter one while working under one of the greatest Scientists of modern world, Albert Einstein. My words and thoughts will never be able to measure the magnitude of his vast knowledge, the profundity of his spiritual and philosophical opulence, and the devotion towards advancement of learning. In one single sentence, he was an idol to whoever had come to his proximity.
And, for me, he had been more than anything that could describe of an individual and a human being with similar flesh and blood like us, but so enriched in every aspect of human expressions. It was he, for me, who stood as an altar where I could have no sins left with me, no thoughts unexpressed and no pains uncomforted.
His lips were as pink as that of an infant, despite withstanding heavy smoking. For me and my closest friend (who is a renowned professor in PenSU), his prefect’s room was a world where our ideas, ideals, and expressions had taken refuge.
One day, after the morning lecture, he invited two of us to meet him in the afternoon. “I have a great surprise to share with you, kids!” We had quite anxiously passed through the day expecting a new discovery, a miracle of Science to be revealed before our eyes (quite naturally from a man of his character) and rolled into his room as soon as the classes had its end. We all sat together, cigarettes dangling involuntarily on our lips and anxieties frothing inside, and his soft voice conveyed, “ Here are those keys, I have added to my typewriter, and, you see, how perfect their strokes are !”. Those type-keys were all manually set against riders to get mathematical symbols to be typewritten. It might seem to be an anti-climax, but we were maimed by his innocent joy of exploring at an age of seventy plus and its richness in sharing so joyously. We learnt that only true knowledge could contribute to such innocence.
It did transform our life. We could not transform ourselves alike him; it can never be imitated; but it richly contributed to transform our views of life. We could learn to feel why those men were great, and why they had been so godly.
Father, endow me with strength just to embrace this much of faith and belief till I live in this beautiful world.
I miss you Father, I miss your warm off-white shirt. May God feel ever satiated for having created such a perfect being.