Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Finding the unseen paradise within...

Regardless of all the descriptions and ratings we give for any person, there always lies a dormant angel within everyone. The innate, pure nature that is born with us. The only thing is that it needs an occassion to get aroused...There is this story of  'The Face of Judas Iscariot' by Bonnie Chamberlain that my grandfather used to narrate to me during my childhood days...I just have a faint memory of the intricacies of the narrative,(pardon me for being vague in some areas; and that's my proactive confession when I dare to touch a classic like this!) but I do remember the essence of the story very well. The story was about humanity and was in fact narrated to the author by the priest of a church. There lived an artist who was asked to paint the murals of a Cathedral and the theme was 'Life of Christ'.He started painting and worked really hard. He was able to finish almost all the stages of Jesus Christ's life except for two important characters -Child Jesus and Judas Iscariot.And he wanted representative models for these two characters for painting.For infant  Jesus, he wanted a face that reflected pure innocence and mercy. He searched far and wide for that innocent face but couldn't find it. One day on the banks of a river,he saw a poor child. The child's face was dirty but it was so innocent that it looked like the face of an angel.The artist was so happy to get a model for his painting and completed the portrait of infant Jesus with great enthusiasm. But he was not able to find such a representative for the face of Judas.He wanted a face that bore insincerity, vulgarity and cruelty. He continued his search for many years but was not able to find any suitable face that had all these negative traits together in it.He even reached a stage where he feared if he would die without even being able to complete his masterpiece. This news spread across and many people(who believed that their face was the most wicked and cruel to satisfy the criteria) started approaching him to get selected as the model. But the painter was not satisfied. None of the faces fitted his imagination.He wanted a man whose life has been destroyed by greed and lust.Then, one day he saw a thin, wretched-looking man, who came begging for wine.This man's face bore the mark of all the sins known to mankind.The painter was thrilled at having found his model.He enquired about the man and came to know that he was both a murderer and a thief. He asked the permission of the officer concerned to allow the prisoner to be a model for his painting.The painter started his work...and as the painting progressed, a change came over the face of the model...The face of the criminal that erstwhile bore a lazy look, was replaced by a strange tension.The man was horrified to look at his own cruel and wicked image getting painted...He couldn't withstand the depiction of the evil on his face...He started crying very bitterly and when the painter asked him the reason, he asked.."Don't you remember me? I am the same person whom you chose to be a model for infant Jesus, several years ago.Now I am the model of Judas Iscariot as well".It's an irony that the same person who was born innocent grew up to be a cruel culprit. There is another point that has always struck me about this story...Whenever my grandfather narrated this to me, rather than the moral of how a man born innocent turns out to be wicked at a later stage, what I wondered was why did the man cry so bitterly? If he has been the symbol of all the cruelty in the world...the only thing I could infer is that even such a person could be transformed...Even his paradise within; could be unleashed...with a drop of tear...with solace and compassion...We are all born with the same angel within...Just that we need to pull off the invisible veil at times...

A Simple Message...

A Simple Message...