This morning I received the sad news of the demise of Fr PK's father. I instantly passed the information to the Province confreres. Fr Maliekal also informed the community about this sad event before breakfast this morning. There was no reaction from the Brothers. Fr Maliekal was quick to comment: "It means nothing to them. They don't know... neither Fr PK nor his father. So his death would mean nothing to any of them."
I knew that it was right but found it hard to accept. After all, Fr PK is a Salesian, one of the family-member of the Province. Now I do not say that all should start weeping, or begin a five-day mourning. But some sense of solidarity...?
To add to this uneasiness was the sight of a brother running around the house, after lunch, informing all, that Michael Jackson had died!! I really found it hard to believe and I did mention it to the Brother 'broadcasting' the news. The worse was yet to come: another brother offered the last decade of the community rosary for the 'repose of the soul of Michael Jackson'. That was too much for me! Not that I have anything against Michael Jackson or believe that he does not need our prayers - most probably he needs them more than Fr PK's father - but to see where and how our mind works/where our affinity lies. There's a confrere's father who passed away today and a celebrity (whose very name the Brother who prayed for him, could not spell!)... and whom do we sympathize with? Is Michael Jackson more a family member than Fr PK? Certainly not for me!