Episode 7 – Skeletons tumble out from TPM’s Secret closets
Recap: In the last episode, we saw Molly attending TPM convention. After the meeting, she was worried about Daisy. Let’s see what happens next.
A pitch dark lifeless road on a silent night. Absolutely no sign of any movement. No light from vehicles, no people around and not even the unwelcome barks of dogs. All are fast asleep. It seems the only thing alive is Molly’s scooty, which is racing down the highway. She is returning home from the convention. Molly parks her vehicle in the basement of “Green Heights,” and takes the elevator to the 3rd floor. She unlocks the door and quickly reaches to her bedroom. She gets under the blanket and covers her face. She is trying to sleep but she can’t. Molly is restless under the blanket.
From an elevated angle, it appears to be a perfect calm. But there is a storm brewing in her mind. What she saw and heard today in TPM convention, is still vivid in her mind. There were different grades of people in TPM convention. Those wearing white uniform had private individual rooms reserved for them. Each room had a nameplate on the entrance of the room to indicate that the room was reserved for someone special. For eg, one room had nameplate “Pastor Daniel” and another had “Pastor Stephen” and so on. Normal believers(sheep class) on the other hand, had to live under a large public tent. Thousands of families shared a common tent. People kept their luggage on a mat on the ground. There was a small fight under the tent among believers of the best church. Few men had removed the belongings of another family and encroached upon the place, which the other family had occupied under the first come first serve basis rule. Why was this difference so evident among the followers of Jesus? Why did those white wearing unmarried clergy had better-staying arrangements than those who were married? Not only had they comfortable staying arrangements but they received better of everything. For example, those who were unmarried had clean individual bathrooms, while the believers had to wash in the public bathing area, and had to wait in queue for their turn. The toilet area for believers was so stinky that it was impossible to even cross that place 100 meters far.
Molly remembered that she had to wait in a long queue to get food. They who served food were dumping rice and sambar as if they were throwing food at people of refugee camps. She also noticed that people who had come to the convention from the distant town were brought in convention ground by a bus, but pastors were brought to the convention ground in special cars. Right from the kitchen, dining area, food, accommodation, washroom, toilets, travelling arrangement and so on, everything was perfectly comfortable for TPM ministers in comparison to third category arrangement for believers. And some workers who themselves enjoyed these comforts taught some nagging believers that believers must suffer a little in the convention to receive God’s blessings. What made Molly wonder all night was that Daisy was oblivious to all this. Not only she, but her parents, and those other people behaved as if they were blind to all this.
We see sunlight penetrating through the window of Molly’s bedroom.
Molly’s mom: “Wake up …wake up Molly..”
Molly’s subconscious mind can hear those words. Her mother is trying to wake her up. It’s morning and Molly doesn’t remember when she fell asleep. She wakes up, yawns and rises from her bed stretching her body. We see her doing morning chores. Later …
Molly: Mom where is my laptop charger?
Molly’s mom: I have packed it in your luggage.
Molly: Thanks, mom! Is breakfast ready?
Molly’s mom: At what time are you leaving?
We hear Molly’s phone ringing. She answers the cab driver to wait for five more minutes and grabs the sandwich from the dining table. Then she picks her duffle bag and runs down the stairs. Molly’s cab is speeding on the way to the railway station. Daisy and other girls are standing on the platform waiting for the train. Molly joins them. Everyone is chatting with each other. Announcements are being made. There is a lot of noise. However, this noise is far better compared to screams to TPM pastors’ in the convention. We see the train arriving. They all board the train and it departs after some time. After about three hours of journey, the train stops at one of the junction stations.
Daisy to Molly: I am feeling hungry.
Molly: I have the Tiffin. Wait I will pull down my bag and you have it.
Daisy: No let it be. I want to buy some fruits. I’ll buy them and return.
Molly: Ok! But come quickly! The train doesn’t stop here for long.
Daisy boards down the train and approaches a stall on the platform. She buys some bananas and some wadas. The Shopkeeper wraps the wadas and hands it over to Daisy. As she unwraps the wadas, she glances to read from the newspaper rack. The Headline says “Murder in The Pentecostal Mission Church.” Daisy’s eyes pop out. She is trying to read again. It reads
According to sources, Kanagaraj (73), Head Priest at Pentecostal Church at Millerpuram in Thoothukudi, was found dead on Wednesday inside the church premises. Church members are of the view that the priest could have been murdered. They also alleged that this is not the first case in TPM. Many pastors have been murdered and TPM has syphoned money to cover the matter. Church members who are angry at leaders trying to cover the case say every evil on earth including rape, sodomy, keep happening here and there at various faith homes around the world and the matters are bribed and concealed.
Daisy can’t believe her eyes. The newspaper says Murder at The Pentecostal Mission. It seems the rug beneath her feet has been pulled off. The time came to a standstill. She doesn’t even recognize that the train has started moving.
She had been taught that saints live an overcoming life. She had heard that sometimes the devil makes worker brother and sisters commit immorality. But murder is that which she cannot imagine. More than this, the newspaper says “it is not the first case. Many Pastors have been murdered earlier.” As she is lost in shock and amazement, Molly realized train has started moving and Daisy has not yet made inside. So she runs to the door and finds Daisy lost in her own world. She begins to shout “Daisy… Daisy…” but daisy is all glued into reading something. Molly realizes that she is a young girl and it is not good for a young girl to be left alone in a new place. So she jumps from the train. She runs towards Daisy and brings her out of the comma. She tells her we have to catch the train; but by the time she regains her senses, the train has already departed from the platform. Daisy and Molly are left behind in the station.
Daisy: Oh! No….. What we will do now…
Molly: What were you reading so keenly that you forgot everything..?
Daisy: Nothing ….
Scene: Daisy realizes that she can’t give the newspaper to Molly. She is a new soul (according to her). She must hide this news from Molly at every cost. Otherwise, the name of her saints will be maligned. What will Molly think about her saints? It is her duty to present her church as the best church. She has to lie. She has to kill her conscience and hide the truth from Molly. Daisy tries to hide the newspaper.
Molly: What are you hiding. Show me…
Daisy: Nothing… It’s just some crap.
Scene: Daisy tries to change the subject.
Daisy: Because of me you had missed the train. I am so sorry..
Molly: It’s ok! We will figure it out. First we will inform our teacher and parents… We can catch another train. Don’t worry.
Scene: They inform their parents. They enquire about the next train from enquiry booth. They find that there is no train for next many hours. What are they going to do for almost a day?
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