Md. Harun: Frank should consider himself fortunate this time! He could come out alive with one of the statued lions from the Church and gave the lion life while the other members of his team were awaiting his return outside the Church with great suspense and apprehension! What happened actually to Frank? What was the statued lion and how was it brought back to life? How can a statued lion be brought back into life? We will know that very soon.
Among the many ancient churches in Germany, the one in Cologne was the oldest. It was there from the pre-Mediaeval period when the omnipotent POPES and FRIARS would convert many Heathen people to Christianity. They had strange power! They wanted all people to convert into Christianity! Those who did not convert had to be doomed! The POPES and FRIARS got strange and unusual look and mysterious power. Hundreds of people were converted to Christianity and were taught the Christian Hymns and Choruses. A great number of people in rows was literally converted under the spell of those strange looking and mysterious POPES and FRIARS!Frank and his team would see those people who were blessed by those POPES and FRIARS! Being the biggest and oldest church in Germany, High Cathedral of Saint Peter in Trier bears the largest samples of the people, dead by now obviously, who were converted to Christianity, and hence, salvaged by the POPES and FRIARS! They had no longer soul in their statued bodies. The souls being blessed returned either to the POPES and FRIARS or to the God of the POPES and FRIARS, after their natural span of life came into an end.
Frank and his team came to have a practical knowledge of the Pre-Medieval Church systems as part of their studies in University of Göttingen. The department of Religious Studies arranges such tour for the MA students each year during the full fervor of Christmas fests in December. Frank and his team were fortunate to get the permission to visit this oldest Church in 2017. Earlier no other team got the chance to visit this Church without any adequate reasons being explained; for some mysterious reasons earlier teams were not permitted and preferred visiting this Church!
Every team, principally, should be headed by someone with more than average-quality-human-being. Frank got this role assigned by his Coordinating Professor Dr.Sandra. Dr.Sandra, without mistake, had a good grasp of Frank’s courage and valor and for this he assigned him the leadership as well as warned him over and again not to go too deep inside the Church which would certainly mean death for anybody trespassing the permitted boundary! He cautioned Frank, in a secret meeting, not to show more courage but only apply his intelligence to guide well his team and come back everybody safe and sound. He advised him to visit only the places up to the rows of the salvaged-soul-bearing-human-statues. He repeatedly cautioned Frank saying, going beyond that boundary meant certain danger!
Perhaps, the heart plays more than the head with people of unusual courage and caliber. For Frank this proved more than true. Evading the eyes of his team, he trespassed the boundary of the salvaged-soul-bearing-human-statues! Dr. Sandra told some four of his other favorites to keep eyes on Frank so that he would not disappear any moment. Yet Frank managed to do so.
To his utter surprise, Frank noticed, literally, hundreds of thousands statued-lions line up deep inside the Church! They have been statued in such a way as if they were the most wretched and miserable creatures in the world when they were alive! That wrinkles of pain, that wrenching of tortures are still too alive. It appears as if the sufferings of the whole humanity, depicted in their faces, have been more brightly noticeable against the shabby lionized-statues! This appearance made Frank more curious to delve deep into the written documents put in the CENTRE of the Confession-Conversion Room where the arch POPE would sit and accepted the conversion of the Heathen into Christianity. From this CENTRE the humans turned into lions’ statues who received their doom after their refusal to conversion!
Frank, now for the first time, felt thankful to Dr. Sandra for teaching how to read the Pre-Mediaeval scripts to his students with such rigors and steadfastness! From the inscriptions, Frank would know of the tortures of the Church on the people of hundreds of generations! He came to know about the statued-lions, the Heathen people who refused to accept Christianity and convert to the Holy Paths of Gods! They were tortured in secret cells with cruelty unimaginable! They were not murdered; instead they were tried to convert keeping them in death-in-life terrors. The majority of the salvaged souls were converted from the secret cells; most of whom embraced Christianity not being able to tolerate the tortures. But the statued lions refused to embrace Christianity under any circumstances. As punishment, they are turned into lionized-statues keeping them in perpetual agonies, alive indeed even though they would pray for death thousands times than living this way.
Frank would utterly feel despair of being one of the beings who could torture other fellow creatures or even any living organisms in such a way! From the documents, he knew that would read in modern time, “All the cursed souls and bodies of the statued-lions must remain in perpetual agonies and tortures until the last Day of Judgment. They should be kept in awareness of all the visitors of the Church. They should be possessed of the knowledge that one soul of their bodies could be saved by one human being of each team who would risk his life trespassing the permitted boundary. They would call upon the help to rescue the cursed souls from agonies, but no human beings would do so. Since their fate is such that every team would go back only visiting up to the salvaged souls bearing human statues. None would come so deep inside the Church to see the agonized cursed and doomed-souled-lion-statues! Their agonies would increase for their knowing that while each team could rescue one of them, none actually would do so as they would be forbidden to cross the boundary of the salvaged-soul-bearing-human-statues! This hope-generation and hope-shattering would multiply their agonies according to the laws of human minds.
The more Frank read and would know of the history of human cruelty, the more despair he became. Once he came across the caution from the scripts that any trespassing human beings into these secret cells would risk their life without fail. The hounds of the souls of the naturally dead POPES and FRIARS would return and punish any human beings who attempted rescuing any cursed souls from here. The hounds would have more strength and capacity of cruelty than the then living POPES and FRIARS! That was more than enough for Frank to realize the degree of danger of this act of his own choice! He started to feel that he disobeyed the forbiddance of Dr. Sandra. He could meanwhile see some hounds coming towards him before he started thinking what to do.
“What must I do now”, Frank felt in a fix, “ to rescue the soul of the statued-lion and myself as well?” His head could suggest nothing. His heart responded. His heart spoke, “ Do pee on the mouth of the arch POPE! By urinating on his mouth you can rescue the soul of the lion!” His head made him run with the utmost speed. “But how can pee on his mouth while I am running?”, his head echoed. “Additionally, how can I distinguish the arch POPE from the others?” his head further perplexed him.
The hounds took over such ferocity in their faces of which Frank could never imagine. Neither had he seen such ferocity in his whole life in any form! His head guided him to move and flee. His heart worked otherwise! His heart would put his hands on his zipper. Already one hound grasped his neck! His head would forbid him to stop and urinate on anyone of the POPOES risking his life, not being sure of the arch PPOPE. His head told, “Get hold off the hound with all power.” His head would otherwise calculate his certain end. His heart directed him contrarily. It made him stop and pee out of fear on the mouth of the POPE he found in his left without having the surety of its being the arch POPE! “You are doomed”, murmured his head.
In utter surprise at once a lion would come out and start roaring in front of the hound that was holding Frank on neck off the ground. Other hounds also already surrounded him. It was the lion’s roaring that stopped the hounds grinding Frank into dust! Soon the lion stopped roaring and started singing melodies. The melodies would sound like the Pre-Mediaeval Hymns that Prof. Sandra would taught them in class. His melodies would disperse the hounds, though his roaring could only prevent them grinding Frank!
The brought-back-into-life-lion would say something to Frank in Pre-Mediaeval language that would read in modern time as, “Anger only frightens others, but love conquers them. My roaring debarred them from grinding you to dust making them frightened, but my melodies made them go away now purged of cruelty and envy.”
Frank came out of the door of the Church with the brought-back-into-life-lion-statued-human-being. After reaching the Church gate, the lion suddenly overtook its human form! Outside, the other members of the team were awaiting Frank with suspense and apprehension for a long time…Could now the brought-back-into-life-lion-statued-human-being tell us that there were more of humanity outside the Church than inside…?
** The writer is working as lecturer of Department of English, University of Comilla. He completed his Honours and Masters degrees from the Department of English, University of Dhaka. He stood First-Class-First in Masters.
risingbd/Dhaka/October 30, 2018/Harun/Mukul