Remember Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg who played a singing nun who rocked the world? Well, just days before Christmas, Kolkata has just discovered its own Sister Act. 15 nuns of the Loreto order formed a choir and sang publicly for the first time at the Kolkata Christmas Festival on Park Street that kicked off celebrations on Monday.
The Whoopi Goldberg of Loreto Sisters - that's what they are calling themselves - is Sister Molly who rustled up the choir in less than three weeks, just in time for Christmas.
Is she aware of the film, Sister Act? "Of course, yes," said Sister Molly. "But for us, it was not an act, it came from our hearts. We loved creating the harmony with our carols just ahead of Christmas."
Many of the 15 nuns had never sung in the past and certainly not in public. Some of them were not even fully English speaking. Seven of the novice singers are nuns taking their BA exams. But they pulled it off and loved every moment of the experience.
The venture started about three weeks ago. A bakery was to be inaugurated at the Loreto Convent at Entally. MLA Shane Calvert happened to meet Sister Molly, who is in charge of the choir at St Thomas Church, and asked her if she could put together a choir with her fellow sisters.
Sister Molly rose to the challenge and so did senior nuns including the principal of Loreto College, Sister Christine, the provincial head, Sister Sabrina. The head of the order gave the venture her blessings. "She said why not?" said Sister Molly. "For us it was a great experience to perform publicly," she added.
On whether there will be a repeat, Sister Molly smiled and said, "Why not?"
The same evening, Kolkata's top stars performed at Allen Park. Usha Uthup, Shane Hyrapiet and the popularband Krosswindz. They received the usual applause. But the Loreto Sisters walked off with the hearts.