Mohini was an actress, whom the whole South India once loved, admired and adored. The charming, grey-eyed actress, who mainly worked in Tamil and Malayalam film industry, was often cast against the reigning superstars of her time. Many would find it difficult to believe that the one-time sensation of South India, is now preaching Christ, stage after stage. Yes! Mohini, a Brahmin by birth, is Christeena today! Her conversion story is as sensational as her films. Let us have a glimpse of her life and spiritual journey to Christ, the light of the world.
Mohini was the pseudonym of Mahalakshmi, a Brahmin girl hailing from Tanjore, Tamil Nadu in South India. Gifted with exceptional charm and histrionic talent, Mahalakshmi soon emerged a sensation on the celluloid. Adopting the pseudonym Mohini, which is a usual custom among Indian actresses, she acted in 78 films, mostly in Tamil and Malayalam languages, along with two Bollywood films.
She was at the peak of her career, when she married a Brahmin boy named Bharath when she was 23 year old. Along with her spouse, Mohini moved to the United States dreaming of a happy married life. Soon the couple was blessed with their first born. As their life seemed all perfect brimming with luxury and happiness, the clouds of gloom suddenly hovered over; Mohini was hit by a severe spondylosis. Gradually, friction arose in their relationship. Bharath’s parents wanted their son to divorce Mohini, and began to search for a healthier partner for him. Meanwhile, Mohini became pregnant for the second time. Since, she had a very fragile backbone due to spondylosis, doctors advised an abortion, which was done. After this mishap, Mohini succumbed to a severe depression.
With troubles and miseries mounting, Mohini was sinking to the fathomless abyss of sorrow, day by day. Mohini wondered why all the troubles were raining in her life? When she sought answers, she received replies that they were all the results of Karma and ancestral curse. Unsatisfied with the replies, she turned to religious books – Khuran, Ramayana, Bhagavat gita… Nevertheless, in none of them she could find a reparation for sins. Her quest for God went on…
God’s mysterious plan was hiding in the room of her maid servant, who was a Christian. Mohini knew that her servant used to keep a copy of the Holy Bible. But she knew nothing about the Sacred Scriptures except that there are many stories in it to read.
Mohini borrowed the Bible from the woman and began to read. On the same night, she had a dream, in which she saw a disarmingly handsome man, clad in sparkling violet robe. He had long beard… She had never seen such a figure in her life. The next day, Mohini disclosed about the dream to her maid servant, and she at once exclaimed: “Madam, it is none other than Jesus!”
Mohini was bewildered and fascinated at once. She wanted to know more about the enigmatic figure she saw in her dream. He quest led her eventually to the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor. There she encountered the true God – the God who has a ‘from address’ and ‘to address’ as Mohini puts it.
At the retreat centre, she saw many people received Holy Communion. Keen to know what it was, she asked a nun about it. She replied that it was the body of Christ, and that only those who have received the sacrament of baptism can receive it. Overwhelmed with an ardent desire to receive Jesus into her heart, she walked straight into the room of Fr. Augustine Vallooran and pleaded him to baptize her. The priest, who could foresee the dangerous aftereffects, forbade her at first. But, Mohini was persistent and was ready to face any challenge for her new found faith. Eventually, she received baptism, receiving the name ‘Christeena’.
Christeena aka Mohini, today moves from stage after stage proclaiming the Christ, whom she experienced. She testifies that Christ redeemed her from all the troubles of her life. Doctors had told that she was unable to carry a child anymore; that she needed to do a hormone therapy to get pregnant again. When she shared this to Fr. Michael Payyappilly at the Divine, he replied: “Daughter, it is God who gives children. Even if you get a child or not, accept it as God’s will”. But, the God Almighty intervened in her life with a miracle. She became pregnant again!
Today, Mohini’s life is completely transformed. As St. Paul says, for Mohini “life is Christ”. Mother Mary is her guiding light. Never a day passes in her life without her reciting the rosary. ‘The University of God’- that is the definition Mohini gives to the Catholic Church. She wishes that all mankind come to know the value of the body and blood of Christ, served on the altar of the holy sacrifice of the Mass!