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Articles » Tribune 26 August 2010

Articles on Mother Teresa

"Article on Mother Teresa" published in The Tribune, Chandigarh on August 26, 2010

She spoke of loving, caring and sharing on the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth, her biographer, Navin Chawla, writes about the life and healing touch of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was "the most powerful woman in the world".

My first meeting with Mother Teresa, in 1975, left the experience indelibly printed on my mind. That morning I had accompanied Delhiā€™s Lieutenant Governor, with whom I was then attached, to her home for the destitute. I was taken aback when I came face to face with her. She was smaller than I had imagined, dressed in a spotless, hand-woven sari that was neatly darned in several places. Her back even then was bent. I noticed that her feet were twisted and her hands were gnarled, testimony to her arduous life in the streets and slums.

Her words moved me profoundly. She spoke of simple things, of loving, caring and sharing. She seemed at many levels a very ordinary woman. Yet she was a powerful communicator and reached straight into the heart of those who were listening to her. Within a short while I realised that she was no different from those she served, for she and her Sisters seemed to be as poor as those surrounding us.

Her coming to India itself was a mystery, a word I use in its mystical sense. Born in 1910 in Skopje, Yugoslavia. Agnes as she was then known, was raised in relatively frugal circumstances by a fiercely Catholic mother, the youngest of three children. As a young girl, her imagination was stirred by stories of Yugoslav Jesuit priests who worked in distant Bengal. At the age of 14, barely a teenager, she asked her mother for permission to join the Church and work in India. At 18, she had her way and when she bade her mother goodbye, she was never to see her again.

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