There are probably a few people in the world who haven’t heard of Mother Teresa. She treated the sick and destitute in India but managed to touch countless lives around the world. I am not someone who believed in wearing religious medals. I was taking my first holiday without parents or siblings and my mother insisted I wear a silver medal which had an image of Mother Mary on it. I wore the medal, grudgingly. We were a class of 25 women who travelled with two teachers to visit a few Indian cities and practise photography. Our first stop was Calcutta. We had heard of the mouth watering sweets that the city is known for and a few of us headed out to the local sweet shop. It wasn’t long before the residents noticed us. As we relished our desserts and made our way back to the hotel, a few miscreants started hurling stones in our direction. I was shocked when a large stone came straight at me. Perhaps it was luck or divine intervention that I was saved from a serious wound because the stone struck the medal I was wearing leaving me unharmed. After visiting the other cities we returned to Calcutta for the last day of our trip. I was eager to visit Mother Teresa’s ashram (home) and asked my professor if I could go there. I was warned that if I missed the train, I’d have to make journey home alone. That didn’t deter me. I soon discovered that some of my batch mates wanted to come along. As we found our way to the ashram and met the inmates there, a few of my classmates were in tears to see so many orphans and seriously ill children. We were told that Mother’s presence is still felt at her home and that the sisters keep a plate of food by her bedside as they believe she is still with them. While we were leaving one of the sisters said she wanted to give me something that Mother always gave people whom she met. I was surprised to see the same medal that I had around my neck, now placed in the palm of my hand. Truly it was a sign that Mother was with me all along. 10 years later, as a mother I make sure my son doesn’t leave the home without Mother’s constant protection.
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