'Mother was both merciful and stern'
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- Published 31.08.10
|Usha Uthup at Mother Teresa’s tomb on Mother’s birth centenary on August 26. (Anindya Shankar Ray)|
One fine day, Mother Teresa called me up and asked me to sing for the nuns. It was not for any special occasion but to be called by such an icon and asked to sing even on an ordinary day was a huge honour for me. I was thrilled to be the chosen one.
Armed with my instruments, I went to Mother House and sang Amazing Grace and a few other songs. Mother Teresa was so pleased. The meeting spurred a great rapport between us.
In the coming years I would visit Mother House often. I went to her when I was happy and even when I was sad. It was amazing to see so much of positive energy around her.
They say power comes in small packages and that is so true about this petite woman. I have seen her lifting the spirits of the critically ill. It was very moving.
Memories of Mother’s inner strength and her ability to do the impossible will stay with me forever.
On one side Mother was merciful, kind and had a great sense of humour, and on the other she could be as firm. I was lucky to see both sides of her.
One day a woman almost ordered Mother Teresa to take care of her child. But Mother got angry. She firmly told the woman that a child should be brought up by its mother, especially when the mother is healthy. She knew when to be stern and draw the line.
Any compliment from Mother is precious. Once I sang There’s one more angel in heaven, There’s one more star in the sky, for her. She was so pleased that she called me her “angel on earth”.
That was the most touching moment of my life.
Mother Teresa had a way with words. When I told her I had just bought a house, Mother said, “You have one house but I have 500.”
A person with so big a heart can never be found again.