‘Mother: In’. The words, inscribed on a thin strip of unpolished wood that hung outside a door of a dull-grey Calcutta building, always sent a rush of joy through the young mind of Rajeev Mookherjee, then a schoolboy, now a businessman in his forties. “Whenever I felt depressed, I visited that house with my parents and somehow miraculously my troubles would disappear,” he recalls, almost echoing the Beatles’ lyrics, “When I find myself in times of trouble/Mother Mary comes to me/Speaking words of wisdom/Let it be.”
Only, this time it was Mother Teresa. The Albanian nun who, having dedicated her life to the cause of fighting poverty, disease and loneliness, avowedly for the love of Jesus Christ, and came to be known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. And visitors to her home in the city, known as Mother House, insist her service to the Lord did not restrict itself to the gutters. Mookherjee, for instance, is from a wealthy family, and he says she “transcended divisions of rich and poor and touched the lives of everyone, making the unhappy happy and the happy even happier”. And so, when Teresa was at home—and the sign read ‘Mother: In’—people poured in by the dozens, the hundreds and thousands for what they variously call “her healing touch”, “her soothing words”, “her blessings” or simply “a vision of her”.