Mother Teresa went barefoot even in Beijing’s harsh winter

The Mother declined to take the lift and also politely refused to accept any help to carry her luggage.

Published: 21st January 2017 07:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2017 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

COLOMBO: An epitome of simplicity and piety, Mother Teresa went about barefoot even in the biting cold of Beijing, recalled A.Natarajan, India’s Consul General in Jaffna, while speaking at a talk given by the Mother’s biographer, Navin Chawla, in Jaffna on Friday.

Reminiscing on his encounter with Mother Teresa in December 1995 at Beijing, where he was an officer in the Indian High Commission, Natarajan said that she had refused to stay in a five star hotel and preferred to be put up in a ordinary women’s hostel. And at the end of her visit, when Natarajan went to the hostel at 4 am to take her to the airport to catch the flight back to India, she emerged from the room barefooted when the temperature even inside was well below zero. The room she had occupied was uncarpeted and freezing, but that had made no difference whatsoever to the Mother.

A couple of more surprises awaited Natarajan. The Mother declined to take the lift and also politely refused to accept any help to carry her luggage. She walked down four floors lugging two bags.

Navin Chawla, former Indian Election Commissioner, and a long time associate of Mother Teresa, said in his talk on secularism, that Mother Teresa was truly secular despite being a Christian missionary. Though a devout Catholic, she agreed to accept him, a Hindu, as her official biographer because she believed that religiosity transcended human divisions, Chawla said.

The leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R.Sampanthan, who also spoke, emphasized the need for enshrining secularism in Sri Lanka’s new constitution. Since 1972, Sri Lanka’s constitutions have said that Buddhism shall occupy the foremost place in the country.

A large and distinguished gathering, including a number of clergymen and sisters from Mother Teresa’s institutions in the Northern Province, attended the lecture.   

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp