When I was a teenager we lived in Calcutta for five years.
Mother Theresa was not an international figure at the time, and my mother had several projects going with her. She founded a dance & music school and made an arrangement with Mother Theresa where children from her orphanage would be be given free art, music and dance classes. Whenever we saw a leper, sick or dying person in the streets, we would call the Mother and one of her sisters would come and arrange for the person to be taken to the hospital or hospice. It was a tumultuous time for our whole family and India changed us forever. I would like to go back and explore that part of my childhood, as a gateway to the inspirational life-story of this powerful, compassionate and loving being, when she was just beginning her mission.
Flood refugees and my father’s pre-fab concrete low-cost housing projects sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
The pre-fab toilet factory was another project. Thousands of toilets were installed all over Calcutta (prior to that people went to the bathroom in open ditches lining the streets, the only form of sewage system in most parts of the city – which became a greater issue during the Monsoon season).
Every moment in Calcutta was an assault on the senses, the mind and one’s soul…