Banker rebuffed

As Mother’s fame spread people used to come to meet her from far off places. Once, a Swiss Banker came to see her. That person was a big braggart.
He could talk about his fortune, banking wizardry, his aided institutions, his stature as a tall money lord, the social respect he commanded and his limitless generosity.
Perhaps, he had visited a poor country like India to give a boost to his ballooning ego. He wished to help Mother Teresa if she could tolerate his big talk.
He proudly claimed, “Mother! I’ve so much money that I can help you run hundred of Homes like your Nirmal Hridaya. You wouldn’t believe the number of banks and companies I own or the institutions that survive on my donations. You won’t ever find more generous and bigger person than me. I bet. You can open a home for aged with my money for starters. Money is dirt for me.”
Mother Teresa was very touchy about India and she could not tolerate anyone degrade the country of her choice for its poverty.
Mother shot back, “Mr. Banker, there are no less generous people in my India. I get enough money to run Homes here. No problem. We have lot of clean money. For starters you better open an old age Home in our own country.”
Mother got up and walked out on the Banker.
Mother Teresa knew well that poverty of riches was as pitiable as the helplessness of the poor. She had to open Homes in so called rich countries. There many rich old people came to seek shelter in her Homes. They had gruesome accounts of abandonment by their sons, daughters and relatives. Many of them had suffered physical and mental tortures wreaked upon them by once near and dear ones.
For example, in Mother’s Hongkong Home an old Japanese couple could not be accommodated due to lack of space.
A few days hence, the forsaken couple was found dead in their high rise apartment due to lack of care. In their will, the couple had donated half of the proceeds from the sale of the flat and its property to Missionaries of Charity and the other half was to go to orphanages.
In rich countries, the people suffered miseries caused by apathy, abandonment, selfishness, greed and callousness generated by the rat race and the quest for riches.
Ramudi girl
Mother’s Home at Jaipur was taking care of old, handicapped and sick.
Then, a Jain gentleman came forward to build a 25 bed hospital on the top of the Home. Mother had come to Jaipur to see the Home and inaugurate the construction of the hospital.
A lot of people were there to welcome Mother and celebrate the inauguration which began with the prayers by Catholic priests and mantra chants by Pundits. Some clothes and food was also distributed. As 5 p.m. the programme concluded.
As Mother was coming out the building she saw a small girl dragging herself on the road a little distance off. Perhaps, a polio victim.

Her plight moved Mother. She walked up to the girl and asked, “What happened to your legs?”
“Don’t know,” was the simple reply.
“What is your name?”
“Ramudi.”
“Where are your parents…mother and father?”
“They left me outside a temple years ago. Never came back for me.”
“And your sister and brothers?”
“Two brothers and one sister. All older than me. They are with the parents because they are not cripple like me.” Saying that she lifted her limps legs with her hands up in the air and then released them. The legs fell down like a pair of sticks. This demonstration evoked the pity of the onlookers.
Mother Teresa said in inviting tone, “Would you like to eat, my Ramudi?”
“O yes, yes. I am hungry,” the girl patted her sunken belly.
“When did you eat last?” Mother asked.
“Yesterday. Today I got bread, roti and some rags. And a few coins too. But it all belongs to Dada Bhai. Now whatever I get will be mine.” Ramudi’s eyes sparkled.
“Who is Dada Bhai,” Mother asked.
Ramudi stared at Mother. She pitied Mother for her ignorance. She revealed, “Oh! Don’t you know about Dada Bhai? He is big man. He protects us from police and gundas. We, on our part, give him whatever we earn upto afternoon.”
“Earn indeed!” Mother remarked indulgently.
“O yes. What we get by begging is our earning. Isn’t it?” She said innocently.
Mother got a Sister give Ramudi four slices of bread with jam.
The little girl ate two slices hungrily smacking her lips. She hid the other two slices in her rags to the amusement of others who were watching.
Mother said, “Ramudi, you said that you were hungry but you spared half of the slices in your pocket. Why?”
Ramudi innocently informed, “I will eat them at night. It is impossible to go to sleep on hungry stomach.” Then, she looked heavenwards and added, ‘‘It is going to rain. No body gives alms on a rainy day.”
Mother patted Ramudi reassuringly and said, “Come with me, my girl.”
Ramudi was taken inside where Mother instructed a Sister, “Sister, feed Ramudi whatever she wants to her heart’s content. Give her new clothes also.”
Suddenly Mother enquired, “Get her clutches or can she be fitted with callipers?”
Ramudi was eating happily. She had been served a plateful. The girl was eating slowly savouring every morsel to prolong the joy of proper foods.
Mother put her palm on Ramudi’s head and spoke, “Come here whenever you feel hungry, my girl.”
Other Sisters learnt a lot of things about the girl. They asked her if she would play with kids and look after them in the kid centre of Home. That way Ramudi could live there earning her stay and food.
Ramudi gladly accepted the offer. Then, she looked frightened as she revealed her fear, “But… but what about Dada Bhai? He would thrash me and take me away.”
One Sister assured, “Don’t worry. We will take care of Dada Bhai.” Ramudi heaved a sigh of relief. She had found a real Mother.

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