Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.
-- Mother Teresa
After my trip to the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan I wasn’t sure how I would react when I returned to India.
Bhutan is peaceful; India is India. Two months on a motorcycle with a sidecar aren’t exactly tranquility, so you’d think I’d be prepared for the bedlam of India. Not quite.
I got used to it again and went about looking for a place to stay for the night in Kolkata, once known as Calcutta. I wasn’t having much luck and Kindness One, my 1978 Chinese motorcycle with the BMW engine, was acting up again.
I asked many people for help, but my luck seemed to have run out. Then I came across the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa. It helps the poor and underprivileged to find hope again. In a city as overwhelmingly poor as Kolkata, this is quite a job.
Two smiling sisters welcomed me into the mission. Unfortunately there was no place for me to stay, but I got the chance to pray by Mother Teresa’s tomb and refocus my scrambled mind. She epitomized what my journey is about, love and kindness.
Mother Teresa died in 1997, but her presence can still be felt here. Her work and her spirit continue.
With my energy refocused I went back out into the streets to find a place to lay my head for the night.