Mother Teresa got my autograph collection going

If Mother Teresa was alive, she would have been 103 years old today. One of my childhood interests, collecting autographs, started with Mother Teresa. Introducing “Just Autographs”, my autograph website. Updating the collection online is still in progress. Most of the autographs are those from earlier days… the collection has grown slowly since then, but still has enough to entertain and educate! To go to the site click here.


Collecting autographs is like collecting a piece of history.

The first autograph I got in person is also my most treasured.

I was just 8 years old when I tagged along with my mother and neighbours to meet Mother Teresa at Missionaries of Charity, Bangalore in Jan 1979. My mother had told me, “She is like a saint. Don’t forget to get her blessings.” So that is what I did! I touched her little feet and I also got her autograph in my first little autograph book. The pen Mother Teresa used (I can’t remember if I gave it to her or she used someone else’s pen) did not write properly, so she signed twice. And because the autograph book was made of thin paper, the impression went through onto the next page. I’ve saved that page too.

Mother Teresa autograph 1979-01-31
More on Mother Teresa here.

Bring out the Gandhi in you… be the change

Saluting the national flag, singing the national anthem, listening to patriotic songs and dancing to their tunes, saying that we are proud to be Indian… we need to go beyond these if we love our India as much as we say we do.

“India will change only when we change. Each of us must contribute to this, by being conscientious in our work and, though this is an old-fashioned word, moral with one another, even when we are inconvenienced. For that to happen no politician is needed. No new government can or will bring it about.” – From the article “Time to be the change“, by Aakar Patel, Hindustan Times, August 15, 2013

Hindustan Times, August 15, 2013
Hindustan Times, August 15, 2013

Each of us needs to “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Recycling life

Many years ago, while still in college, I had seen a pamphlet from the Lions Club and the National Association for the Blind, inviting people to donate their eyes. My mom and I filled up the donor forms and we were each given a donor certificate (to display, so that more people get to know that they can become donors) and a donor card (to keep in a wallet, so that your donor credentials are on your person). Apart from the kidney, the eye (cornea) was the most popular organ for donation those days. Maybe it still is. Many people are unaware that their other organs can be useful to others. And many (I was one of them) are not sure about how to get registered as organ donors. Others are apprehensive about donating their organs. They fear their absence in their next life? Continue reading

Remembering Hiroshima

6th August 1945. A clear cloudless morning in Hiroshima meant its doom. Only four Japanese cities were not yet devastated in World War II – Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki, and these were the places where the effects of the atomic bomb could be best evaluated.

This morning, as is done every year, about 50,000 people stood for a minute of silence in Hiroshima’s Peace Park, located near the epicentre of the world’s first atomic bombing on 6th August 1945, 8:15 a.m. Nagasaki is the only other city to have ever been hit by an atomic bomb (on 9th August 1945). In the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) today, a very noisy afternoon session began with a minute’s silence for Hiroshima (and for Kerala flood victims).

The Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2013, from the Mayor of Hiroshima, can be read here.

I had read about ‘Little Boy’ and Hiroshima during my school days. In November 2012, my family (along with the grandparents) got to see the irreversible effects of the atomic bomb and how the city of Hiroshima has risen from the ashes of that fateful day. Makes you wonder if the risks of atomic / nuclear energy are worth any of the benefits it offers.

Atom Bomb Dome (Gembaku Domu), one of the two buildings that survived the atomic bomb on 6th August 1945. The other building was a school.

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