The news of the demise of Mother Teresa on September 5, 1997 had touched the hearts of all and the wild media across the world was busy telling her life story - how she started the first Charity Order for the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and how she had the patience to learn and speak Bengali, the native language of the State of Bengal, in order to communicate with them. Bengali is my mother tongue, and Calcutta is the great city where I grew up and completed my high school education before moving to Benaras for a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at IIT (BHU) and then to the University of Washington, Seattle, USA for a master's degree in the same field.
The roots of my newsart on Mother Teresa goes a year before that in 1996. After reading the many soul-stirring stories about her in Bengali newspapers online of the time, I felt, her unique love for Calcutta and the Bengali language must be put together in some way that will record the history honoring her in a most fitting manner. I remember, I had my friends in Calcutta send me actual clippings from the popular Bengali newspapers and spent hours to collage the pieces together to create the portrait. During the months of October and November of 1996, it was a part of my art exhibition at the famous Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado, when The Denver Post selected it as one of the two "Art Show Picks" and published on October 18, 1996.
After her demise, in 1997, the art was updated with the news about how she sold her medals and gifted-cars to raise funds to nurse the sick, and the 'Final Moments', when she asked for a glass of water as she took her last breath and the glass fell off her hand breaking into pieces.
Years passed by. The unique portrait and its collage-story found places in many newspapers and magazines, and its prints became valuable possessions for many. But the original art piece with actual newspaper clippings remained with me as it was one my favorites that I never wanted to sell.
Today, on this auspicious day of September 4, 2016 the labor of love is even more meaningful. She is declared a 'Saint' of Catholic Church by Pope Francis, Rome, Italy.