City of Joy
“His suffering was transformed into surprise then peace, the peace that comes from being loved” (C.O.J. p. 254). In the book the City of Joy Hasari, Mother Theresa, Stephan Kolvaski and Max Loeb all experienced the joy and helpfulness that comes from being loved. Their problems and troubles through out the book help them to understand how to make it through tough times. Examples from this book and life show that modern medicine is not always the best way to help the sick or injured. Peoples love and kindness for each other is the most valuable gift you can give someone.

“This city isn’t all that inhuman” (C.O.J. p. 82). Hasari said this when he was able to become a rickshawpuller. When Pam Chander befriended Hasari he saved him and his family from starvation. Ram showed Hasari that there was a still king person in a city, that was thought of as cruel. After Hasari started his job he was able to feed and buy treats for his family. Ram and Hasari’s friendship continued to grow while working together. They also continued to help each other out in times of need.

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Ram Chandler not only got Hasari a job, he helped teach him about the rickshaw business and life in Calcutta. Ram showed Hasari where to get business and how to help the soreness from pulling. Another thing he taught Hasari was how to hide any illness he got. Ram also reminded Hasari how lucky he was to have what he did have. “Good old Ram, there was no one quire like him for making you realize that there was always someone worse off than you”(C.O.J. p. 161).

“Jesus of Anand Nagar, you know that I am here simply to share- so that together they and I can show you that we love you- you and your father, the father of mercy, the father who sent you, the father who forgives” (C.O.J. p. 161). This is a prayer Stephan Kolvaski said when he first arrived in Calcutta. Kolvaski used his faith and love with to come to Calcutta to help the needy. Even when the people of India didn’t share the blame beliefs he did, he helped feed the starving and cure the sick. His kindness helped many people in his village.
Kolvaskis fight to help the poor brought him and Bandonna together. Bandonna has a way with the sick the hungry like on one else did. She cared for them in a way that people wished they could understand. “No one had ever taught her, yet she knew it all through intuition, friendship, and love” (C.O.J. p. 168). She continued to care for the poor when she was sick or even in danger. Bandonna’s love and ability to care for people inspired Kolvolski to bring in more help from others.

Max Loeb decided to come to Calcutta to help out in Kolvaski’s plan. Max learned to treat the injured with kindness even when looking at them made him ill. As one of his first jobs Max was to deliver a baby to a leper woman. The gruesome looking people made him wonder how they could be so happy in a place like that. “All the lepers were overwhelmed with joy” (C.O.J. p. 333). The leper’s joy in such a horrid place proved to Max that love, kindness and joy made life worth living.

When Max and Kolvalski met up with Mother Teresa they realized the true meaning of selflessness and love. She gave up everything to help those in need. Kolvalski began to work with her and learn about her clinics. The treatment there was based on love and peacfulness. This made what was left of life worth living for them. Kolvalski began to help Mother Teresa in her work with the poor and injured. “Bless you, Calcutta, for in your wretchedness you have given birth to saints” (C.O.J. p 256). “People loved her so much, they want to see her at peace, even if only for a moment” (By Ranjan Roy). This was said about Mother Teresa on the day she died. Her compassion for others who were less fortunate than herself left an unchanging mark on society. Hasari, Max, Kolvalski and Mother Teresa all helped to make Calcutta a better place by showing love to others in need.