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    Mother Teresa's nuns pray for JFK Jr.

    Mother Teresa's nuns pray for
    JFK Jr.


    AP News Service


    CALCUTTA, India (AP) _ Mother
    Teresa's order of nuns held special
    prayers Tuesday for John F. Kennedy Jr.,
    as friends recalled his three-month
    sojourn in India as a shaggy-haired
    college student.

    Kennedy visited the Missionaries of Charity at its Calcutta
    headquarters during a trip to India in 1983 to research a
    thesis on Indian democracy for his undergraduate studies.

    ``We are praying for him. We are praying to the Lord so
    that he may grant peace and comfort to the members of
    the bereaved family,'' said Sister Nirmala, who became
    head of the order shortly before Mother Teresa's death in
    1997.

    The Times of India said Kennedy spent much of his visit to
    the country in a low-grade New Delhi hotel in the
    Paharganj district, which specializes in cheap
    accommodation and clothing stores for backpackers.

    ``He seemed to revel in being rebellious. Which explains his
    insistence on wearing the same jeans for weeks, not
    shaving and keeping his hair long,'' said Vishu Bandhu
    Gupta, the Indian bureaucrat who looked after him,
    according to the Times.

    Kennedy avoided the staff of the U.S. Embassy until his
    mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, joined him. She
    reportedly was horrified when she saw her son, took him
    to a luxury hotel, and persuaded him to wear a suit, the
    Times said.

    #2
    JFK Junior's 60 quiet days in Paharganj

    By Vinay Tewari

    NEW DELHI: John F Kennedy Jr, who disappeared into the deep
    blues in his light plane off Martha's Vineyard in the US over the
    weekend, had spent 60 quiet days in anonymity in the dingy bylanes
    of Delhi's Paharganj in 1982, holed up in a hotel without a phone -
    unshaven, unwashed and clad in a pair of battered jeans.

    But what brought the son of America's most loved President here?
    What made him scour the little lanes and bylanes around Lodhi
    Colony, Parliament Street and Connaught Place with just Rs 150 in
    his pocket to see through a day?

    ``He was required to submit a project paper on the functioning of
    Indian democracy as part of his undergraduate studies at Brown
    University. He wanted complete anonymity... as he realised he
    could experience real Indian vibrancy only by melting in the
    crowd,'' says bureaucrat Vishv Bandhu Gupta, who opened up the
    world of India for him along with Tony Jesudasan, then working for
    the US embassy here.

    But that was just his stated objective. JFK Jr had other ideas.
    Keen to shake off the regimented lifestyle of a ``royal'', always
    under the glare of arc lights, he forbade the embassy to keep in
    touch with him. And insisted he would choose a hotel all by
    himself. He did... a non-descript Shivalik Lodge in dingy (by 1983
    standards) Paharganj, which does not even exist now in its original
    form.

    ``He seemed to revel in being rebellious. Which explains his
    insistence on wearing the same jeans for weeks, not shaving and
    keeping his hair long. In fact, he brought just three sets of clothes
    with him,'' recalls Mr Gupta.

    Which also explains why JFK Jr always travelled in rickety
    autorickshaws, making an exception only twice by travelling in Mr
    Gupta's old Fiat car. But when protocol demanded, he couldn't
    refuse breakfast invitations from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and
    President Giani Zail Singh - both of which turned out to be
    thoroughly eventful.

    ``He came out of Rashtrapati Bhavan perspiring heavily. He told
    me and Jesu, Gianiji took him in a bearhug and wouldn't leave him
    for 20 minutes. Perhaps, he misunderstood the Indian style of being
    affectionate,'' Mr Gupta says. Later, having greedily imbibed the
    intimate details of Indian democracy, he questioned Ms Gandhi on
    several embarrassing points - the need to impose the Emergency,
    corruption, poverty and the Punjab problem.

    But his freedom was shortlived. His mother - Jacqueline
    Kennedy-Onassis - the only person JFK Jr would obey, was
    scheduled to arrive in Delhi for her onward journey to Jaipur to
    visit Maharani Gayatri Devi. Days later, a horrified Jacqueline
    arrived to see her son resembling a near-alien. The mother in her
    took over. He was ordered a thorough wash in the Taj Hotel,
    asked to don a suit and forbidden to even look towards Shivalik
    Lodge.

    He may have grown up for the world. For Jacqueline, he remained
    the three-year-old boy who swung his tiny right arm to salute his
    father's passing casket. That was 1963. Now history repeats itself
    in 1999.




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