A tribute to Mother Susila C.S.S.
by Mrs. Shanti Moses
(younger sister of Mother Susila)
On the 27th of December 1924, a lovely baby girl was born to the Rev. Dr. Thomas and Mrs Sundari Sitther at Bishops College, Calcutta (now Kolkota). She was christened CHRISTINA ELIZABETH SUSILA. The chubby little baby with curly hair was loved by all.
So, Susila completed her B.A. (Hons) degree at Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta and then came to Chennai for her teachers training. She worked in a rural school where she educated poor village children who still remember all that she had done for them.
It was in 1950, Susila made up her mind to join the community and Dad gave her his consent.
She went to Calcutta and then East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh when the Pakistan war was on. The Pakistanis killed all the baby boys so that there would not be another generation. They pierced the babies heads with a Pakistani flag. One mother stood among the weeds in the river and held up her baby son so that he could breathe. The mother stood for long hours in the water and her skin turned white but she did not give up. Just at that moment a Pakistani soldier spotted the baby and took aim and the baby was gone. Many mothers brought their babies to Susila begging her to save them. She hid twenty of them in her room under her cot. Would you believe that when the soldiers walked through her room there was not even a whimper and all the babies were saved !!.
On another occasion the Pakistanis told Susila that they wanted girls and that they would come for them the following day. That night, Susila and the sisters cut up saris to make pants. The girls in their pants tied towels on their head and worked in the garden. When the soldiers came into the compound, they saw gardeners working and there were no girls. They were unhappy. They pierced Susilas arms with their bayonets. It was a Sunday morning and the Pakistanis sent word that they would invade the compound. Everyone was in Church and Susila told the Padre to pronounce the final blessing as they were all going to be killed. Padre could not say the prayers every body took their places the little ones were given dolls to hold on their chests so that the bullets would hit the dolls first before piercing the little chests and Susila stood at the gate. The soldiers were on their way and they got the smell of rich turtle curry from the neighboring house. The inmates of the house fled on seeing the soldiers who barged in and ate their fill. Soon they were vomiting and purging and the captain came to Susila and asked her for medicine. She told them that as it was a cholera infected area it was better for them to leave and they left the place. Everyone was saved. At yet another occasion all the intellectuals were made to lie down in a shallow pit and tractors were driven over them. Susila escaped as they thought she was a poor Bengali woman. But when they found out that she was a highly qualified woman her name was on the black list. She was to be hanged by her feet the next day at 8 A.M. The next day came and at 7 A.M. the Indian planes dropped their bombs and the Pakistanis fled Thus Susila was saved and she was ever grateful to Smt. Indira Gandhi the then prime minister of India.
God saw her through the Pakistan war and the flood in 1988. She went through a lot of pain and sickness but God was always there with her. She won the love of everyone by always being thoughtful of others.
She was a loving sister, aunt and Mother. She has gone to be with her Master now.