Written by Trenton Semple
I stuck my arm underneath the right arm of the Indian man and lifted. My friend Jim did the same on his other side. The man let out a loud scream and dug his nails into my arm then bit me. I grimaced, but continued to tug and pull on the man, all while he kicked and yelled. Our objective was to move this man from where he was sitting, the laundry area, into the restroom/shower area. I was serving at Kalighat, a home of Mother Theresa’s, where the destitute and dying lay. This man, who had just arrived an hour ago, was neither dead nor dying. In fact, this man was very active as he continued yelling and grabbing hold of various objects to further prevent my friend and me from getting him to his destination. We finally got him into the restroom and pushed him to the floor.
Sister Florentine arrived. She reached down and grabbed the man’s shirt collar. She then tore the shirt right down the middle; a button flew off and hit me in the chest. He tried to crawl away but this only worked as a disadvantage as she used the momentum to help pull off his pants and undergarments. She took a bottle of soap and poured it over top his head, immediately followed by a bucket of water. There he sat, naked and wet, his ripped clothes on either side. She then began her work on his wrapped foot. She began unwinding the layers of the bandage. I finally understood why we were so intent on getting him care. His foot fully exposed, revealed a gruesome sight. She took a bar of soap and began scrubbing directly onto the bone. I was frozen as I watched what appeared to be a nun torturing a naked Indian man.
After an eternity the sister finished cleaning his wound and stood up quietly. She adjusted her sari and began to walk out of the room. She turned to me and laughed telling me to go home, but not before saying, “love isn’t easy. Love is a battle.”