Mother TheresaFebruary 13, 2005 -
The train ride from Chennai to Calcutta/Kolkata/Howrah was fairly pleasant after meeting a Bengali Garment wholesaler who was enthralled by my Pathani dress. I also met a tough Afghani merchant and I was feeling pretty smug pretending to be a tough Pathani. That was until some transvestites came begging and I was simply unimpressed with their antics. We got into a bitch fight and my cheeks got pinched! The shame.
Arriving in Calcutta is like arriving at Armageddon. Everything seemed dark and destitute. After finding a place to stay and keeping with that theme I met an Australian who told me about Mother Theresa's Home for the Dying. Yes, a morbid curiosity brewed in me and after having feverish nightmares featuring earthquakes (survivor's guilt!?) I ended up in Kalighat Mandir at 8am the next day. A little late due to a couple Taxi mis-adventures, so I missed out on picking them up from the streets and learning a bit about the city.
This is where Mother Theresa started her work, namely consoling the untouchables who were about to die. So I did my shift on shit patrol from 8am to noon and no one died. Assholes! That's what I did all that morning, wipe assholes. It was quite a scene. At first I was quite emotional, almost tearful then my sick humour came into play and I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the size of some guys' penises compared to their sticky legs. Many of them are simply mental and incoherent and we just got on fine.
That whole Mother Theresa thing gave me a lot to think about, especially after coming from the Sai Baba cult compound. It was really small and poorly funded compared to Sai Baba, yet infinitely more famous worldwide. Although not famous in the area for some reason, as the taxi drivers didn't seem to know such place existed, which was explainable in some ways as it is dwarfed by a nearby Hindu temple.
Another element which was daft was how it was originally designed just for those to die with dignity. Now they actually apply some basic medical treatment, although nowhere near as professional as a hospital and these people now tend to live much longer. About the professionalism, the place is staffed with young Christian nuts from all over the world, of whom many did not have a clue about medicine. I found it fairly amusing today when they were having mass for 30 minutes and I was alone battling to relieve this choking man at the other end.
On the plus side is that there were many cute girls around and with spirits running so high, there were instant bonds. I was meant to go back to some girl's place, but I was dragged away to some street kid school and after clowning around I lost her. Oh well, I'll definitely go back tomorrow and later I'll pick up a ticket for Bangkok for 5850 rupees to leave the next day for BALI!