I hate commodes. This is my way of letting go.
Commodes have three separate parts whose acceptable configuration I am yet to fathom. Female tempers rise when the toilet seat stays up and male patience levels sink when it is put down. Our desi keyholes present no such complications – align the corresponding holes and do your thing.
Lie flat on your back and push, and you might get lucky with an obliging fart. Now pull your knees towards yourself and try again, and this time I hope you have excellent control over your bowels. It’s anatomically easier to relieve yourself when your knees are fully flexed as half the muscle is contracted by that act itself. Sit and strain, or squat and send on its way.
Countless bottoms have settled on a toilet seat before yours did – hairy and waxed, unwashed and gleaming. Do you really want to initiate contact with something that carries the bacterial signatures of dubious backsides? Indian johns make no such demands. Mr. Monk would be pleased.
Then there is The Splash. This is the sudden wet sensation you feel on your nether parts when you make an especially large deposit. This is apart from the normal moist sensation that is perceived when you place your gluteals over that most useless of contraptions – The Bidet. We curse those who don’t clean up behind themselves but what about those who don’t even clean their own behinds?
Speaking of cleaning – hand showers handled by the inexpert user spray the target orifice, seat of pants, the actual pants, commode and half the bathroom of the unfortunate imbecile. No one is brave enough to investigate the Black Hole personally. Don’t even get me started on toilet paper – we use enough to gift wrap our derrieres twice over and still end up with squishy buttocks and clogged drains.
Urinals are the invention of an incontinent who reduced the demand for commodes with the intention of ‘waste not, want not’. He found it necessary to distribute his excretory products to two different receptacles, though urinals are often missing in our country. We used to pee on walls in full public glare, now we do the same in the privacy of our gas-chambered Shouchalayas.
It is impossible to look down while relieving yourself on the Indian model. These sacred twenty minutes are as good a time as any to gaze at the ceiling and indulge in some healthy forced introspection. For the daredevils who can bring themselves to inspect their products, the occasional worm is always available to break the monotony.
Frequent travellers on outstation trains will tell you that the constant swaying of the bogey delivers your pichchwada into the potty and your potty anywhere but. This, along with the notoriously poor Indian aim makes constipation a blessed relief on long journeys. Bums have been reported sucked into commodes during flights. Air turbulence is preferable to bowel turbulence.
Our indigenous loos do have their own drawbacks. We slip, smell, suffocate and sicken. There’s just one thing you can do when you find yourself perched on one.
Laugh till it drops.
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