>Toilet Training for an entire Nation!

>Warning: Icky post ahead

Don’t crap the idea! If there’s one reputation that Indians never fail to live up to, it’s of having very, very poor toilet etiquette. None of us are strangers to the ignonimous ways of our fellow countrymen in the toilet, but you have to hear this to believe it:

Sunday evening, I was at the mall with The Guy and had the misfortune of going to the washroom there. It’s pretty easy to locate a public toilet in India – just follow the putrid stink and you won’t be lost. Anyway, so I held my breath and thankfully, entered a relatively empty and visibly clean Ladies’ Washroom. I don’t want to go into the details of how and when, but I realised that in the cubicle next to the one that I was occupying, a woman had just squatted on the floor to pee! No, that’s not torture enough.

I had hurriedly pulled up my pants and whatever else needed to be pulled up and pulled down to rush out, but not before the woman next door discovered the faucet hose and did something so strange with it that the water from the faucet was being directed not where it was supposed to be but at the ceiling! And much to my indignation, the water hit the ceiling and came down in my cubicle like a shower that I barely escaped!

By then, I was out of the cubicle and yelling at whoever it was in such experimental mode in the other cubicle! A very sheepish looking woman in her 60’s (I’m guessing) dared to come out and had to face a very angry me! But I don’t think age is any reason to behave so bizarrely. If you think you’re fit enough to be gallivanting in a mall, you need to make yourself fit enough to be using a loo there. Also, I know for a fact that bad toilet etiquette in our country cuts across all class, age and sex barriers.

If you don’t know what to do with what’s commonly known in India as the western style W/C, get a better hold on your bladder instead of squatting in any space behind a door. Also, if you think the W/C can be hopped on to be used Indian style, you so badly need to learn self control.

I know a lot of people who do not flush after using a public toilet because they can’t bring themselves to touch the flush that’s been used by God-knows-how many dirty hands. But I do not understand a concept of personal hygiene that’s so unhygienic for others.

Like I said, we can’t crap the idea of a toilet training for an entire nation. If we need to begin at 62, why not?

PS: For those of you who wanted to see my birthday pics, go here.

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34 responses »

  1. >Oh God! I understand your disgust completely. I am so perturbed when I need to use the loo in a public place in India. It is really sad, I tell you. And also mention, how all walls are toilets for nearly every Indian man.

  2. >I stayed in a hostel where we had 3 loos for 20 girls and we could instantly ell who had used the loo before us. Surprisingly, most of the girls were from a well off background but quite a few didn’t maintain basic hygiene like washing their hands after using the loo or disposing off used napkins properly or not even dusting their room for months and there would be a thick layer of dust on everything. Our maids there probably had better hygiene manners than some of the so-called educated girls

  3. >@Mumbai Diva: I warned you!@GM: Yeah, I thought how I had totally glossed over that in this post. But by the time I finished writing this I was so grossed out!@thetinywondow: Thankfully, it was not two much!@SMM: As I said, this has nothing to do with which strata of society they come from. It’s just a habit they can’t seem to get rid of!@Vinz: Sad, huh?

  4. >i agree..completely!!! Traveling in a train is equally worse. Even in @ tier AC Sleepers, where people pay a good amount for the tickets end up making the toilets literally ‘shitty’, so much so that the stink travels to everyone who is in the 5 km radius to the loo….

  5. >No first hand experiences of the kind but I think the ‘Sulabh Shauchalaya’ project at least ensures that the loos are clean. Guess no one minds paying a rupee or two when clean is the loo :-PHow bout having a usage guide behind the door and making sure that the door does not get locked if the guide had not been read 😛

  6. >I’m with you D. There are many things that need attention in India and all of them are small things,atleast they don’t need interference from higher authorities. One of them being toilet training. Weird thing is that, the people you talked about here dont just do this at public places but also do it at other’s homes too. I feel so bad when someone does that at my place. Thankfully that hasn’t happened at my place till now. I’v seen that at my friend’s places.” R “

  7. >@Saima: Oh, it’s torture to have to use those loos in the trains!@Sangfroid: I think there should be some penalty for people who don’t use toilets properly.@Monika, Ansh: Very bad indeed. I didn’t whether to laugh or cry after that.

  8. >It’s terrible, isn’t it! I agree with you all the way on this…if you don’t know how to pee, don’t!But hving said that, I’m also a big believer in having at least one Indian styly toilet per bathroom in these public places. It’s just that they are healthier and there’s less of a chance of contracting UTI and other suck icky diseases.

  9. >@Sampoorna: (I think we posted our comments at the same time.) You need to be shameless to do this anywhere!@unsung: Yeah! Looking at the expressions of some people in that restroom, for a second I thought I was over-reacting, but I know I wasn’t.@M4: I know there are a lot of people who subscribe to that point of view. And if not for the hygeine at least for convenience, I would say it’s not a bad idea. That, however, none of that justifies bad toilet etiquette.

  10. >ewwwww…i hate public loos!when will we learn yaar…its absolutely disgusting.and im not too sure if its just with us Indians…maybe bad toliet sense prevails just abt everywhere.

  11. >Trust me… its not just in India.. I have seen dirty loos in Malaysia, singapore and UK as well.. so I guess, its more out of the habit and the manners that one has, rather than to do anything with the culture.

  12. >@Nisha: Nope, it is just with us. You don’t find dirty toilets in all parts of the world.@Soulmate: Well, I didn’t come across any dirty restrooms in Singapore and Malayasia!

  13. >would you be upset if i told you that i read until ‘squatted’ and immediately scrolled down to comments thereafter! 😐 😐 me no wanting to read!!!!!! owgiesughsighkerush!

  14. >You said it girl!!!! Well, if you dont want to touch the flush, be innovative, take a piece of the toilet paper, given there is some and I presume a mall would have it, and hold it to press the lever down. I mean there are always ways. A lot has to do with the mindset of ‘free place’/public property etc. so there is no regard for it. For e.g. people won’t mess their houses, but see these same people trashing a public place without the slightest thought.

  15. >I really think they should put pictorial instruction wherever possible – how to use and what the rules are. Also keep staff for constant maintenance, wipe, dry, clean, wash off the place etc….this might ensure some following of instructions. We are an Icky people.

  16. >@Roop: I warned you in advance, and I’m not upset.@SSQuo: You’re right. They’ll have spanking clean houses but scant respect for public property.@IHM: Good ideas. The latter bit – about employing staff to constantly mop and clean – has been seen in a few places, but the problem here is not only that the loos are dirty but also that people using them have no idea how they should be used.

  17. >Btw most of the loos in the malls flush automatically after a certain interval. They get activated by the pushing open/ locking the door I think

  18. >*bursts out laughing* What a story! That’s almost as bad as tavelling the Bombay-Goa route by bus – oh the sights and sounds at the stops!!! I could just imagine your indignation when the shower from above began – you poor thing! Everything aside, nice post – I like the way you write.

  19. >ewww….and totally agree with Saima…just back froma train journey and a flight as well and both were disgusting!!why are we such a disgusting country?:((

  20. >@Rose: I really didn’t know whether to cry at myself or laugh!@I scribble here: Honestly, I was shocked at the sprinkler above my head 😛 This was a new one for me!@Indyeah: Don’t know 😦 And there’s just no logic for it.

  21. >It’s the logic of ‘Noone’s seeing us,’ that makes pple squat on W/C, pee on the floor and what not. In my new office there are women keepers who clean the loo. One day I heard her complaining, ‘Yeh kaisa log hain sab kuch khula chhod dete hain (?) hume bhi insaan samjhe.’ I felt really bad for her when I saw the exposed elements inside the loo.

  22. >Sorry this happened to you, and it is quite disgusting and repulsive, and your disgust is very understandable!However, let’s give the lady the benefit of doubt! What if she was from some rural or remote area? What if this was her first time venturing out to the mall?What if she’s never been exposed to that kind of situation before and didn’t know what to do? Like someone said in the comments section, some helpful pictures of how to use the facilities(e.g. the water faucet) or whatever it was would’ve been nice. I am just saying!!!!

  23. >@JAP: And know how to use them!@simplyme: I agree, but what makes us behave so uncouth when no one is seeing us?@Anon: Argument not accepted. Because I don’t know how to use a facility does not mean I can abuse it.

  24. >read this post while talking to a very bad humored bank man on the phone and the post script just had me in splitsi mean given the contrast of the issues…

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