The IPL (Indian Public Loo) – An ode to our sanitation system


Have you ever had the opportunity to visit a public loo in a public place? 

I am sure there would have been many such occasions when nature conspires brilliantly!! And there would be times you have had to attend to the nature more than once, and on some occassion done it once and the last time. You will go to a public loo only during duress. However, the occasion will be much endured by yourself.

You will either need to possess the strongest lung capacity for holding your breath within the “space” or do a zen or trance-like meditation (which the smell naturally induces) and take your mind elsewhere while you complete your do! Another way is to have a medical condition of the nose. Methane gas is combustible they say; in a public loo, your lungs will invariably explode – either due to not breathing or due to breathing !

I have had the privilege of going to a public loo a number of times and probably will have to do it again (I am stressed at times you see) but I promise that I will rather let my bladder burst or go in the nearest jungle or last but not the least wear an adult diaper (shamelessly) ; but never go to a public loo in the waiting room of a railway station ! I do not want to give graphic descriptions of my 1 second ordeal, but one quick view of the indian commode at Kalka railway station was enough to plug my loo needs.

There are many a fantastic facts about the IPL (Indian Public Loo).

One – At an Indian railway station, you will find water everywhere – on the tracks, on the platform, in the dustbin, in a bottle, in the waiting room’s waiting area, in the bathing Room (this one is seperate), on the floor – but never in the flushing cisterns.

Two – The Flushing systems have been tested only for ‘n’ uses after which they are meant to konk off.

Three – Whether it is a first class waiting room, or a second class one, it does not matter….an IPL is used by all and sundry. Now this is irrespective of the fact that the flushing system has stopped working in the stone age! What endurance people may have!!

This is an appeal:

– to the government to provide gas masks with illusion goggles to nullify the effects of the IPL gases and visualities.

– to unsuspecting bowels and bladders to give me a respite on the great Indian Railway station and get a movement much earlier (say when I am at home or near a five star hotel, where one gets jasmine flavoured rest room airs) or much much later.

But we are Indians after all. We have to go when we have to go. Wherever. However. The peril is there..and much experienced. We have hardened our sanity to the sanitation!! Hail the great IPL!

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2 responses to “The IPL (Indian Public Loo) – An ode to our sanitation system

  1. Shantanu, you write well! I am not much a poetry reader unfortunately but the little I read of yours, well, you’d do well to pursue it further. 🙂 I loved your ‘IPL’… the Indian Stench League, he he?

    Write more, write oftener–I wish I did too! I have read quite a few here and will come back for more.

    Keep going! All the best…

    • Hey Indy…Thanks for your heartfelt comments. I love writing…but because I write with my mind-in-the-heart (??!!) it takes a mood to get into and the fingers then just flow!! I am hoping to become a regular…but the work just does not allow!!

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