The rains came down and boy did they. The annual wait for respite from the unforgiving heat finally ended for us in Bombay by mid june.
Most of us get a little delirious at this time of year and do a mental dance in the monsoon. Somehow the rain, the giver of hope and life, makes us peacocky and we feel the urge to just drop everything and head to the hills.
Yes, our favourite short break destination, lonavla.
And so on a whim and a fancy, we fueled the car and decided to head off to the land of chikki (brittle) and fudge.
Thanks to the good roads (you know I refer to the little 45 minute patch right? ), we now leave our homes comfortably after a nice breakfast as opposed to the early mornings, we once had to endure. The infrastructure has given rise to loads of eating joints too, so no need to pack up sandwiches and fill the famous thermos’ with some tea and juice for the road.
Oh no , we’re travel friendly now, part of the 21st century, pretty much upto speed. One can just hit the road , footloose and fancy free. Water is the only thing I carry as I need to drink a lot of it.
So here we were, enjoying the music and the sights. Everything is so green again, even the mounds of garbage piled up, look pleasant. The rain is pouring down, causing rivulets on the windows , the sun roof is opened (not the glass part), so we can enjoy the cloudy skies, beautiful. I love the rains!
Suddenly I felt like peeing, it’s ok thought , it’ll pass. I ignored it. And it did, as always. I’ve been blessed with a decent bladder, I must say. One of God’s kinder graces on me. But soon the urge was back. Now the pretty countryside view was beginning to blur, I began to scan the possibility of the loo somewhere along the way. We passed man after man standing by the side of the road, relieving himself, in the greens enjoying the panoramic view in front of him, probably thinking what a service he was doing towards the fertilizing of the fields along with peeing. Miles and miles of green, But no loo in sight for me.
We hit traffic along the way, due to a landslide, caused by the blasted heavy rains.” Couldn’t it just stop for sometime”, I thought, it had been raining (pissing like cy calls it, ironic hmph!) insistently for hours now. Just watching water all around doesn’t help when, all that you hold within is dying to get out as well. The music in the car began to get on my nerves, I felt like a custodian of a water balloon, that was threatening to give way and the radio jockey with her annoying accent just wouldn’t stop about the rains pouring down, and playing songs like,” it was a rainy night and he came into sight”. . . ., all that I wanted to come into my sight was a damn loo. Water the giver of life was now threatening to take mine away.
I don’t understand, we have thousands of eating and drinking joints, but where does it all go. I mean whatever goes in has to come out no? how did this never feature in the planning commissioner’s mind. It’s as basic a need as drinking or eating. Yes, survival does depend on expelling as much as ingesting.
I’m seeing red by now. The beauty of the valley fades into an angry vision of a great location for a toilet.
We drove up to a petrol pump and i made a dash for it, the truckers loo welcomed me with draft of smells threatening to permeate my every pore, i dashed right back with clenched thighs and a held breath.
A long 45 minutes later we pulled up into a food court. There was a long line understandably so, the ratio of restaurants is 10:1, the ratio of loos is 100:1, I waited shifting from leg to leg. Finally, inside , I found myself spoilt for choice. Was it going to be the Indian style, sit on the haunches, not sure which side to face , with the eternally leaky tap, leading to the overflowing bucket , which keeps the entire floor of the loo ‘washed’ shall we say, OR the English commode, whose seat is no more, and the flush tank is missing it’s chain, but there is a constant drain of water in the pot too, whereby keeping the contents flowing and circulating . I choose the latter. I’m going with the hanging midway option. By now, my eyes are tearing up with the holding on, I wonder if this a way of the body trying to expel stuff , when In dire straits. I do manage to execute the “hang” , my thighs tremble in support as I try not to breathe in the stench. But peeing requires breathing, deep breathing at that. I do so till I just might pass out. Job done,toilet paper, I look around out of habit (are you joking ?I ask myself) I try not to pay attention to the bottom of my trousers that has had the luxury to languishing on the watery floor, I zip up and zip out.
Back in the car relieved , relaxed and infused with the heady scent of acidic human excretion which had now overridden my dior, we were on our way. Let the picnic begin I thought looking at the green hills in the distance, as the sound of music began to fill my ears and heart, I sang along. . . .
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun shiny day