Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pee India Pee!

How many times have you seen ugly looking wall, a potential toilet for the passers-by, painted with even uglier paint that says, "Gadhe ke puut, yahan na muut" (Son of a donkey, don't pee here. By the way sounds more intriguing in Hindi)? Uncountable, Right?

I can't help but to think do we people really have a weak bladder? Or India has a scarcity of 'Public Washrooms'? Or the time taken by heavy traffic defeats the average time for which a man can hold his liquid together?

I am not one among the people who stains (public) wall for free but looking at their miserable conditions, I bet there must be many.

What kind of a place serves as a perfect spot to save your bladder from bursting itself out of pressure of a liquid nitrogenous waste? The answer is blatantly present everywhere. A relatively deserted place, out of the focus of eyes looking straight, a few complementary dogs, ill-structured shops and houses that are constituting the wall and few fellow people already doing what you intend to do manifesting the legitimacy of the act at that place. The corners are as preferred as lower seats in a typical sleeper coach of Indians trains but the catch is, you can never be sure of getting it. Although there is no rule book or any law defining where the people can or can't pee, few have taken a stand condemning atrocities against wall that has by no stretch meant for public use. The clear example was in the very first paragraph. One more common example is "Look, a donkey is peeing..." Ironically, the paint itself make the wall dirtier and hardly does this paint pay any dividend. 29% of the males in India are illiterate so whatever written on the wall hardly makes any sense to them. So, they end up peeing on that very same spot where these golden words are inscribed.

Let's talk about the other 71%. Many of them do not actually prefer using these unofficial public toilets. May be because derogatory remarks painted on the wall, may be but very unlikely a concern for degrading beauty of city. However, the nature of this 71% of literate population is highly unpredictable.

This problem lies at the heart of poor infrastructure if some planners are to be believed. But the entire picture is different. I live in Jaipur that is boasts of many public washrooms. Due to absence of any mechanism that would predict how likely a man is to pee at a certain place renders it impossible to construct these washrooms through a perfect planned way but still these are good in numbers. The only catch that contributes to catch-22 of the people is the amount they need to pay for using these washrooms. For a man, who fights for every crumb of bread, paying Rs. 1 for getting rid of a waste is a waste. Even it occurs to the relatively affluent once that why to pay when we can have our way for free. Aesthetes pay the price but who cares!

No politician promises, let alone changing the status quo, to make his city beautiful. It would be too hard for me to expect that people are going to change. They will keep spitting, keep peeing. But, if there can be petrol pump every kilometer there can be free washrooms as well complemented with an awareness program.

My fellow people! hold on a bit, drive slow but not that slow which will compel you to search a 'relatively deserted place', and Pee with pride at your home.