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“Wow, a toilet edition! You are bravely going where no magazine seems to have gone before!” said Parthiv N Parekh, Editor-in-chief, Khabar Magazine (one of the largest Indian-American magazines in the U.S), when I told him we were working on this special one! Of course, it made me smile, for the soul philosophy of The Indian Trumpet is to tread where no one has. So, why a toilet edition? You may ask. Last October, Namrata Manghnani, a friend and ex-Trumpet Blower, suggested we make an entire edition on the Indian Toilet. She insisted we released the edition such that it coincides with the World Toilet Day, November 19. To humour our creative ingenuity, I assured her that I would give the same a serious thought. A few days later, she sent me pictures of entertaining and informative posters pasted in washrooms in Dubai! I realised she was committed to the theme and hence here we are! Namrata has moved on from the Trumpet, but well, this one is for her. Like with every other theme, not once did we feel there was a dearth of ideas. There’s so much to say about all things Indian, be it the Indian toilet. The never-ending debate on the pros and cons of Indian toilet vs. Western toilet is of course included, so is the other popular topic, cleaning with water vs. toilet paper. Plus, we’ve got poetry on the theme too! In between, we make stopovers at loos at bus stops, in trains. Horrors of public toilets, we’ve got that covered. Met young parents, who’re obsessed with their baby’s poop. You have our sympathy. Indian men who have declared the public space as their washroom, we express our disgust on this menace. Ever wondered about the lives of toilet cleaners? We speak to them too.

editor’s note

If jokes on shitting and farting go well with you then we’re sure you don’t mind the existence of toilet humour. Heard of toilet art? The indecipherable scribbles on the walls of public shauchalaya! Explore with us. Art can be found anywhere, we say. From art to cinema, in our 70MM section we talk of Bollywood’s affair with the toilet – from songs to storylines! Rights: All rights reserved. The writing, artwork and photography contained herein may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of The Indian Trumpet. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of The Indian Trumpet. All efforts have been made while compiling the content of the magazine but we assume no responsibility for the effects arising there from. We take no responsibility of the availability of the products mentioned in the various sections of the magazine. Reprints as a whole or in part can be done only with written permission from The Indian Trumpet quoting “The Indian Trumpet magazine” for texts and pictorial material. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor. No responsibility can be taken for the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Contacts: Purva Grover, founder & editor theindiantrumpet.com All queries to be addressed to theindiantrumpet@gmail.com The Indian Trumpet Magazine is released four times a year. It is available to the readers absolutely free of cost on the portal theindiantrumpet.com.

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Of course, the edition would have been incomplete without talking of the efforts of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. Here’s wishing that many more people can contribute towards the cause and with the same dedication. Sir, thank you. Well, whether you sing in the shower or you read while on the shit pot, all I can say that this edition is for each one of you. Until we meet next, happy tooting.

Purva founder & editor editor@theindiantrumpet.com


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shauchalaya kidhar hai?


Hi! I love The Indian Trumpet. I am an Indian living in Melbourne, Australia. I have also spent a few years in Dubai. The Indian Trumpet, takes me back to my childhood, my roots and fills me with nostalgia. Absolutely love the website. Keep doing the great work! Many thanks and best regards, Veena Gandhi (Find Veena’s contribution in this edition!) .............................................................. An edition on the Indian Pankha! Honestly, it got me smiling and wondering as to what all would you cover in that. And as always, I was left amazed by the variety! I still remember how the fan would disrupt the reading of the morning newspaper, the ritual of filling up water in the extra big cooler we had at home....and the reminders from my father to shut the door when the room AC was on! Plus, how we would switch off the AC after sometime to avoid overloading and reduce electricity bills! Your stories and images brought back memories of the good, old days I spent in India.

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Farting, peeing, and pooping. Feel free to stop reading the edition, if these words disguist you. Because this time around The Indian Trumpet is set on a journey of a kind. Yes, all roads are leading to the washroom: private, public. In the railway stations, at bus stops and more. Are you one of those who read on the shitpot? Or do you happen to be the young couple who is obsessed about the poop of their little one? Men who pee on the road, listen up: this ain’t the place. Heard of toilet art? Explore with us. And toilet humour? Laugh with us. We promise to leave you amazed with our tales!


Indian the

a bi-monthly e-magazine for NRIs

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A SPACE WHERE WE MAKE NOISE ABOUT ALL THINGS INDIAN

AN E-MAGAZINE THAT CAPTURES THE COLOUR, CULTURE AND CHAOS OF INDIA THAT NRIs CRAVE AND MISS, ONCE EVERY TWO MONTHS

JUST CLICK AND READ FOR FREE Blow the trumpet with us!! To advertise, mail us at

theindiantrumpet@gmail.com 70 MM. INDIAN BELLY. TRUMPET LEAD. FASHION FRY. DIARY OF AN INDIAN. DESI LIT. TAX-FREE ENTERTAINMENT. TRUMPET BAZAAR. THE GLOBE & THE GULLY. HORN OK PLEASE. OVER A CUP OF CHAI. TRUMPET TELLER. ANGRY TOOT. OUR SHABDKOSH. IDHAR UDHAR. LOUD TOOT. LAST WORD. TRUMPET TASTES.

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70 MM

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SINGING IN THE SHOWER If you haven’t ever sung ‘Thande thande paani se nahana chahiye’ in a shower or in a game of antakshari, then we’re judging both your love for Bollywood and commitment towards showering!

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PIKU: PEEK-A-BOO OF THE CONSTIPATED MIND The movie took the privy discussions about bowel movements, straight into the theatres thereby making the plot playful and real!

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22 HAPPY BELLY We bring you a list of external helpers that help to keep our bellies and our palates happy. trumpet lead

THE CLEAN-UP ACT

follow the noise

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Most Indians swear by the act of cleaning up with water, and water ONLY ! Hence, when confronted with a toilet paper roll they feel uneasy, cheated and dirty. 36

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO BE A TOILET CLEANER? With a recorder in tow, this writer decided to interview the public toilet cleaners. What made people do this kind of work, she thought to herself. Did she find an answer? Find out for yourself.

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LATRINUM HORRIBILIS “Latrinum Horribilis” is what a Latin explorer would have said, if he/she were to visit present day India and rely solely on the public toilets.

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PET ‘PEE’VES Men, please take note: Taking a whiz alfresco is never a cool thing and it tops the list of the most annoying things you do.

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THE TOILET ART An older and low-tech version of ‘posting on Twitter’ is what toilet graffiti basically is.

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DEJA POO ‘Deja Poo’ is a feeling that you’ve heard this crap before! Here we discuss the correlation between toilet humour and hygiene in a society, how it’s presented in various forms.

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BATHROOM MUSINGS Guilty charged, this writer-reader introspects the curious habit of bathroom reading.

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THE THREE P’S Paid, peed & pooped: “Upon enquiring where we could ‘do the deed’, a scrawny fellow directed us to a shanty across the road. A fat lady in a shiny pink polyester sari sat at the entrance on a tiny stool, chewing betel leaves.” In her hands, lay the future of this Indian family! Lesson: Don’t argue when your choices of ‘relieving’ yourself are limited!

desi lit

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NOT HAVING AN INDIAN TOILET IS A BLUNDER


A humourous, yet thoughtful take on the never ending debate of the benefits of the Indian toilet vs. Western toilet !

diary of an indian

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ENTERING THE WAR ZONE: THE INDIAN TOILET A five-year-old finds himself face -to-face with an Indian toilet (at a roadside dhaba).

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COLOUR, FREQUENCY & CONSISTENCY OF BABY POOP!! Mustard yellow, watery today , and solid after three days ! Yukh. Young parents are obsessed with the poop of their infants and toddlers, and how!

bharat darshan

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SULABH INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF TOILETS Established in 1992, New Delhi. Exploring the wonderful works of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation Movement.

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SHADES OF THE SHAUCHALAYA An artist explores the various shades of the Indian toilets, habits and more!

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last word

follow the noise

THANDE THANDE PANI SE NAHANA CHAHIYE An old melody.

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The

Indian Trumpet Loud, louder, loudest... Let's make some noise! We'd love to hear from you. Write in to us with your suggestions at

theindiantrumpet@gmail.com


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SINGING IN THE SHOWER!

IF YOU HAVEN’T EVER SUNG ‘THANDE THANDE PAANI SE NAHANA CHAHIYE’ IN A SHOWER OR IN A GAME OF ANTAKSHARI, THEN WE’RE JUDGING BOTH YOUR LOVE FOR BOLLYWOOD AND COMMITMENT TOWARDS SHOWERING! HERE’S LOOKING AT MANY A MEMORABLE SONGS THAT ARE SUNG WHILE BATHING, CROON ALONG. words SABIN MUZAFFAR

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Old Hollywood actor Gene Kelly might have loved singin’ in the rain, but none can surpass the refreshing joy of mastering a tune in the shower. The sonorous sound of oneself echoing in the misty environs of the bathroom as the warm water trickles down gives a whole new meaning to being enchanted by the melodic ragas.

exactly like the Indian beauty danced titillatingly in the rain. Could anything be better than that?

Working similar to a low tech music mixer, the swishing sound of the water, the pattering of the feet and then of course there is a complete transition of one’s pitchy voice into something even the musical gods would be proud of!

Groovy kind of love

Although there are no set rules for what should be sung in the shower, catchy tunes regardless of its musical integrity are usually sung! That said, there are many a memorable songs that are also sung while bathing your little ones. But there are different facets to singin’ in the shower, numerous connotations infused in the emotions that come cascading down in that private moment. Many a times captured even on the silver screen.

And if even that is not the song for you, why not go old school and hum the tunes of I am a disco dancer and rock that ‘80s vibe. It’s a place where you can be Mithun and just let it go!

The shower is the best place for those smitten in love. And the expression can range from being a forlorn lover yearning and in desperation singing Aaja re o meray dil ber aaja. Looking through the glass to see in the vague distance beyond the four walls of the bathroom for your beau to come and hold you close. Then there is that groovy kind where you are hurriedly taking a shower, getting ready for a hot date and in your happiness you start humming O meray dil kay chain – unknowingly. Or even another classic Mehbooba O Mehbooba – putting in that extra bit of jazz. One other must-sing song of all times is Pehla nasha

Soppy slough of despondency Nothing can rival a cold shower and being in the dump than a morosely singing the old classic O duniya kay rakh walay. Originally sung by the maestro Mohammad Rafi for the Bollywood classic Baiju Bawra, its high pitch resonating within the four walls of the bathroom gives a new meaning to profound reverberations. Another song that is pitch perfect is Paani pani re. Sweetly melancholic and sung originally by the lilting genius of Lata, the song comes from the soundtrack of hit movie Maachis. Only in a bathroom, can one come a tad bit close to singing somewhat like the incomparable legend.

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Get into the groove! That great feeling that you are at the top of the world is magnified while taking a warm shower. And what could be more perfect than singing the merry song Aaj mein uppar originally sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy. The song epitomizes happiness and being at the top of your game and what better way to sing than in the misty wetness of a good wash. There are other feel good songs like Bhaage re mann picturised on the enchantress Kareena Kapoor for the movie Chameli. Picture yourself wafting in the shower

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There are other feel good songs like Bhaag re mann picturised on the enchantress Kareena Kapoor for the movie Chameli. Picture yourself wafting in the shower exactly like the Indian beauty danced titillatingly in the rain. Could anything be better than that?


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Talking about showers and songs, it would be such a remiss for not talking about actual songs picturised in the bathroom. It starts way back in Bollywood, when screen siren Saira Bano – looking divinely pink and pretty – sang Unse mili nazar for the Rajandra Singh starrer Jhuk Gaya Asman in 1968. that one simply just can’t do without. Feel the freshness of the tune while being invigorated. Partners in crime Shower can be source of explicit enunciations of love as well. Get a little bit of loving, share the moment with your better half while crooning Jab Koi baat bigar jaye. Then there is the classical hit from the movie Pardes titled Do dil, setting the perfect stage for a romantic moment while soaping away.

about her favourite shower song, actress Priyanka Chopra said: “My favourite songs to sing in the shower are what I never ever sing in the microphone or in real life. One of them would be LL Cool J “Phenomenon.” I become LL. Or “Crush On You” with Biggie and Lil’ Kim. I mean, I love those songs! But I could never ever do a Biggie or Lil’ Kim in real life, so I become that in the shower!”

The vamp All womenfolk can add the X factor while taking a shower by being the vamp. Secretly dreaming of acting out like an item girl, the closed doors of the bathroom is just the place where you can slither AND slather both at the same time. It’s all about being the Sheilas you have daydreamed so much about! Bablo time

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And then there are the kids, who like a bit of a background score to help them ‘ease’ the pain of getting clean. And what better song than Thanday thanday paani mein babloo nahaye. Talking about showers and songs, it would be such a remiss for not talking about actual songs picturised in the bathroom. It starts way back in Bollywood, when screen siren Saira Bano – looking divinely pink and pretty – sang Unse mili nazar for the Rajandra Singh starrer Jhuk Gaya Asman in 1968. Even stars descend down like ordinary people to sing in the shower. In one of her interview, when asked Executive Editor Ananke (anankemag.com), Sabin Muzaffar embarked upon her professional career some 18 years ago. She is currently contributing to major publications in the UAE including daily Gulf News. A reluctant feminist, women empowerment through digital media is one of the many topics close to her heart. Addicted to the silver screen, she spends all her free time watching old Bollywood and Hollywood movies. Follow her journey on Twitter; @critoe

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PIKU: Peek-a-boo of

the constipated mind

THE MOVIE TOOK THE PRIVY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT BOWEL MOVEMENTS, STRAIGHT INTO THE THEATRES THEREBY MAKING THE PLOT PLAYFUL AND REAL! words ISHANA LUTHRA

The early morning glass of hot water or a spoonful of Kayamchuran the night before are a few things that are indigenous to our natives. The focus on a healthy bowel is so intense in this part of the world that it is beyond the understanding of a new-age mortal.

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It’s true that there exist a category of people in the Indian society that is fairly conscious about not being constipated. So much so that, they defy Western food, hate the idea of maida-diets and know almost every herb, which can relieve constipation. This fascination with the idea of not-beingconstipated, hit the silver screens in 2015 in a movie called Piku. This directorial wonder by Shoojit Sircar revolved around a young, corporate girl – Piku Banerjee and her ever-constipated father, Bhashkor Banerjee. The movie took the privy discussions about bowel movements, straight into the theatres thereby making the plot playful and real. Piku is often found exclaiming to her father, ‘Your constipation is in your mind’. As the story unfolds, Piku and Bhashkor take a road

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trip from New Delhi to Kolkata, to decide on the fate of an ancestral house. The journey helps Piku find a friend in the pseudo-driver, Rana Chaudhary, who otherwise is the owner of the taxi company, engaged. The jibes by Rana over making Bhashkor’s motions comfortable during the journey, makes the movie a laughter-riot. The aged Bhashkor dies in his sleep one day, but declares the evening before that he had the best motion of his life. Piku finds solace in her father’s two important dreams coming true – a peaceful death and a perfect motion. The story simple yet engrossing brought to light the very enthralment we Indians have with eating well and excreting well too! There is no denying to the adulation the baby-boomer generation has for the Indian toilet seat. They find it healthy, hygienic and the perfect cure to any constipation that you might have. A scene from Piku reminds me of the same. Bhashkor carries a self-curated toilet seat with him to Kolkata to make sure there isn’t a reason for being constipated. Until Rana suggests that Bhashkor should try the squatting position during his early morning chores.


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THE EARLY MORNING GLASS OF HOT WATER OR A SPOONFUL OF KAYAMCHURAN THE NIGHT BEFORE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT ARE INDIGENOUS TO OUR NATIVES. THE FOCUS ON A HEALTHY BOWEL IS VERY INTENSE IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD!

If you’ve ever travelled with the baby-boomer generation, you’ll find them pick the Indian toilet seat over the Western one at a public toilet – because they prefer squatting. Even though the Western water closet would be far more comfortable, the charm of the Indian seat never vanishes for them. Some of the funniest discussions I have witnessed are between two perpetually, constipated persons. They would not only share the pain of the situation but connect every misgiving of the day with their constipation. A new herbal medicine that can relieve the constipation also takes center-stage of such discussions. Even though I can’t really hide my smile during such animated discussions, I do empathize with such earthly beings. I’ve often asked such people, ‘what’s your dream bowel like?’ But to my dismay, I found them constipated with thoughts too! May be, it’s the genome, not them!

Ishana Luthra is a marketing writer, digital strategist and an incurable case of wanderlust. This IIM-Bangalore alumnus runs a content and digital marketing firm called Pattraco, which designs responsive online marketing strategies for businesses. An experimental cook at heart, she adores her mountain dwelling and craves beaches. She embraces the company of family and friends alike! She can be reached at ishana.luthra@gmail.com.

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Images: Shutterstock

HAPPY BELLY! EVERYONE HAS A FAVOURITE. AAM PAPPAD, HAJMOLA, FATAFAT, PAAN, SAUNF, COLOURED SAUNF…THE LIST IS ENDLESS. ALL OF THEM NOT ONLY HELP IN DIGESTION, STOMACH ACHE OR HEAVINESS AFTER A MEAL BUT AS CHILD AND EVEN NOW ARE SO DELICIOUS TO EAT. WE BRING YOU A LIST OF THESE EXTERNAL HELPERS THAT HELP TO KEEP OUR BELLIES AND OUR PALATES HAPPY. words PRACHI GROVER

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{ } Aam Papad

Hajmola!

Saunf Fatafat Paan Churan!

As I begin writing this piece I clearly remember the mysterious bottles of many, many churans that were lined up at my grandmother’s house in her cupboard. During the summer holidays after a lazy and heavy lunch we would all retire into my grandmother’s bedroom. The water cooler would have already cooled down the room, the curtains would be all drawn and there would be multiple mattresses on the floor to accommodate all the cousins. Someone in the room would then say to no one in particular, “Koi mithi saunf ya churan lao, bahut kha liya hai” (Someone get me a bottle of sweet fennel seeds or digestive powder, I have eaten too much). The rest of us would then chuckle and question him/her who asked you to eat this much? I am sure most of you can picture this scene after most meals at home while others may have fond memories of mounds of varieties of churans and other Indian digestives sold by hawkers. Just thinking about them is enough to make my mouth water. These churans and mithi saunfs have been an important part of all our childhoods and now our adulthoods! Everyone has a favourite. Aam Pappad, Hajmola, Fatafat, Paan, Saunf, Coloured saunf…the list is endless. All of them not only help in digestion, theindiantrumpet.com

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CHURAN

bo

f o l l u f s e tt l


stomach ache or heaviness after a meal but as child and even now are so delicious to eat. In this edition we bring you a list of these external helpers that help to keep our bellies and our palates happy.

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• Hajmola: This chatpati (tangy) tablet is a big favourite with everyone. It is a tasty, fun-filled digestive that many people take regularly after a meal. The popularity of Hajmola can be assessed by the fact that almost 2.6 crore tablets are being


consumed every day in India. Hajmola is a mix of traditional Indian culinary herbs, spices and edible salts.

• Aam Papad: Aam papad is an Indian fruit leather made out of mango pulp mixed with concentrated sugar solution and then sun dried. It is also known as Aamta, amawat, mamidi tandra, aamsotto and amba vadi. There are two versions of it; a sweet one and a tangy one that is best enjoyed with black salt. • Fatafat: Fatafat are tiny digestive pills. The name comes from the fact that they give one instant relief from indigestion; ‘fatafat’ which means ‘quickly’. I loved it as a child and can finish off more than a packet in one go even now.

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• Paan: Paan is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut and sometimes also with tobacco. It is chewed for its stimulant and digestive effects. After chewing it is either spat out or swallowed. It is an integral part of many Indian traditional occasions as well. Paan has many variations. Meetha (sweet) paan, sada (plain) paan, tambaaku (tobacco) paan and more.

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• Mukhwaas: Mukhwaas essentially means a breath freshener. It is a colourful Indian after-meal snack to freshen one’s breath and a digestive aid. It can be made of various seeds and nuts, but often made with fennel seeds, anise seeds, coconut, and sesame seeds. • Saunf: Saunf, fennel seeds, has been used for many years in cooking as well as medicinal purposes. There are many types of the same; moti (thicker)


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SAUNF

and bareek one (finer). There is also a sweeter coloured candy version that kids love. Saunf is often served alongside mishri (crystallised sugar lumps) at restaurants and weddings and it is a common practise at most Indian homes to have a few after each meal. • Imli Ki Golis: Tamarind Candy or Imli Ki Goli is a type of candy made from the fruit of the tamarind tree. Tamarind candy is often chewy and each of these candies is rolled in sugar to cut down the tartness. • Anardaana: Anardaana churan or Anardaana goli is a digestive that has a distinctive flavour which it gets from the dried pomegranate seeds and when combined with other ingredients makes a refreshing churan. • Hing Peda: Hing peda is not for everyone. The strong flavour of hing is an acquired taste. It is said to both stimulate appetite and improves digestion. It is also used in a lot of Indian curries to help counter flatulence. • Jeera Goli: Jeera goli is a sweet and tangy candy with cumin powder that is blended with dry mango and sugar. Cumin is really good for digestion and once again regularly used in the Indian kitchen.

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The list of Indian digestives is endless but we will leave you with these for now. We’re in the midst of the festival season so while you gorge on sweet treats and spicy savouries do remember to stock up your pantry with some of these mouthwatering digestives to soothe your content tummies!

Mum to her little chefling | Cookbook Addict | DIY Obsessed. Prachi believes that children who are more involved in preparing food are more likely to try out new flavours, respect their food, respect where the food they eat comes from and in the process wipe their plates clean. Food is always a part of her & her little chefling’s celebrations and conversations. She writes at Orange Kitchens, where she shares recipes that the both of them have tried and appreciated, cooking victories and failures, kitchen and food related DIY projects that they are working on. She divides her time between playing food consultant, writing for food publications, developing recipes, conducting food workshops and blogging. She is also the Food Revolution Ambassador for Dubai & one of the fifteen Super Ambassadors across the globe for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution initiative. She can be found at orangekitchens.net. Follow her here: instagram.com/orangekitchens

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{ } Mithi Saunf

or the coloured

SAUNF is loved by both children and adults!

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THE CLEAN-UP ACT MOST INDIANS SWEAR BY THE ACT OF CLEANING UP WITH WATER, AND WATER ONLY! HENCE, WHEN CONFRONTED WITH A TOILET PAPER ROLL THEY FEEL UNEASY, CHEATED AND DIRTY. THE DIFFERENT APPROACHES (AND MEDIUMS) TOWARDS THE CLEAN-UP ACT REMAIN, AS DOES THE HUMOUR THAT ARISES FROM SUCH SITUATIONS! words VIREN PAREKH

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What’s the better clean-up alternative once we have defecated? When I started writing this piece, I was surprised at the number of different ways that people employ to clean-up after they’ve defecated! The ways range from the regular (toilet paper, water) to strange (corn cobs!) to gruesome (sticks, stones, soil, ash, sand…eeks). And since the proponents of a particular way of cleaning up fiercely swear by their own, um, cult, there are some extremely funny exchanges during encounters of individuals who have different washing styles. Take the case of ones who support the "cause” of washing up with water only. These people (including yours truly) are particularly anti-people who advocate cleaning up with toilet paper. I myself am in the group of people who dread visits to foreign lands where majority of the people clean-up by toilet paper. For days before the trip, there is a lot of mental agony about the ordeals which lay ahead! Finally, when the trip materialises and the moment where the paper meets the butt is nigh, it is almost as if time has stood still. One imagines a hefty sum of points getting added on to his/her karma score for going through this suffering. Each swipe of the paper inflicts a deep sense of sadness of just being in this situation. IT. JUST. FEELS. DIRTY. To me, the act of cleaning up by

toilet paper, is a lot like being blindfolded and trying to clean a used food plate which is very greasy without any water! It just cannot be done! There is also the argument that using water is more sustainable as compared to cutting down trees to manufacture toilet paper. The ones who clean-up by water have a point too! If you really analyse the situation, the toilet paper population resides in some of the coldest parts of the world. It is not a very pleasant feeling to have ice-cold water splashing in your nether regions with a vengeance. This would also justify to an extent the reason for using exotic stuff like wool, stones, pieces of clay, coconut shells, and corncobs! The toilet paper users also justify their method by drawing comparison to the supposedly unhygienic, “hands-on” approach followed in some countries. This argument is however negated to some extent by the bidet and bidet shower, which do use water, but take the hands and fingers out of the process. After putting all arguments in context, the only thing I can safely say is that these basic difference have prevailed for centuries and will prevail for centuries to come. The other constant is also the constant humour one derives, precisely because of these differences!

Viren Parekh, an internal auditor by profession, moved to Dubai in 2014. An avid cricket fan, on ‘match’ days you’d find him enjoying a drink and watching the game. On other days, he loves to read & write and play the guitar. This traveller nurtures a dream: To set foot on each continent in this lifetime. You can write to him at viren.parekh@gmail.com.

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IN AN ENDEAVOUR TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE WRITTEN WORD & EMERGE AS A PLATFORM FOR ONE & ALL TO SHOWCASE THEIR TALENT; THE INDIAN TRUMPET NOW HOSTS REGULAR WORKSHOPS, OPEN MIC NIGHTS, AUTHOR INTERACTIONS & MORE.

IF YOU WISH TO BE A PART OF THIS DRIVE AS A SPONSOR, PARTICIPANT, SPEAKER... DROP US A LINE AT: EDITOR@THEINDIANTRUMPET.COM


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why would anyone want to be a toilet cleaner? WITH A RECORDER IN TOW, THIS WRITER DECIDED TO INTERVIEW THE PUBLIC TOILET CLEANERS. WHAT MADE PEOPLE DO THIS KIND OF WORK, SHE THOUGHT TO HERSELF. DID SHE FIND AN ANSWER? FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF. words ANNELISE images AVNEESH MURGAI & MIRAN RIJAVEC

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After scouring my neighbourhood and coming up empty, I found this place on Google maps. I stood across the road, unsure whether to approach him, looking for a woman I could chat with instead. Sussing out the place, I watched as a steady stream of men went in and out, dropping a coin into his hand. What I was pleasantly surprised about is that unlike what I imagined, this man did not go unnoticed, but his customers sought him out to ‘spend their penny’. Interestingly, a lot about this public toilet in the heart of a busy Bengaluru was not an onslaught on my senses as I had dreaded. On the contrary, this privately-run toilet was relatively clean and though it didn’t smell of air fresheners, I knew immediately that this man took his job very seriously. Meet Manu Singh, a young man from a village in Bihar. He’s come a long way from working in the fields at home in an effort to make a living only to get his sisters married. In the city barely four months with the singleminded focus that the wellbeing of his family rests on his shoulders and the belief that he’s ‘unpud’ (illiterate), he takes what he gets.

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Manu handles both the men and the women’s loos and is almost amused at my surprise, laughing even when I asked him if he received any training. “What is there to train... it’s just cleaning... collecting money,” he says with confusion (obviously unaware of the fancier toilets in the malls and hotels in the city).

I... close knit and supporting one another. I dream of home.” This story could be any one of the many folks we’ve passed by on the streets, those coming to the big cities in search of a dream... the only thing is that something happened on the way here and just surviving took centre stage. As it is for Leela and Sushma, two beautiful women I was humbled and honoured to meet at one of the country’s smaller airports. Their job is to clean the women’s loos - such a stark contrast to Manu’s place of work (did I tell you that he has a mini office?), but their stories very similar: financial burdens and only partly educated, they go about their work on autopilot ... checking off their duties from the housekeeping roster with care. Soon I had a group of four gathered around me, intrigued at my interest in them, more so because they’re not used to people even talking to them. Candidly they spoke about trying other jobs but coming back to this ‘housekeeping’ position for the security it offered. They talked about feeling limited by their lack of education and couldn’t imagine doing anything else... until we talked about dreams. Oops! So there we were, the five of us, exploring options of how they could take up tailoring, while still juggling home and heart (pun intended).

“Dreams?!” Another bemused look and perhaps a note to self not to talk to strange women as I genuinely asked what his dreams for the future were. A bit of shrugging of the shoulders later, I could see him trying to conjure up pictures of those long forgotten imaginings he’d buried in the recesses of his mind.

I was dragged away from these women only because my husband was afraid the flight would take off without me. As I looked back towards them huddled together in deep discussion, I thought to myself, “Those toilets that clean themselves can’t some sooner! Automation could indeed free many from taking up such jobs.”

We stood in silence for a moment as those moving, colourful frames came into focus and he said in a tone filled with purpose, “I dream of us being together as a family, my mother and sisters, their husbands and

Back in the bustling metropolis, I continued looking for people to interview and headed straight to a public toilet I remembered seeing on a busy intersection, only to find it raised to the ground, perhaps to make way for

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Image:Miran Rijavec (https://flic.kr/p/7iRwar)

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“DREAMS?!” ANOTHER BEMUSED LOOK! I GENUINELY ASKED WHAT HIS DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE WERE. A BIT OF SHRUGGING OF THE SHOULDERS LATER, I COULD SEE HIM TRYING TO CONJURE UP PICTURES OF THOSE LONG FORGOTTEN IMAGININGS HE’D BURIED IN THE RECESSES OF HIS MIND.

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Image: Avneesh Murgai

the flyover or even the mall that now loomed over the neighbourhood. Curious, I decided to scout the mall loo to speak with their housekeeping staff. I was met by a young man Suresh who spoke only Hindi but his eyes with their vacant smile and shoulders drooping in quiet surrender said a lot more. We talked about his fancy uniform, complete with cap and yes ... his dreams (which until we spoke he had forgotten he had) ... of one day being a supervisor. As we talked about his job and the choices he’s made, I heard the same refrain, “I can’t read, write and speak English, so I’ll never be a manager. I take what I get and this helps feed my family.” So we talked a bit more. When I set out to do my story it was out of pure curiosity to understand what made people do this kind of work; were these jobs still passed down generations or did one choose them on. Judging from these folks

I’ve met, I’m guessing like them, many chance upon the tasks of keeping our public toilets clean not by birth but by circumstance – lack of education, familial responsibilities, and/or financial constraints. I must admit that when I first went out, recorder in hand, I wasn’t sure what kind of reception I’d get and how I would tread. But these individuals totally scratched those old stereotypes that kept playing in my head, and all I heard was the sad strains of unrealised dreams – buried so far down that they could barely be heard over the din of struggle. As I listen to the audios again and catch those moments of quiet in response to my question on dreams, I can’t help but remember how far back their eyes searched for that flicker that once fuelled their spirit. And as I write, I can see the smile in their eyes as we said goodbye, hoping that somewhere that spark is alive.

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A cross-cultural coach and hippi yogi, Annelise has the uncanny knack of striking up conversations with absolute strangers and telling their stories -- with permission! Ever proud of her rich cultural heritage, her aim is to stand in the gap, helping people appreciate diversity and blend in. Writing for her is a sure-fire way to stay out of trouble.


LATRINUM HORRIBILIS “LATRINUM HORRIBILIS” IS WHAT A LATIN EXPLORER WOULD HAVE SAID, IF HE/SHE WERE TO VISIT PRESENT DAY INDIA AND RELY SOLELY ON THE PUBLIC TOILETS. IT IS A VERY PROFOUND TERM, “LATRINUM HORRIBILIS”, AND EVEN TO THE ONES (LIKE ME) WHO CAN’T SPEAK A SINGLE WORD OF LATIN, THE TERM SEEMS APPROPRIATE TO DESCRIBE SOME INDIAN PUBLIC TOILETS. TERRIBLE, AWFUL, HORRIBLE, DIRTY AND OTHER SUCH WORDS ARE TOO MILD TO DESCRIBE THE MONSTROSITIES THESE PLACES ARE. NO, IT HAS TO BE LATRINUM HORRIBILIS!

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words VIREN PAREKH

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Images: Shutterstock

To be able to write this piece, I have taken the creative liberty of assuming that I was exploring India by rail and bus. In doing so, I have weaved together two of the most horror-inducing experiences that I myself have faced.

By bus

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It’s a hot, sunny day and travelling in the non-AC state transport bus has been the worst decision I’ve taken in the longest of time. Suddenly, the bus conductor announced that there would be a halt at a roadside dhaba so that we could all freshen up. With the urgent need to visit a washroom, I queued up at the toilet and already, the sights were revolting. I could see the guys queued up in front of me, most of them wearing torn lungis and holding battered buckets, which held the water with which they would later clean up. As I got my turn, I wished that the bus shouldn’t


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have stopped at the dhaba, and that I shouldn’t have been on that bus and that I shouldn’t have thought of going on this trip! The stench was allpervasive. The floor was wet and the footwear of all the establishment’s “patrons” left smudgy, muddy marks everywhere. The walls had been re-painted with paan stains. The first washroom I tried to enter had a door which just wouldn’t lock and the guy in charge of the washroom just laughed as I gave up and went in another washroom. Inside, more horrors awaited. There were fragments of someone’s excreta


and a cesspool of urine in the commode. The toilet seat was wet and my rubber sandals made an irritating squeaking noise as I shuffled on the equally wet toilet floor. Beads of perspiration trickled down my forehead as I sat in that toilet, in that godforsaken village. It caused great chagrin, to think of the extreme emotions I was experiencing inside me and how, outside, nothing seemed to change. It was business as usual. The lines of men in their torn lungis and battered buckets stood patiently, like they stood yesterday and like they will stand tomorrow.

By rail I wake up in a train compartment, in the middle of India, going nowhere specific. The ordeal is already playing in my head as I am brushing my teeth and the plan, most definitely, is to delay the trip to the washroom as much as possible. I smile wryly, thinking that the filth and squalor, which awaits me in the washroom are purely my imagination, but ‘it all’ being there can most definitely be banked upon! Finally, the moment is near and summoning all the internal strength I possess, I take a deep, long breath as I walk toward the washroom. The filth hits you in waves; the wet door handle and stopper irk you, as your subconscious wonders why it is wet; the urine swishes about on the floor as you open the door, some of it trickling over through your slippers, as you close your eyes in disgust. The stench does not bother you, as you have held your breath, but you can sense it all around you and you know your defences are weak. With the job done, you close the still-wet stopper on the door and start breathing again, completely flustered and at your wits end. Yes, I am very certain, it has to be Latrinum Horribilis!

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Viren Parekh, an internal auditor by profession, moved to Dubai in 2014. An avid cricket fan, on ‘match’ days you’d find him enjoying a drink and watching the game. On other days, he loves to read & write and play the guitar. This traveller nurtures a dream: To set foot on each continent in this lifetime. You can write to him at viren.parekh@gmail.com.


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Image: Shutterstock

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Pet ‘pee’ves MEN, PLEASE TAKE NOTE: TAKING A WHIZ ALFRESCO IS NEVER A COOL THING AND IT TOPS THE LIST OF THE MOST ANNOYING THINGS YOU DO. words NASRIN MODAK-SIDDIQI

There is a long list of it but I’m not going to beat around the bush about this one. That’s because it’s hard to glorify this disgusting habit of men from our subcontinent - they think that the whole universe is a lavatory. Add to that their urgent need to mark territory on it - probably because they can’t wait until the next available urinal. When the urge comes, they just look around, find a spot and...go! “You’re just jealous,” said a friend laughingly when I had this debate in the college canteen with a bunch of colleagues over some of the best steaming hot samosas and chai - but I digress. “You girls can’t pee anywhere like us, that’s why you have a problem with our race and its superiority,” he snorted. And they all had a laugh at my expense. Girls in the group too. For them, it was a casual comment, something to laugh about, say sheeeeee and something that just happens - ‘aiwai’. “It’s just anatomy ‘pagli’, ease, convenience, if we could, then we would too, you don’t have to speak strongly about it. it’s something you laugh about and move on,” said another smarty pants. But wait a minute, what superiority are we talking about? How does the penchant for peeing in the open make them above anyone else? In fact you go two notch down on the tree of genealogy. The four legged pee under the clear blue skies, near trees and bushes. On walls. My problem is, I have always strongly felt about this topic. And it has nothing to do with the feminist in me. No kidding. I don’t know how can one solve this disgraceful problem from our subcontinent. Except maybe this one read in Rohinton Mistry’s Such A Long

Journey where the protagonist finds a solution to get rid of the stench emanating from the compound wall. He got a street artist to draw holy images from all practising faith on the walls because he knew, in India, no one messes with religion. In just a few days, the stench vanished. I can’t think of a better solution than that but the core of the problem will persist. Men don’t hesitate to pee in the open and are proud of their natural ability to do so. Until the mindset changes, a lot will remain the same. Then again, as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the government has announced upto 5000 rupees as fines for peeing in the open. Now it’s a good initiative, but will it work? I’ve seen the traffic police levy hefty fines for drinking and driving, wrong parking, and breaking road rules, but I don’t know of anyone paying up for this act. Then there is always that quick bribe that has helped people escape major crimes. This one isn’t even criminal yet. Besides, there aren’t enough urinals either. Thanks to chain restaurants and malls that offer respite to women and some sensible men who use it otherwise it is difficult to imagine what would have happened. Another way one of the state governments decided to curb the problem is by clicking footage and uploading it on YouTube to embarrass the culprit...I say, stream it live on a big screens at traffic junction and hopefully we’ll see some shame there. Just hopefully. This article may read more of a rant, because that’s what it is. It’s the voice of a frustrated human who is upset about a zillion things men do but this one takes the first prize.

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Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller, and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.


THE TOILET ART AN OLDER AND LOW-TECH VERSION OF ‘POSTING ON TWITTER’ IS WHAT TOILET GRAFFITI BASICALLY IS. THOUGH ANONYMOUS SELF–EXPRESSION ON THE WALLS OF BATHROOM STALLS IS A GRATIFYING EXPERIENCE FOR MANY, WALL SLOGANS ON STREETS TO MAINTAIN HYGIENE ARE OFTEN IGNORED. WE SPEAK ABOUT ‘TOILET ART’ IN INDIA.

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words NAMRATA MANGHNANI

Image Credit: creativeroots.org/2014/05/indian-truck-art-mobile-restroom/

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Pasting pictures of gods, goddesses, and holy symbols from different religions on walls is another way that has been deployed to discourage people from peeing in public spaces. Going to relieve oneself in a public toilet is never a fully relaxed experience. Most people consider them as dirty places, no matter how clean they are, and hence feel uncomfortable. Now that we’ve established the discomfort of the environment, in comes the human invention to help fight stress i.e. humour. The toilet graffitis are just like messages prisoners scratch onto cell walls - messages of hope and humour left behind for the next individual who will inevitably end up behind these four walls too. Since it’s done neither for money nor critical acclaim, bathroom graffiti seems to be the truest form of art.

would have seen lavatory graffiti. It ranges from witty and insightful graffiti to customarily nonsensical, and the boring aggressive to grossly sexual too, and, of course, even outright nasty stuff. It takes the form of art, comments, ideas, abuses, or even something slapstick like A heart R (confessions of love, rather). It could even become a place to give and receive anonymous advice from your fellow toilet mates (in school mostly), that could ultimately alter someone’s life! As someone rightfully said, toilets are the places where our greatest minds think our greatest thoughts. Hence it makes sense to watch out for what’s been scribbled in the washrooms!

Jokes apart, boredom and creativity are the two emotions that occur simultaneously whilst emptying one’s bowels, sitting on the throne. People write behind doors in public bathrooms because there’s not much to do while they’re waiting to finish their business. Of course, the people whose job is to keep them clean have a tough time removing the graffiti. Many who don’t scribble, find humour in reading: say what’s scribble behind a pub’s bathroom door, especially after a few cocktails!

From art to slogans. Slogans like ‘Yahan peshaab karna mana hai’ (‘You are not allowed to urinate here’) in block letters adorn the infamous walls of India. Dotting many of the cityscapes of the country, such urine-drenched walls display the measures taken by the owners and housing society associations to dissuade offenders of public decorum. It all started in the form of polite requests, ‘Kripya deewar ko ganda na karein’ (‘Please do not sully the wall’). This was followed by abuses written in huge letters on the walls ‘Yahan par peshab karne wala dogla’ (‘The one urinating here is a bastard’); or a

If you’ve ever been to an open restroom in India, you

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rhymed couplet ‘Gadhe ki poot, yahan matt moot’ (‘Son of an ass, don’t pee here’). The written injunctions grew to be more creative and reproachful varying according to regional flavours – a famous Punjabi injunction goes ‘Khotte de puttar, itthe na muttar’ (‘Son of a dog, don’t piss here’). Nonetheless, such words have failed to discourage people from urinating in public.

Images: Shutterstock

A local group of architects in Vadodara, Gujarat, had launched a unique ‘Human Donkey’ campaign last year, to save the walls of public properties and roads from raising a stink. Through graffiti and a mascot, they decided to give public toilets a facelift in the city and also discourage people from urinating in the open. The mascot was a ‘human donkey’ that was drawn on the exterior walls of a public toilet in front of SSG Hospital by Meraki, a designer studio. “We are using urban street art to tackle pee menace. The human donkey adorns the hospital walls with a graffiti saying, ‘Sirf gadhe khule mein peshab karte hai’ (‘Only donkeys urinate in the open’),” said Priyank Shah, one of the team members. “We believe that art is a tool that can be used against societal shortcomings. Also, we intend to design for our future in a way that proves to be a sustainable solution to our current day issues,” mentioned architect Pavana Hegde.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had also taken on India’s public urination problem as part of the Clean India campaign in early 2015. The Modi government was trying to change people’s attitudes on the issue through a public awareness campaign, which included billboards showing a man peeing against a wall with, “How long will you be irresponsible? At least have some shame. Clean up your mind,” written in Hindi. Towards the end of 2015, civilians across India decided to take matters into their own hands via slogans like, “Look at a donkey urinating here.” Pasting pictures of gods, goddesses, and holy symbols from different religions on walls is another way that has been deployed to discourage people from peeing in public spaces. For example, the Rythu Bazaar in Mehdipatnam, a farmer’s market in Hyderabad, is always stinking so horribly that people are forced to hold their breath while crossing it. There is a public toilet at the end of the wall, which is run by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, but people still prefer to pee on the wall. The manager of the public toilet spent from his pocket to paint religious symbols all over the wall to discourage people from urinating on it. India’s High Court ultimately said it regretted that even the pictures of Gods could not deter people from urinating on walls.

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Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she has graduated in Finance from Manchester, and decided to change career paths recently. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss that butterfly fluttering around or even a grammatical error! She is now the Editorin-Chief at theweddingscript.com, where she also blogs about everything related to weddings.


DEJA POO! ‘DEJA POO’ IS A FEELING THAT YOU’VE HEARD THIS CRAP BEFORE! HERE WE DISCUSS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN TOILET HUMOUR AND HYGIENE IN A SOCIETY, HOW IT’S PRESENTED IN VARIOUS FORMS AND HOW INDIA HAS USED IT AS A POWERFUL TOOL TO IMPACT SOCIAL CHANGE. words NAMRATA MANGHNANI

A steaming pile of toilet humour may not be everyone’s cup of tea as it involves making fun of pooping, peeing and farting in public and is mainly based on and appeals to a silly sense of immaturity.

Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fart.svg

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There might be a correlation between the prevalence of scatological humour in a society and how seriously it takes its toilet hygiene. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the more conventional a society’s toilet humour is, the more blasé it is about keeping its toilets spic and span. While the French and Germans believe what one does in the toilet is intimate and personal, as well as smelly and filthy (read ‘distasteful’), the Americans and British seem to be amused by this kind of off-colour humour. Given the reputation of Indian food, not to mention the sanitary conditions, and the fact that open defecation is the norm, you’d think Indian life would revolve around poop. But for them, it seems to be a mixture of incredulity, humour and disgust all at the same time.

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There’s a high degree of shamefulness when it comes to certain bodily functions but it’s the humour that makes it tolerable and maybe even amusing. The universal acknowledgement of a fart is usually a silent, but deadly look, cast at the perceived offender. Fingers are pointed from one friend to another, with accusations like ‘Chee (yuck), you’re disgusting!’ doing the rounds. What follows is a pinch of the nose and an exclamatory ‘Ewww’, the length of which is directly proportionate to the odour of the fart. Gags on the tone, length, smell of the fart soon begin, along with guessing which food item has caused this inglorious act. Toilet humour can be presented in many forms – via


Image Credit: http://www.thefreshquotes.com/toilet-slogans-toilet-quotes-funny-and-inspiring/

verbal jokes, or wall art found in toilets, in movies (Delhi Belly converting it into a genre of comedy), and now even in restaurants! One can easily find cute little dittys that contain words like ‘sprinkle’ and tinkle’ behind the doors of toilets, or more explicit signs like ‘Your aim will help. Boys stand closer, it may be shorter than you think’ outside the stall. Believe it or not, there’s a restaurant in Japan that has decided to humour its guests by bringing toilet humour to the table! In 2004, Wang Tzi-wei opened the Modern Toilet Diner in Taipei, Taiwan and broke new ground in the area of theme eateries. Here, every seat is a toilet seat, the tables are tubs or large sinks with plexiglass, and customers have to use toilet rolls instead of napkins. The food is served in miniature plastic toilet bowls and often resemble poo. Since toilets and bathtubs are the only dishes one will find here, it looks like potty mouth is unavoidable! However, India has used this form of humour in quite a non-crappy and strategic way to improve its rural sanitation and affect social change. Half of India’s 1.2 billion citizens don’t have access to proper sanitation facilities, which means they are forced to relieve themselves outdoors in open fields or alleyways. This fecal matter (72,000 tons of human waste a day,

according to CBC India Pvt.) leaves children at a high risk of microbial contamination which causes diarrhea, which killed 2,00,000 children in 2012 alone. UNICEF India’s video campaign named ‘Take the Poo to the Loo’ makes an attempt to curb public defecation, by employing a catchy song and using bathroom humour tactfully. In the video, a man is awakened by the need to have a bowel movement and is chased by an army of excrement until he builds them a bejewelled latrine. A four-minute long flatulence-themed bass line and a toilet flush melody is added to make the video entertaining. So, how does one’s attitude about feces shape one’s world, and how does it affect the line between the humorously disgusting and the profane? Well, that depends on your tolerance for crap, really! Or allow the documentary Stand Up Planet to explore and explain the lighter side of India’s sanitation epidemic by way of talented, local comedians. “The title of the National Toilet, rightfully belongs to the Indian Railway System,” states Aditi Mittal, a stand-up comedian who has managed to mine humour from such an uncouthly topic. She, along with the other comedians, inspires action by shedding light on a humourless and often ignored subject in India. Watch them HERE.

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Namrata Manghnani believes she’s a permanent tourist: she loves to explore the world and gets fascinated by the little things in life. Born and brought up in Dubai, she has graduated in Finance from Manchester, and decided to change career paths recently. She possesses an eye for detail: would never miss that butterfly fluttering around or even a grammatical error! She is now the Editorin-Chief at theweddingscript.com, where she also blogs about everything related to weddings.


bathroom musings Guilty as charged,

THIS WRITER-READER INTROSPECTS THE CURIOUS HABIT OF BATHROOM READING. words NASRIN MODAK SIDDIQI

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The Toilet Edition, reads the subject of my editor’s e-mail. My heart skips a beat. Can she know where I am? That’s the first, quick thought that comes to mind from the comfort of my seat - in the toilet. Can’t be. It’s just the topic of our upcoming issue. Phew! A quick sigh of relief and my stomach stops churning. It may have for metabolic reasons but I digress. Except for my husband, and now maybe you all readers know that I take the phone to the bathroom every morning. It is part - perils of my multitasking habit and part my serious urge to kill the boredom while ...ermmmm... waiting.

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It’s an entertaining pursuit and I think it stems from my secret desire to have a small library in the bathroom. Someday, I know I will. Just like my friend Kristy Hurley has in her Charlotte, North Carolina home in the US. Imagine being surrounded by books and you can pick based on your and your abdomen’s mood - quick, serious, or comedy! But then the thing is, she is as eccentric as me. And if you are not like us, chances are that you’ve stopped reading this piece already. It’s okay. My mum’s like that. For her, toilet is a place where you just go, finish your chore, wash and leave. It’s dirty, disgusting and unhygienic and that’s precisely why it can never be used to hold anything as pious as books! Can’t blame her - she is the daughter of a school teacher and was a teacher and principal herself. Books are a sanctuary that needs to be respected. And if you are wondering about me…well I am the black sheep of the family anyway.


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WITH THE ADVENT OF ENGLISH-STYLE OF TOILETS, READING ON THE SEAT HAS GOTTEN MUCH EASIER AND COMFORTABLE. DON’T YOU THINK SO TOO?

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But seriously, don’t you think – cos’ I really think about this in the bathroom and outside it too - that with the advent of English-style of toilets, things have gotten much easier and comfortable? Honestly, I don’t know how some people read newspapers in the Indian style toilet - I still can’t manage to read a tabloid on the dining table without creasing it. They say reading the newspaper helps build pressure to do the chore. I say it helps take the mind off it, making the push easier. Some like me also say they don’t have the time to read - so this is sort of their ‘me time’. Whatever your excuse - reading is good. (Note to self: I’ll ask my editor to commission me a piece on how to convert your bathroom into a spa. And then I’ll add a big chunk on bathroom reading). Now you see, you do get brilliant ideas on the bowl when you are busy stressing and squinting your eyes on getting waste out of your body. It’s like the mind wanting to escape the foul smell you are subjecting it to.


Images: Shutterstock & Pexels

And then comes a recent study from scientist that took my mother’s thought a little further to prove reading the newspaper while pooping is actually bad, because of the microbes that settle on it. “That’s not rocket science,” shrugs my mum as she nonchalantly turns the page of a magazine on the sofa. “What can be appealing about sitting in a dirty, filthy place you just stank up and mull over the morning paper?” she asks further. Okay then how about the phone? I mean it’s compact and handy and you have the world at your fingertips. I read and answer all (almost all) my e-mails from there. I scroll through Facebook and Twitter too. Best time to do this, considering most of the stuff on it is crap anyway.

And you can type your thoughts in notes – before the idea escapes. Or look up a word that you don’t know the meaning of. The world’s your oyster. Also, there’s this site called poopfiction.com and you get to choose from a two-minute read (Aesop fables kinds) to longer version ones. Random shit (oops, story, I mean) but good fun. Some lazy bums who don’t read often play games there but then that’s a personal preference and who am I to judge, eh? I’m not sure whether you are convinced or not because I think there are just two kind of people in this world – ones who read in the bathroom and the ones who don’t. I knew I should have taken an anonymous byline.

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Nasrin Modak-Siddiqi is a writer, foodie, traveller, and movie-buff. She has many stories, some real, others figments of her imagination. On sabbatical from full-time scribing, her current motivators are good trips, meals, books or movies. She writes fiction, clicks photographs and edits old ones to add drama. Find her at continuumera.blogspot.com.


THE THREE P’S! PAID, PEED & POOPED: “UPON ENQUIRING WHERE WE COULD ‘DO THE DEED’, A SCRAWNY FELLOW DIRECTED US TO A SHANTY ACROSS THE ROAD. A FAT LADY IN A SHINY PINK POLYESTER SARI SAT AT THE ENTRANCE ON A TINY STOOL, CHEWING BETEL LEAVES.” IN HER HANDS, LAY THE FUTURE OF THIS INDIAN FAMILY! LESSON: DON’T ARGUE WHEN YOUR CHOICES OF ‘RELIEVING’ YOURSELF ARE LIMITED!

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words SANGEETHA BHASKARAN

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PAID Standing up she

announced with outstretched hands, Number one - 5 rupees. Number two- Ten rupees. No fee for child.


The big fat South Indian road-trip. My worst nightmare. Am I being dramatic? Well, if you were part of an insanely large and loud Tamilian family that doesn’t believe in being organised, rational and calm, you’d feel my pain. A battalion of about thirteen people crammed into a Tata Sumo along with giant jute bags stuffed with stacked tiffins of idlis, sambhar, murkus, pickle, and barfi, because god forbid there isn’t a roadside dhaba en-route and we risk starvation; someone yelling directions, someone arguing back, the rest of them trying to sleep but rudely awoken by the occasional clunking of their head with the person sitting next to them; the random detours to temples and waterfalls followed by photo sessions where Aunty takes twenty minutes to figure how to use camera while everyone poses with frozen, plastic smiles; wars indulged with an arrogant dude in a Scorpio who cut us off, so of course we have to reciprocate, even if that entails violent swerving that squishes the poor souls sitting by the windows. Still don’t sympathise? Okay then I guess it’s time. To unleash the story that drove me to madness, left me kneeling in the mud and screaming to the heavens on why I’d been cursed with being planted amongst this patch of crazy dandelions. It all started with little Anu declaring, “Amma, want to go susu!” Amma proceeds to give lecture on refreshments etiquette while travelling and how chugging two Frootis was a terrible idea and how she should have listened to her mother. Yes, not the most sympathetic form of parenting, but that’s my family doing what they do best, prioritising the “I told you so’s” over loving and nurturing. But Anu with her

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PEED

Poor Anu clenched her thighs together tightly and did the “my pee is about to trickle out� dance.


repetitive screaming had pulled the inception stunt and now everyone wanted well, a toiletbreak. The next town was an hour away. We weren’t going to hold up that long so we pulled over beside a cluster of tiny shops selling plastic knickknacks. A sense of freedom washed over as we exited the vehicle and felt our numb arms and legs awaken from their slumber. Upon enquiring where we could ‘do the deed’, a scrawny fellow directed us to a shanty across the road. I walked across towards it with my mother, two aunts and little Anu. A fat lady in a shiny pink polyester sari sat at the entrance on a tiny stool, chewing betel leaves. Her eyes darted across swiftly as she attempted to size us up. Standing up she announced with outstretched hands, “Number one - 5 rupees. Number two- Ten rupees. No fee for child.” An immediate collective gasp was issued. I turned to see the expression on the three faces and instantly foresaw an ugly battle. “The commodes are made of gold or what???” my mother reacts with crass sarcasm that is usually reserved for my father. Her sister adds fuel, “How will you know if I pay five rupees and then sneak in a quick dump?” Then ensued a discussion on pink sari lady’s role, and how she’d have to analyse sound effects, odour and time taken to conclude whether the correct fee was paid. They guffawed with pride at their supposed wit as I cringed with embarrassment and poor Anu clenched her thighs together tightly and did the “my pee is about to trickle out” dance.

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She’d been listening to them without uttering a word, her dark orange lips thinned into a line that betrayed no emotion at this comically cruel instigation she was being subject to. The chewing stopped, she leaned sideways away from us and spat out the betel juice. Then with casual sternness the words came out, “If you want, you can use. Otherwise go. Don’t waste my time.” Now they were stumped. The negotiations began. “Everywhere they take two or three rupees... be reasonable... okay leave it we will pay ten for all of us.” No, she refused to budge. “Fifteen?” Still no. Normally if a bargain wasn’t working in their


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POOPED

Now get lost, even if you pay me 500 rupees I will not let you use it...Go and shit wherever else you want!!!


favour, they’d walk away to another store. But today there was nowhere else to go and she knew it. The laws of demand and supply had screwed the bullies and they were pissed (so punny!). It got ugly. Yelling from our (inclusion of myself in this ‘our’ is for narrative purpose only) end, “You are just here to cheat people who are desperate to relieve after long journeys!!!” and “This is why India is so dirty because people like you make even toilets a business so it is cheaper to just squat on the streets!!!” and “Daylight robbery.. when will this country progress??” Ms. Toilet custodian had had just about enough of the lot and she retaliated, “You people have money to buy useless things and you’re fighting with me for 40 rupees??” and “I have to scrub the mess that strangers make every day and you are calling me a cheat??” and finally, “Now get lost, even if you pay me 500 rupees I will not let you use it.. Go and shit wherever else you want!!!” What happened eventually? The ladies huffed and walked off, deciding their pride was more important than tending to biological waste elimination. Anu was permitted to use the facilities for free and was even rewarded with a stained, toothy smile. I paid, peed and pooped. We walked back to the car as slowly as possible, knowing our mothers would be waiting for us, fuming impatiently. Let them wait, I told Anu, let them wait with swirling tornados of sambhar and pickle in their tummies while we float contentedly.

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Sangeetha is a 31-year-old mummy who lives in Dubai, but with her heart in India, and a mind that wanders everywhere else. After pursuing a career in finance for about eight years, she decided to walk away and do something whimsical, chase her dream of writing. She currently writes and manages a parenting blog called ‘No Time To Moisturize’ that describes her bumbling adventures as a mother. Her hobbies are singing, drinking wine, telling people what to do & reading lots and lots and lots of books whenever she finds the time. She loves to blame the universe for everything that goes wrong, laugh at her own jokes, and ponder over the meaning of life once she’s done updating herself with all the celebrity gossip online. Follow her adventurous journey here: facebook.com/notimetomoisturize


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Not having AN INDIAN TOILET IS A

BLUNDER A HUMOUROUS, YET THOUGHTFUL TAKE ON THE NEVER ENDING DEBATE OF THE BENEFITS OF THE INDIAN TOILET VS. WESTERN TOILET ! words KRITIKA MEHTA

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Isn’t Englis

desi lit

MORE

comfortab

YES IT IS. BUT THE ANCIENT WAY I 68 theindiantrumpet.com


sh

IS TO SQUAT!

To be in the new place. He unpacked a little And as it was late, He felt very tired and so he slept. Up in the morning When he had to poo, He opened the door to the loo And saw a yellow and white chaired pot He wondered what to do! He decided to make a call As he had no clue. His friend explained the procedure Which he did follow But after he was done he didn’t feel hollow. He then sat on his bed thinking When there’s so much on saving trees Why people waste so much paper without even blinking? And using it is not even that clean He doubted something’s still stuck in between. He never felt all empty Not even on day fifteen All his excitement was gone Now it was time to act on. He started looking for a place With an Indian pot base It was hard to find But he had it in mind He won’t let it go As it was his health at point. Nobody understood why he was asking for it As nobody knew of the benefits it brought with it He found a broker and explained him the situation The broker did ask one question “Isn’t English one more comfortable? Why Indian is more preferable?” He said, “Yes it is. But the ancient way is to squat Stomach gets all empty in one shot

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ble?

He was so excited


desi lit

Water

IS THE CLEANER WAY

and it saves trees! 70 theindiantrumpet.com


It’s the right posture English one is just torture As you got to apply more pressure Indian makes you feel fresher In English position your rectum gets choked I know how till now I have coped And I don’t understand What’s the problem in using water? This place isn’t frozen Then why is paper chosen? Water is a cleaner way It doesn’t make you feel dirty all day And it saves tress It is best, from experience I say.” The broker didn’t get it But he took him to an old place It was small with no breathing space He opened the bathroom door And he couldn’t ask for more He felt a great relief Took that place didn’t even blink. Again, He was so excited To be in that new place He unpacked a little And as it was late He felt tired and so he slept. Up in the morning When he had to poo He opened the door to the loo He was so relaxed to see the squat toilet Now nothing’s gonna spoil it He did his business Once again he felt the emptiness. He sat on the bed and wondered By not preferring an Indian seat, people are doing a blunder.

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Kritika Mehta is an IT professional but her soul lies in writing and art. She likes to share her thoughts from personal experiences or observations, in the hope to bring the certain, often neglected things in people’s notice.


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ENTERING T THE


THE WAR ZONE: E INDIAN TOILET A FIVE-YEAR-OLD FINDS HIMSELF FACE-TO-FACE WITH AN INDIAN TOILET (AT A ROADSIDE DHABA). THE FLOOR’S WET, THE DOOR’S MISSING A LATCH, AND TO ADD TO IT HE IS WEARING HIS BRAND NEW & FIRST PAIR OF ADULT CLOTHING: DENIMS! HE NARRATES HIS BRAVE TALE. words AMEYA PEJAWAR

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Getting ready to visit grandparents, I compelled mom that I wanted to wear the newly bought denims instead of regular shorts. Imitating dad’s fashion and closely observing his taste for clothes, developing a fascination for jeans was inevitable. After convincing for long, I was successful in getting to wear my first pair of jeans. Parents always choose convenience over style but as a five-year-old, it’s always the other way round. The reason for parent’s ‘wise preference’ was realised very soon. Giving in to my tantrums, we began the journey. Every summer vacation visiting grandparents had been a routine and having a pit stop at the dhaba (a roadside food stall) was customary. After enjoying the favourite snack at the dhaba, the joy and content on my face was washed away with an expression of worriment. Mom being a master decipher of facial expressions understood that her calculation of permutation and combination, and of probability had gone awry. It was time to answer the unexpected call of nature.

diary of an indian

As a kid who had grown up learning how to use the pot, witnessing a lavatory with no sight of throne in there, freaked me out. It was like the test day in school; where you had been given a paper having questions, which were not from the syllabus! I understood like the test day, I have to depend on my best buddy to sail me through this. Here, it was my mom: the superwoman who can never run out of solutions! I called on to my superhero and told her about my worry. She told me to go in and do the same thing which I ought to do but while squatting... But to get to that level, I needed a solution to crack the first level itself! Level one being... “How to fix the door of the lavatory when the latch itself is missing!?” The solution given to secure the door was, “To go in and hold the door from inside

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“How to fix the door of the lavatory when the latch itself is missing!?” The solution given to secure the door was,“To go in and hold the door from inside while you are doing the job”. while you are doing the job”. It seemed a whole lot of task! That was the day, when I learnt the practical implication of ‘multi-tasking’!

seemed to have weakened, I had to call out to affirm my presence in there. I realised why it’s said, “Bravery hides in amazing places”

I said to myself, this is a day bigger than any of the test days at school. This day would be marked as a day of Armageddon where a five-year-old will have to stand up (squat, in this case) and come out victorious. The instructions given by mom were noted and gathering courage I stepped in.

With no jet spray and toilet roll it seemed as if the battle had turned into a ‘No way out’ combat. But as the idiom goes, ‘Fortune favours the brave’. Soon the commander-in-chief, my mom came to check on me. Having briefed her with my current situation, it was time to execute the last level of this operation as per mom’s fastidious instructions.

Now to execute the levels meticulously, there was another hurdle which needed to be won. Not accustomed to the wet floors of the lavatory at home, balancing myself and ensuring my new denims do not get wet, the whole charade was nothing short of walking on the battlefield loaded with mines! Taking off the jeans was managed some-how with manual dexterity. Although I did bruise my elbow against the rocky wall of the lavatory during the whole balancing act; but no battle has ever been won without any scars on warrior’s body. The job was done as it was instructed and during the course of the same I was successful in stopping the infiltrators from entering the war zone by holding the door against their thrust. Times, when the resistance

The battle was over but the war was yet to be won. If getting out of the jeans needed some extra juggling prowess, then for wearing it, I definitely needed super human powers. Utmost care was needed to be taken that the bottoms of the denim legs shouldn’t get soiled due to the grim wet floors. After getting bruised in the first attempt while trying to win-over, now lesson was learnt to strategise it smartly. Rolling up the bottom of the denim legs I shortened it in length and then pulled it up. The warrior stepped out of the battlefield with his head held high. The sweat on my face, the bruised elbow and wrinkled t-shirt couldn’t eclipse the content and grin on my face. Leading the family I left the dhaba to visit my grandparents.

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Ameya is a young working professional based out of Mumbai. Despite studying accountancy and finance and later graduating in law, he has been successful in nurturing his creative brain cells. Being a passionate story teller, he has always explored various mediums to express himself; be it through participating in dramatics at high school, various inter-college competitions or through writing short stories through his blog; ameyapejawar.wordpress.com. Movies especially from the rom-com genre and books are his weakness. He loves exploring new places and witnessing their culture. Having travelled to seven countries so far, he is still counting...


SULABH INTERNATIONAL MUSUEM OF

TOILETS

bharat darshan

EXPLORING HISTORY OF HYGIENE & SANITATION. ESTABLISHED IN 1992. AT NEW DELHI, INDIA. OPEN ALL DAYS, ROUND THE YEAR! FOR A VIRTUAL TOUR, VISIT: SULABHTOILETMUSEUM.ORG

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as told to VISHAL BHEERO special thanks to DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK images SUPPLIED


DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK PH.D., D.LITT. SOCIOLOGIST & SOCIAL REFORMER AND FOUNDER, SULABH SANITATION MOVEMENT

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak is a great humanist and social reformer of contemporary India. He has the vision of a philosopher and the undying zeal of a missionary. He is the icon of sanitation and social reform who has made a difference in the lives of millions of people. With his efforts erstwhile untouchables have been allowed by the society to intermingle with them and to live at par with them, dine with them and offer prayers in temples. He has created a new culture which embraces the poor and extols the dignity of labour. His boundless love for the downtrodden finds expression in myriad and tangible ways. Inspired by one of the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi to abolish scavenging, Dr. Pathak founded Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in 1970 and launched a social reform-cum-environmental upgradation movement taking up the challenge of sanitation related pollution leading to environmental degradation and health hazards caused by the practice of open defecation and use of bucket toilets. After Gandhi, Dr. Pathak is one of the few men who have championed sanitation and uplifting of the untouchables as a mission of their life. The crusade of sanitation has converted into a movement without involving violence or social resistance and upheaval. The Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in its nearly 40 years of existence has seen a silent revolution in the sanitation scenario, a fundamental change in attitude of people and a transformation of mindset towards improved sanitation practices. His contribution in abolishing the inhuman practice of scavenging is seminal and unparalleled in the sense that he not only studied the social evil but provided its categorical solution through a low-cost toilettechnology and developed a self-sustaining sanitation system across the country. In the process of providing alternative to scavenging and rehabilitation and social upgradation of scavengers. Dr. Pathak created a pan-Indian network with 50,000 volunteers and gave birth to what is popularly known as Sulabh Sanitation Movement. “Nobody should go outside for defecation and every house in India should have a toilet” has become the passionate obsession of Dr. Pathak.

Apart from low-cost sanitation, his contributions are also widely known in the areas of bio-energy and bio-fertiliser, liquid and solid waste management. In fact, he is a Renaissance Man and combines in himself the traits of a social scientist, an engineer, an administrator and an institution-builder. What is remarkable is that he has ingeniously utilised all these expertise to enrich and empower the depressed classes, improve community health, hygiene and environment. Dr Pathak in a humble effort has also taken up the cause of uplifting of the so-called “Other Untouchables” of India, the widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi. Sulabh discharges CSR to support widows of welfare homes at Vrindavan and Varanasi through monetary support, medical assistance and vocational training in an effort to convert their miserable lives into one of honour and dignity. In the wake of disaster that affected the hill state of Uttarakhand in 2013 Dr Pathak also extended his support to the victims and adopted a village which had acquired the tag of “village of widows” and pledged monetary support and medical assistance to each of these widows. His care and concern for widows who live in misery moved him to take up this cause to wipe their tears and put a smile on their faces. Dr. Pathak has received awards which include Padma Bhushan by the Govt. of India. He was awarded the International Saint Francis Prize for the Environment Image: sulabhtoiletmuseum.org “Canticle of all Creatures” in Italy. His Holiness Pope John Paul-II gave him audience and appreciated his contribution for the upgradation of the environment and selfless service to the poor. He was also awarded Stockholm Water Prize for the year 2009 by Stockholm International Water Institute in Sweden during the World Water Week and the “Legend of Planet Award” by the Vice-President of the French Senate, during the Founding Congress World Green Games at Paris, France on June 4, 2013. Besides this he has authored several books and has frequently contributed in newspapers and magazines on diverse topics related to health, sanitation and caste based discrimination.

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Dr. Pathak invented, innovated and developed eco-friendly two-pit, pour-flush compost toilet technology popularly known as Sulabh Shauchalaya for the individual households as an alternative to the cost prohibitive sewerage or septic tank based systems of excreta disposal. This Toilet technology has been recommended as a Global Best Practice by UN bodies for about three billion people across the globe and the Economic and Social Council of United Nations granted General Consultative Status to Sulabh in recognition of its outstanding service. Dr. Pathak has also identified himself with the problems of the untouchables. His multi-pronged efforts in bringing scavengers (worst victims of institutionalized caste discrimination) who are engaged in the sub-human occupation of cleaning dry latrines in the mainstream of national life has

taken the shape of a movement for social justice. His efforts in rehabilitating the scavengers into dignified trades through establishing vocational training centers and schools as part of an integrated rehabilitation programme for the liberated scavengers has allowed multiple generations of erstwhile scavenger families to lead a life of dignity, honour and receive education to rise in life.


bharat darshan

Sulabh Toilet Complex, the biggest in the world at a pilgrimage named Pandharpur, Maharashtra, India. Over one hundred thousand people can use it daily.

THE SULABH INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF TOILETS, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND WAS ESTABLISHED IN NEW DELHI IN 1992 BY DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK.

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DR.PATHAK HAS BEEN IN THE BEEN IN THE FIELD OF SANITATION SINCE 1968. HE FOUNDED THE MUSEUM TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SANITATION AND HYGIENE.

John Harington, a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I who invented the first modern WC in England in 1596 AD.

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The first flush toilet of the Harappan Settlements, 2,500 BC, India.


bharat darshan

Throne-like chamberpot of Louis XIV, the French Emperor (16431717 AD), who while using it, simultaneously gave audience to selected people.

INCINOLET : Electric toilet from USA (1990) which quickly burns excreta and thus conserves fresh water.

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THE MUSEUM WITH OVER 300 EXHIBITS PRESENTS THE HISTORY OF TOILETS, DRAINS, SEWERS, ETC. FROM THE THIRD MILLENNIUM BC TO THE PRESENT. IN MARCH’16, THE MUSEUM OBSERVED ITS GOLDEN JUBILEE. SO FAR OVER 3 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE VISITED ITS WEBSITE AND NEARLY 10,000 ANNUALLY COME TO THE MUSEUM.


IT IS AFFILIATED TO THE MUSEUM ASSOCIATION OF INDIA AND MAINTAINS A CLOSE RAPPORT WITH THE COMMONWEALTH ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS. IN 2014, THE TIME MAGAZINE CONDUCTED A WORLDWIDE SURVEY TO LIST OUT TEN QUIRKIEST MUSEUMS IN WHICH THIS MUSEUM WAS AT THE THIRD PLACE. Two-Pit-Pour-Flush Composting toilet invented by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak and popularised in the name of Sulabh Shauchalaya technology.

Double-storeyed toilet complex from USA (1920) in which the first floor was reserved for the managers while the employees had to use the one on the ground floor.

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Vishal Bheeroo has worked as a journalist for English publications in Mauritius and is currently a freelance journalist. He loves to write & blog about all things related to India. He loves Indian cinema and dreams of making a short film, someday. He is currently working on a rom-com novel and a script for a short film. He is a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. He loves poetry, travelling and reading. He is currently based out of India but has plans to return home, someday soon.


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diary of an indian

Images: Shutterstock


Colour, frequency & consistency of

BABY POOP!!

MUSTARD YELLOW, WATERY TODAY, AND SOLID AFTER THREE DAYS! YUKH. YOUNG PARENTS ARE OBSESSED WITH THE POOP OF THEIR INFANTS AND TODDLERS, AND HOW! HAVE YOU TOO BEEN SUBJECTED TO SUCH DISCUSSIONS? words VEENA GANDHI

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If you are grossed out just reading the word “potty” aka “stool”, stop reading. Later, don’t say no one warned you! Don’t read further because you guessed it right, I am going to talk about obsession over “poop” of most first time parents. “Her poop is green today. But I didn’t eat methi or palak? How come her poop is green today? Oh! It’s a little watery as well.” Sounds familiar? If you are a parent of a new-born or toddler, this is what you literally, think and talk about all day long!

diary of an indian

Remember, that popular birthday party scene from the movie Shaadi ke Side Effects? Farhan Akhtar’s frustration, when all he hears is parents discussing their children’s poop: the colour, frequency and consistency! All young parents, willingly or unwillingly, get drawn to this scintillating topic and can go on and on about it for hours. Young mums would quickly do a Google search, if their child has not pooped for three hours. Or calls will be made to elders in the family, or other experienced mums. Parenting forums will be full of questions and replies such as ‘Bub, has reddish green poop today. Am stressed. What do you think is wrong?’ This will be followed by several concerned comments and suggestions. There are endless blogs on this topic with expert advice thrown in. ‘An Essential

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Guide To Your Baby’s Poop.’ ‘Your Bub’s Poop: Explained in 10 Images.’ Some creative parents will even describe the colour of the poop as if they were naming a new shade. So have you heard of chalky white, rosy pink, hummus brown, ruby red, mustard yellow, light green, and evergreen? So, if you thought, Amitabh Bachchan, is the only one obsessed with poop in the movie, Piku, then you are really mistaken, young parents are as obsessed, if not more. Some parents even go to the extent of updating their Facebook status, ‘Finally, baby pooped. This

calls for a celebration!’ Indeed it does. Gross! As a poop etiquette (Yes! Such a thing exists), kindly don’t post these updates on social media. Everyone poops, so we all know that it’s both gross and a regular occurrence (better be!) be it in the life of adults, or babies and toddlers. It’s tempting to share the happiness of one’s child’s good consistency, right-coloured poop with one and all, which is why I try to sympathise with parents who have such a hard time keeping poo details out of their status updates. I get it; babies turn their parents’ world upside down with a force no one can fathom, and at some point, something’s gotta give. My


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Remember, the birthday party scene from Shaadi ke Side Effects? Farhan Akhtar’s frustration, when all he hears is parents discussing their children’s poop: the colour, frequency and consistency! suggestions: Call a friend, write in a journal, or even photograph it for a wildly disgusting scrapbook collage but please leave Facebook out of it. If Mark Zuckerberg, introduced videos on the topic, I am sure maximum would be on the colour of baby poop!

diary of an indian

Dirty diapers and how many times the parent has to change them, is another favourite topic of discussion amongst young parents. Imagine the plight of a friend who doesn’t have children and has to listen to the tales of mustard yellow, watery today, and solid after three days. Disgusting! Yes, parenthood is a lot about baby poop, dirty nappies and sleepless night but let’s spare the non-parents from the discussion, please. Do you share the same obsession or did you share the same when your kid(s) were little? How long did this obsession last for you? I am so glad, am out of this shitty phase. Do let me know your tale! Until then, I hope your children shit well, and you are pleased with the colour, consistency and frequency of their deeds. ‘Global nomad’ that’s how Veena Gandhi describes herself. After having lived in three culturally different countries: India, Dubai and now Australia, she believes life is an exploration. Keep exploring. Speaker at the Melbourne’s prestigious Emerging Writers Literary Festival, Veena has blogs and articles published in HuffPost, Times of India, mycity4kids.com, BuzzingBubs.com, reboot.in, to name a few. A freelance marketer by the day and an author-inthe-making by evening, she is currently working on her first book, from an expat woman’s point of view of course! Veena’s portfolio can be seen here: veenadigitalstreet.wixsite.com/veenagandhi

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Digital Weaving Norway presents

Thread Controller 2 (TC2) An Electronic Jacquard for Handweavers

From idea to fabric in minutes: 1: 2: 3: 4:

Scan/ create /edit a design on PC / MAC Open image in TC2 loom controller Click to connect loom & software Start weaving!

Weave customized designs and limited editions! Product development in the design studio i.e. no interruptions in production flow!

The ideal tool for rapid prototyping: Global market leaders: Instant change of design, weave structures, TC1 (launched 1995) and TC2 (launched warp densities, weft materials and colours 2012) are in Australia, New Zealand, many Automatic warp advancing + tension control countries in Asia and Europe and in the USA Complete control through manual weft and Canada. insertion! Tronrud Engineering AS, Dept. Digital Weaving Norway, Flyplassveien 22, N-3514 Hønefoss, Norway email: sales@digitalweaving.no tel.: +47 909 57 586 www.digitalweaving.no


bharat darshan

SHAU

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UCHALAYA

KE RANG! BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. THE WRITINGS ON THE WALL THAT MAKE US CHUCKLE, OR THE STENCH OF THE PUBLIC LOOS THAT DISGUST US... THE INDIAN TOILET IN ITS VARIOUS AVATARS IS HARD TO MISS. AN ARTIST CAPTURES A FEW SHADES OF THE QUINTESSENTIAL INDIAN SHAUCHALAYA! artwork & words SONU SULTANIA

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bharat darshan

OLD HABITS DIE HARD The debates on what’s the preferred, better and right way to clean up! The toilet paper often losing to the humble water!

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Do you like to read the newspaper when on the throne? Or do you carry a book with you? A game on the mobile, or scrolling through the Facebook timeline, what keeps you occupied?


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When the Indian Toilet gave way to the angrezi one, the Western Toilet! When we became oh-so-modern!

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ARRIVAL OF THE WESTERN TOILET .93


bharat darshan

OUT IN THE OPEN!

Ever peeped out of the train window? The railway line in sight serves as the public loo! Ever taken a dump at a loo at a railway station or bus stand? The wet floors, the broken bucket, the running tap and the stench!

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When you queue up to relief yourself! The patience until the one ahead in queue is done with his/her business.

bharat darshan

QUEUING UP

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Powered by vivid imagination and aesthetic vision Sonu Sultania uses her brush to experiment and put her thoughts on canvas. Colours and textures have always been her best companions. She works primarily in concept based and expressive paintings around the themes of women: their journeys and emotions. She has participated in many UAE exhibitions; at Pro Art Gallery, DUCTAC, and so on. Her works can be found here: facebook.com/SonuSultania


ठंडे ठंडे पानी से नहाना चािहये

BaMs BaMs ikuh ls ugkuk pkfg;s xkuk vk;s ;k uk vk;s xkuk pkfg;s vks iqÙkjk BaMs BaMs ikuh ls--csVk ctkvks rkyh] xkrs gSa ge dOokyh ctus nks ,d rkjk] NksM+ks tjk QOokjk ;s ckYVh mBkvks] <ksyd blls cukvks cSBs gks D;k ;s ysdj] ;s ?kj gS ;k gS fFk,Vj fiDpj ugha gS tkuk] ckgj ugha gS vkuk eEeh dks Hkh vanj cqykuk pkfg;s rsjh] eEeh dks Hkh vanj cqykuk pkfg;s xkuk vk;s ;k uk vk;s xkuk pkfg;s /kÙk] vjs xkuk vk;s ;k uk vk;s xkuk pkfg;s

yEch ;s rku NksM+ks] rkSck gS tku NksM+ks ;s xhr gS v/kwjk] djrs gSa dke iwjk vc “kksj er djks th] lqurs gSa lc iM+kslh gs dg nks iM+ksfl;ksa ls D;k >k¡dsa uk f[kM+fd;ksa ls njoktk [kV[kVk;k] yxrk gS dksbZ vk;k vjs dg nks ds vk jgs gSa] lkgc ugk jgs gSa eEeh dks rks MSMh ls NqM+kuk pkfg;s vc rks eEeh dks MSMh ls NqM+kuk pkfg;s xkuk vk;s ;k uk---

last word

rqe esjh gFkdM+h gks] rqe Mksj D;wa [kM+h gks rqe Hkh tjk ugkyks] nks pkj xhr xk yks nkeu gks D;wa cpkrh] vjs nq[k lq[k ds ge gSa lkFkh

NksM+ks gVks vukM+h] esjh fHkxksM+h lkM+h rqe dSls cs”kje gks] cPpksa ls dksbZ de gks eEeh dks rks yM+us dk cgkuk pkfg;s pqi cs “kSrku eEeh dks rks yM+us dk cgkuk pkfg;s xkuk vk;s ;k uk---

Movie/Album: ifr

iRuh vkSj oks (1980) tSu Lyrics By: vkuan c{kh Sung By: egsaæ diwj] vk”kk Hkksaly Music By: jfoUæ

Image: Shutterstock

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