Rahul Loves Anjali: What A Public Toilet Seat Had In Store For Me
A toilet seat, a murky day and a roadside dhaba...
A toilet seat, a murky day and a roadside dhaba...(Photo: The Quint/Shruti Mathur)

Rahul Loves Anjali: What A Public Toilet Seat Had In Store For Me

“Hither I came in haste to sh-t,
But found such Excrements of Wit,
That I to shew my Skill in Verse,
Had scarcely Time to wipe my A--e.”
- The Merry-Thought: or, the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany Part I.

TL;DR: A public toilet has a lot to offer.

It was a hot, murky day. The car broke down in the middle of nowhere. The engine stopped dead after a thunderous roar. There was a tiny shack along the dusty road, with a wobbly board that read ‘Chinese hotel & Tolet’.

‘Chinese hotel and tolet’
‘Chinese hotel and tolet’
(Photo: iStock) 

I decided to ask the man seated at the counter for help. He looked particularly peeved when I approached him. Surprisingly, his face lit up a moment later when I asked him to point me towards the ‘tolet’.

“First-class ‘latreen’, madame!’’ he exclaimed.

A first-class latrine. 
A first-class latrine. 
(Photo: Giphy)
After this, he got off his blue plastic chair and walked me to a rickety, yellow door swinging inauspiciously in the wind, labelled ‘Lady Man tolet’. A common toilet, much to my irritation. The door, the flimsiest one possible, could easily pass for sandpaper.

As I closed the door behind me and sat on the toilet seat warily, tiny scribbles on the toilet door caught my eye.

Rahul ♥️ Pooja

Call 9985****6 for sax

Khwaab dekhna zaroori hai, aukaat mein rehna usse bhi zyaada’’

Kaand karo, karam se kuch nahi hota hai

And, finally, to the left, a large, untidy scrawl...

Tu g**du hai

This one, however, had a correction. A line had been drawn through “Tu” and “Hum sab” had been scrawled, with green chalk, right above it. I was taken aback at the self-awareness. Who was this learned soul? What is his story?

Was he exasperated with his daily grind, with the rat race around where we’re all pretty much sc***ed, I wondered.

Did he stop by for a standard dump, not realising that hundreds, after him, would share the same space, eyes on his graffiti, mind on his art?
Did he stop by for a standard dump?
Did he stop by for a standard dump?
(Photo: Giphy)

A vandal on a toilet seat, with a heart full of self-referential wisdom. Philosophy needn’t be cloaked in big words and long-drawn arguments, right?

Why should the lovelorn scholar, preferably by the seaside, be the only one to be hailed as the flag bearer of intellect?
Why put all the burden on the poet/scholar?
Why put all the burden on the poet/scholar?
(Photo: iStock) 

I walked out of my stall and checked the other doors. To my delight, every door had been scribbled on. Some tiny scribbles, some large, some careless, some meticulous…

Each one, with a story.

Each one, with a message.

One door had “Dil diya hai tujhe, Pinki” scrawled in pink. Right underneath the same, scrawled with a pen, was, “Me too’’.

Have they been communicating throughout via toilet wall scribbles, I asked myself. Shakespeare DID say that...

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
And therefore is winged cupid painted blind.”

“Dil diya hai tujhe, Pinki”
“Dil diya hai tujhe, Pinki”
(Photo: Giphy)

Here, in a public lavatory, stained with our bodily needs, lies expressions of our most primordial instincts.

Sex. Defecation. Urination.

And…

Poetry.

Next time onwards, I shall start archiving every scribble I chance upon. Next time onwards, I shall think twice before dismissing the scrawls.

Bottom Line: Art lies in the details.

(The above is a part of TLDR (Too Long. Didn't Read), a weekly blog that aims to crunch things down for you. I will give you the long and short of most things that need to be taken extremely seriously like your bookshelf, beer, existential dread, aimless conversations, rainy days and bubble-wrap. I promise to cater to all readers, but I brazenly harbour a soft-spot for skimmers, bathroom-readers and infinite scrollers. Now, let's bring the written word back!

P.S: Follow me @medhac1)

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)