May 1, 2014

To pee, or not to pee

To pee, or not to pee, that is the question –

It’s been hours. The pressure was building up. So is regret over the recent glass of sugarcane juice with ice. But for the moment, things are in control.

I looked for a proper place to mind my business. The footpath was the first thing that came to my mind. Why? I don’t know why. It's my male instincts perhaps. Humans have been shaped by millions of years of evolution to relieve themselves on a tree trunk and walk away as if no one noticed. That's who we are. (Of course, by humans I mean human males)

Now some people consider doing it 'out in the open' like that a disgusting habit. I understand why they feel that way. Just step out of your house for half an hour anywhere in this country, you'll see a Desi Dude urinating on a wall. That wall is part of someone's house. A house with TV serial sounds, filter coffee smells, Sai Baba calendars and an old women in the living room.

But that makes no difference to the Desi Dude. The Desi Dude doesn't give a shit. As far as number one is concerned, Desi Dude is like Tuco from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

"Don't be that guy! Things are still in control. There is enough time to find a proper place", the rational part of my brain assured me. I walked past a row of independent houses combed apart by narrow lanes. I could sense a public toilet fifty yards away.

Now public toilets are not for the faint-hearted or the sensitive-nosed. I am both. This one was like a fortified castle with a protective moat. Except that the castle is a modest PWD construction with questionable water supply. And the moat is filled with unidentified organic material in various stages of decomposition.

After inspecting the toilet from a safe distance, the idea of peeing on a stranger’s house sounded more appealing. Moments like these make me feel thankful for being male. Being a man is clearly better than being a woman. It is considered rude to say it out loud but that is the truth. We have outdoor options!

I searched for an appropriate wall, preferably one that belonged to the Central Government. Why the Central Government? I don't know. Instincts again. Pissing on the Central Government seemed like a right thing to do.

And so I did. It was a good spot. No street lighting and right next to the staircase where everyone spits. I stood under the starlit sky amidst croaking toads, fluttering moths and cricketing crickets. And sprayed my Mountain Dew coloured wizz on the concrete wall. Blisssss.

Okay, before you start judging me with the usual 'Being an educated person blah blah blah-muppaavala...' let me assure you that this has nothing to do with my education. It is human nature. When people have a choice between the responsible thing to do and the convenient thing to do, they always do the convenient thing.

Imagine you're on your way to the grocery store. You're in the parking lot. You put on your helmet and then realized that you forgot to carry the jute bag. Do you go back to the apartment to get the jute bag? No way!

You know that's the responsible thing to do but you have to take off the helmet, park the bike in a corner, wait for the elevator, go to the fourth floor, unlock your house, search for the jute bag, lock your house again... It’s too much effort. It's not difficult. It is inconvenient. You'd rather pay the grocer two rupees extra for a polythene bag. We all do.

Or look at weddings. There are a thousand guests at the reception. And everyone gets their own little half a litre bottle of Bisleri. What the fuck is happening there? It's a sanitized wedding hall. With food, flowers, family and friends. Not an RTC bus. We can drink water there. The caterer is already serving 24 items in steel buckets using steel ladles. He can surely handle a few more steel jugs and steel glasses.

But he doesn't. Because it is extra work. The glasses have to be washed, dried, counted, stacked and maintained. Thankless work. Because there is always an off chance that some fussy wedding guest will find a little smudge inside a glass and make a big deal out of it.

The caterer doesn't want to take that risk. The bride's father doesn't want to deal with that shit. And so 3000 bottles of plastic are permanently buried in mother earth's belly. All of them from a single wedding party.

The wedding lasts for 2 days. The marriage, maybe for 40 years but the plastic? 50,000 years! That's not a very bright thing to do as a species. But it is convenient.

You cannot argue against convenience. We rarely face situations where we have to choose between good and evil in the course of our boring lives. Most of our choices are between responsibility and convenience.

Standing in the queue at the RTO office is responsible. Hiring an agent who will “manage” the process is convenient. Exercising regularly is a responsibility. Sitting on the couch and ordering pizza is convenience. Paying attention to human beings in the room is polite. Staring into our phones is convenient.

Speaking the truth may be the right thing to do. But lying to avoid awkward situations is convenient. Being nice to a stranger requires empathy. Being an asshole is incredibly convenient.

Chasing your dreams is risky. Holding on to that job is convenient. Risking rejection in a relationship takes balls. Stalking the girl online is convenient. Doing something about issues we care about is hard work. Twitter is convenient. Speaking out against injustice is the right thing to do. Silence is convenient.

Selfishness is convenient. Peer pressure is convenient. Giving up our privacy for an online discount coupon is convenient. Sending kids to IIT coaching is convenient. Times of India is convenient. Corruption is convenient. Hypocrisy is convenient. Consumerism is convenient. Patriotism is convenient. Obedience is convenient. Status quo is convenient!

And that is why the Desi Dude pees on the road. It has nothing to do with his education, qualification, culture, sun sign or conscience. Peeing on the road happens to be ridiculously convenient. I am not kidding. If women could, they totally would!

For the record, I am not condoning unabashed public urination. One should not pee on someone's house. I don't encourage that at all. I myself try not to. But if it is very very urgent and there are no good toilets around, what else are we supposed to do?

Convenience is the real enemy.


  1. Reforming and rehabilitating people takes tolerance, hard work, time and many other resources. Punishing them is convenient. Convenience can be such a friend.

    Looks like human political development in terms of democratic govts has overlooked this issue. Unnecessarily the law formulated thru diligent studies of society and high sounding principles of social good - personal good - punitive - rehabilitative blah blah.... is being crafted to choose b/w 'evil and good' and not 'resp & conv'.

    Is this legal policing and judiciary that does not choose the convenient way really worth it? Maybe the Social Policing of yester years that happened at village levels, the grassroot levels was better, I mean convenient. Like if an ill-fated couple eloped or married out of caste or inside gotra for a given sect, kill them or ban them out of village as per the degree of the "crime" and if somebody stole another person's wife, wage a war and kill the whole army or group of supporters of that goddamn idiot...if somebody's wife actually left her husband for another man owing to the torture inside marriage, then kill the unholy lady and the man she "eloped" with...

    I don't understand the paradox of the current times. Convenience is chosen while "doing" an act, but good-evil discretion is chosen while "judging and/or regulating" the act. Maybe the convenience of the former group is preferred to(over) the convenience of the latter two groups? Sounds natural after all since the first group is more in numbers, but what abt strength of the three groups? Are they all equally strong? Or is it like this - since the latter two groups are derived from the first group, the super set reigns preference...

    Maybe we should make a big leap from current times of legal policing to good-old times of social and moral policing? Maybe that will be more convenient for all the three groups.

  2. I do not think it is the contradictions of the "legal system" itself. Infact the word "paradox" I used earlier doesn't explain it all. The word for me is "Double Standards", but not double standards of the legal systems, its of "We, The People". We are actually leading our lives on double standards, convenient standard for us and virtuous standard for others.


  4. Keeping aside whether or not this solution works for this particular problem...three cheers to "You stop, We stop" motto.

  5. Being a woman, travelling long distance in buses, getting down at shady dhabas on the highway in search of a restroom brings back nightmares. Us girls did get the shorter end of the stick :P


don't be lazy