LOOKING FOR THE LOO

I have a great relationship with my bathroom! I see it so often and spend so much time in it that it could very well double up as my bedroom. What isn’t there to like about a place that relieves you of that niggling pain, or helps you relax and cleanse yourself? Which is why I love putting up potted plants, paintings of more potted plants and magazines in my bathrooms. Makes sense to make it comfortable when you want to spend so much time there, no?

But as much as I like my bathroom, I hate my bladder because it has always been the source of embarrassment for me. As far back as secondary school, I’ve had ‘pee’ issues. I was always infamous for being the girl who went every period. At college, if us friends ever decided to go anywhere as a group, someone would inevitably joke, ‘Pradita, make sure you’ve done the necessary before we leave… and no water afterwards!’ What a shame!

Things didn’t improve for me when I got married. My MIL especially would always reproach me for how frequently I needed to go everywhere… and in a Sari too! I think if there is a Guinness record of visiting the most bathrooms in a city, I must be the record-holder because within the first three months of my marriage I had acquainted myself with the insides of each and every one of our family friends’ bathrooms, and the public loos at supermarkets and malls in our area. It got to the point that if an acquaintance wanted to find a toilet in a public place, they would ask me!

It was heaven to know that no one judged you for going when I was pregnant, seeing as how pregnant women have to go a lot. Surprisingly, it’s become better since the birth of my daughter, but even now the odd unfortunate incident does occur, and I still have to maintain my ritual of relieving myself before I venture out of the home… and no water afterwards.

So yes, I hate my bladder and what I hate even more is that it has not an iota of control over what it’s supposed to control and contain – pee! I’ve had misfortunes like missing the school bus, getting an earful from teachers and relatives over my urgency. I’ve lost out on friends and even a potential boyfriend because I got too irritable and screamed at them, all thanks to a bursting bladder. I made friends with Meftal Spas to counter the pain when I had a hold-it-in-thon.

But the most embarrassing moment for me was in Secondary School when I had moved to another city and so had to join a new school. I was new to everything in that city. It was my first day at school and I was, like how most newcomers are, lost. Needless to say, my bladder wasn’t happy with my nervous condition and it quickly starting pinging me evacuation messages. I excused myself from the class and went looking for the loo. The school was huge and old, which meant that I had to walk a lot from one wing of the school to the other as per the directions given by my bench-mate. I ran at the first sight of ‘Toilet’ written on a placard and nearly skidded to a stop when I saw urinals inside. Oops! It was the Boys Bathroom.

Now my bladder had already reached its limit and I was just barely holding on. So my inner-self screamed, ‘The Girls Bathroom is a whole storey up. No one’s here. Just go into one of the stalls!’ And I did. And the moment I did, a boy of about my own age appeared (we must have been ten). He came to a dead halt and so did I. And then he squeaked (obviously because he was embarrassed to see a girl in a boys bathroom. Maybe also because a girl saw him zipping up), “Didi, this is the Boys Bathroom”, and he snuck out of there.

I didn’t pay him any heed. The moment he left, I rushed to one of the covered stalls and relieved myself. Thankfully there was no one else in the bathroom to add to my shame. But when I finally reached the classroom, what do I see? The boy who I had an encounter with was, in fact, my own classmate. He looked at me and giggled, and I could almost see the rest of my future in that school flash before my eyes – being branded “Pee Queen” or smart mouths at school mocking me, “Hey Pradita, looking for the Loo?” Oh god, why couldn’t my bladder just let me be?!

That whole day I kept imagining the worst, that people were staring at me, that they were making jokes and that no one would ever be friends with me in that school. But nothing of the sort happened. Weeks went by and eventually, I got over that incident. I made friends, lots of them and though they all would joke about how frequently I  needed to go, no one ever mentioned that incident. However, I could never look that boy in the eye and never made friends with him throughout the two years that I spent at that school. Also, I double check now if I’m using the Girls Bathroom.

But just four years back that boy got in touch with me through Facebook and when I asked him if he remembered that incident, he said, “What? That really happened? I don’t remember that.” (No wonder I made friends and no one called me Pee Queen at the school) I thanked him profusely for never mentioning it to anyone. He didn’t seem to understand why I was making a big deal about it.

When I look at this incident now I realise just how funny life is sometimes. Such incidents, to some, they mean a lot; they could mean the end or the beginning of something; they could leave a mark on or even scar your memory. And yet to others who may even be connected to the same incident, such incidents could mean nothing at all. This only taught me that I should never take such silly episodes seriously in life because life is much more than that.

Our embarrassment over something is a state of mind. Like how public display of affection is okay with some, yet embarrassing to others. That day I may have been embarrassed by using the Boys Bathroom in an urgent situation. Today? Well, let’s just say my bladder doesn’t leave me an option.

Pradita Kapahi

Image Source: Zorro4 / 142 images

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21 thoughts on “LOOKING FOR THE LOO

  1. I wet my trouser while searching for a loo on a street while walking along with my brother. And after I let the water flow fully through my trouser I found the loo… Thankfully it was evening time, dark and I was wearing a black trouser… Not jeans… Otherwise, it would have looked like faded jeans. So I can relate with you quite a lot Pradita.

    Wherever I go, I locate the loo at that particular place first, then I keep myself engaged so that I can excuse myself time to time without asking anyone or rushing.

    I have used most dirtiest loos of the world… Couldn’t help it really. That’s better than being embarrassed in public.

    I drink a lot of water because of my thick blood and that helps me to run to the loo for the record number of times in a day.

    Great article and thanks for full on entertainment which can cause you embarrassment as well my “Pee Queen”… Oops, I mean sister Pradita.😂😂😂


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    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m like you only Dada. I have to go a lot partially because I drink around 4 ltrs of water a day. I’m not joking. I have to go almost every half an hour if I’m home. My husband jokes how I have a tiny bladder. Maybe I do 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very hilarious Pradita… and i totally understand the urgency to pee… hahahah…because i am from the same league as you !! My husband tells me exactly what u have written as opening statements of ur post – bathroom being the bedroom. Hahahaha… and i was very close to do the same episode quite recently. I was hopelessly full ( i can blame pregnancy for that) and i was out of my mind till the time i reached the loo on the other end of the huge floor of the huge corporate office.. and i pushed open the door to the gents loo. Thank god i realised in a fraction of a second that the place looked unfamiliar and thank god nobody was behind or in front of me 😂😂😂😂. Thank u for sharing this piece Pradita

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂 😂 😂 😂good for you that you realised in time. But there should be a law about not being judgemental towards pregnant women. It’s a horrible horrible situation when you’re pregnant and ready to go. And just how many times you have to go too! There should be a law. Yes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally hilarious. I was laughing all the way. Though I am an exact opposite I am notorious for holding on to my discomfort but avoiding public loos like plague. That has its own set of problem..
    Lovely style of writing.. most entertaining..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pradita your story is too hilarious…!
    It reminded me an incident happened 4yrs back. I was travelling in AC bus and the bus jam packed. One of my co-passenger was a guy in his late 20’s, after much struggle he went to the door as he was sitting at the back end of that huge bus. He asked the conductor to stop the bus for Loo but the conductor said “No, wait till the next bus stop comes and he had to wait almost like 30 min. As we were approaching the next stop, that guy relaxed at the entrance and he was in denim jeans…oh…I cannot forget the conductor’s reaction on him and his reply on it! Oh…wish I could explain it in Odia!
    Conductor – Bhai, what it this? You finished here!
    Guy – What to do? I am requesting you since 30 min!
    ha ha ha… truly funny experience.
    But that incident always works for me as “alarm” before boarding long-route AC buses, especially!

    Liked by 1 person

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