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

A LETTER TO SELF – SILLY THINGS I DID AND WISH THAT I HADN’T

Dear Pradita,

I hope this finds you in good health.

I have noticed of late that you have been dwelling on your past mistakes as a child, when you see your own child making them. What can I say, genetics works in weird ways! You have been telling yourself that you hope your child does not make the same mistakes that you made. Well, that is what I’m writing to you about.

As your oldest friend and observer, I have witnessed each and every one of your silly mistakes and helped you get past them. Sometimes I may have forced you to commit those mistakes and then stood aside to watch you suffer. It was fun, but I’m sorry. I should have warned you.

A child’s beliefs are based not only on what they see and feel, but also on what they’ve been told. So, some silly story an Uncle cooked up on how clouds are made in a factory in the sky became a part of your belief system, till you grew old enough to figure out that the Uncle was only joking. Take care, therefore, that you do not tell you child such lies. You never know how far genetics may have affected her!

Then there are mistakes you made as a child because you didn’t know any better. Those added up to your belief system too and became your first life-lessons. Don’t get me wrong, dearheart, I’m proud of you… But some things you believed in and some mistakes you made were way beyond my comprehension. Here I present a list of those silly things, and I sincerely hope you have learnt from them and will prevent your child from following in your footsteps –

  1. Chomping on a fistful of chillies, does not prove you’re cool. It proves the opposite. Shame on you for falling for that trick. Full points to the naughty neighbour who goaded you into doing it.

  2. It’s -6 out there. It’s your first snowfall. We get that you’re excited. But, you do not thrust your hand into the snow with measly woollen gloves on. Also, if you did that, don’t bawl like a baby when your fingers burn because of frost-bite.

  3. Drying woollen gloves and socks (from your previous silly mistake) onto a coal-heated deghchi only gives you charred and crumpled wool… not dry gloves and socks.

  4. You do not grow a full garden in your tummy by swallowing a few fruit seeds.

  5. Yeah sure, bunnies look cute, but they can bite…ouch!

  6. Falling into a ditch is a common side-effect of cycling and letting your eyes wander from the road to the cute guy on the other side of the road. On the plus side, its euphoric when the same cute guy comes and helps you out, even if he thinks you’re an idiot to fall into a ditch in the first place.

  7. When you are only minus 5 feet, it’s very much possible for you to drown in the shallow end of the pool.

  8. There’s no point in showing some any skin in the middle of a bitter Delhi winter. Keep those tights and socks on, sista!

  9. Those sanitary napkins weren’t meant to wipe off ink splotches. Your Mommy lied to you. Likewise, those rubbery tubes aren’t transparent balloons…You get the rest, don’t you?

  10. Do not ever rub your eyes over hands that have been doing things with chillies.

  11. Those somersaults on TV are conducted by experts. Do not try them on your own bike and then cry about that twisted ankle.

  12. Cheating is not meant for you. You do not know how to cheat with stealth. You cheat like a sloth, then cry like a baby about being caught.

  13. When your teacher offers you the lead-role in ‘the’ school play, you do not turn it down to look gracious! There goes your possible-ticket-to-Bollywood!

  14. Likewise, in a rickshaw full of school-going kids, you do not offer your seat to a porky kid and then end up balancing yourself on an iron rod for the remainder of the 2-mile journey home. That’s not graciousness, that’s foolishness.

  15. On the day of an examination, do not trust anyone who asks for your pen/pencil ‘just for a minute’. AND REMEMEBER, you do not know how to cheat!

  16. You do not turn into a chicken when you get chicken pox. Stop freaking out!

  17. Mommy does not have eyes on the back of her head… Just very good common sense and a killer sixth sense.

  18. You do not grow old by staying in water too long.

  19. The moon does not have a giant bunny living on it. What’s with you and bunnies anyway?

  20. And finally… you do not get pregnant by watching someone kiss on TV!

Sincerely,

Pradita Kapahi

Blog – The Pradita Chronicles

RECIPE FOR FIRST CRUSH, SERVES ONE

I was 10 yrs old, stupid, silly and with a head full of imagination. I was hanging on my gate on a summer vacation afternoon and saw a family move their stuff the house next to mine. I watched with feigned disinterest as the furniture was moved in. By evening the family that was going to reside in that house came in a Maruti 800. Out came the mum, dad and three sons. I watched their procession inside the house, holding their suitcases, bedding, baskets and bags. All three sons were dashing, smart and adolescent Punjabi boys. The parents moved in snobbish, and so did the sons, but my eyes were fixed on the youngest one.

He was dribbling a basketball with loads of attitude as he went inside. My heart fluttered, and I didn’t know what this feeling is called. Time went by, and their home became a fortress no one could breach. They installed high iron gates and higher walls, no one could peep in. The family hardly ever interacted with us all in the lane. We used to make fun of them and called their house a citadel. The boys were never seen playing outside or on streets. But whenever I got a glimpse of the youngest one I ogled him open-mouthed.

He had greenish blue eyes, hardly seen in us Indians and very fair-skinned with a golden tinged wavy hair and wore awesome jackets, glares, shoes. He was older to me by some three yrs and a complete rogue. I gathered all the information about him that I could from bits and pieces I overheard. His school, his coaching centre, his friends, what kind of student he is and so on. I came to know he isn’t academically bright and not a stand out in sports. We were both growing, and soon he gained height and started looking even more devilish. I timed his comings and goings and hanged around the gate to see him. My only wish to talk to him once and be noticed.

My father used to throw huge and lavish birthday parties for me. Everyone was invited from relatives to business circles and from friends to neighbours. But I would wait for him to show up, cause I know he will shake my hand and give me the present and wish me. I dressed my best possible and acted cool. But the moment he came up to wish me the world dissolved. He always gave me a smile with attitude my heart would go mmm mmmm.

Then came the day I had to sell tickets to the school carnival. I had to go to all homes but chose his home first. I rang the bell and stood with bated breath. I know aunt hates visitors, but the urge to see him was strong enough and I kept my pride aside and stood to wait. A maid came and told me no one is home. I was going back with a sad face when I saw him walk towards me. He talked to me and bought one ticket for himself. I was about to faint, he was talking to ME! Reluctantly I went to the other houses long after he went back inside.

Few more yrs passed, and he became even more handsome. Girls ogled at him, and I heard he became a playboy too. But still. The crushed common sense wasn’t ready to let go. One day he came home in a red car. It was the first time I had seen such a car in real life. It was no less than a Ferrari to me. Winged doors, two seater, open hooded, red sports car. He and that car were made for each other. My heart nearly stopped when he got out and removed his gloves, helmet and goggles. From that day it became my only hobby, to watch him zoom away in his car.

Years kept rolling by, and one by one each son got married. I won’t lie to you all, I felt jealous when he got married. I thought his wife wasn’t good enough for him(though she was more educated and it was a love marriage). Soon enough he had two kids to himself and my life too got busy and never I thought of him much. But then last year, the brothers got separated and made nuclear Homes, he left the street and bought home in next colony. I won’t say I was heartbroken or sad, but I felt a little bit of my innocence and childhood fantasy leave with him.

This is what is Crush I guess. A cup ☕️of Infatuation infused with a sprig ☘of Obsession. Boiled in the cauldron of 😍Admiration and stirred with the ladle 💖of Romance. Simmered on the fire 🔥 of Passion and spiced 🌶with Innocencece. Served along with Fancy 💄And garnished with Silliness🌹.

Time Taken: A Youth

Serve Hot !😉🍵

KNOW WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE

I am a huge fan of stand up comedy. I mean a stage show with the perfect mix of humour and sarcasm is a “paisa-wasool” performance for me. And I’m one of those people who likes to work those witty remarks, subtle insults and funny intonations into a conversation because you know everybody needs to add a flavour into a conversation and I love being the funny one.

I have been brought up in a family where me and my siblings love taking the mickey out of each other and it’s all in good fun. So, naturally as I was growing up, I inculcated this into all aspects of my life: with my friends, relatives, acquaintances and now with my colleagues. And I love being the one who can make somebody laugh.

But in all these years I also learnt it the hard way that not everybody is as accepting of being the object of my humour. Amidst all the applause and laughter I never paid much attention to fact that I might have inadvertently hurt somebody’s feelings even though I had not meant to. That’s when I learnt that there is a very thin line between funny and rude. And that taking back your word even if it was in good humour is never possible.

Also, being a funny person your EQ needs to be higher so that you are aware of the situation you are in, know the kind of people you are with and then carry out a conversation which puts them at ease.

So if you are one of those people who likes being the funny one, know where that line between funny and rude lies, try your best to never ever cross that line and lastly, if you do end up cross that line be sure to apologise profusely and sincerely. There is nothing wrong in being funny, just make sure you are not insensitive.

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