The remnants of vada, kurkure, bhel, and the infamous IRCTC-approved meal from last night slithered down his large intestine. Like a snake that approaches its prey furtively and then at the very last moment strikes with such force that catches the toad unawares, the snake within him was already in position.
It was any moment now.
He was not someone who was easily bogged down. He fought with all his might, moved about the compartment in order to slacken himself, even tried to sleep in the hope of passing time.
But the damage had been done. A fart or two here and there did provide momentary respite, like a wicket or two when Dhoni is batting at the other end. That, however, hardly changes the overall scenario.
He, however, was determined. There are instances in people’s lives that make them apprehensive about doing things, like catching sight of the vendor picking his nose before serving golgappas. The solitary view that he had of the toilet in his coach while peeing last night had strengthened his resolve about not using it for ‘heavier’ purposes. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.
At least, he wasn’t going down without a fight.
Water was flowing all over the place, though the smell emanating from the cubicle really made him apprehensive about its chemical composition, whether it was water at all in the first place. Some liquid also wafted in from outside, originating from the wash-basin that was overflowing with Colgate flavoured water, saliva and mucus. And with each jerk of the train, more of the used water, saliva and mucus came crashing down.
The Indian-style toilet tunnels into the railway tracks. It is like blindfolded captains aboard choppers shedding relief material mid-flight.
Basically, he was to defecate in the open, into nature. A proper way to address nature’s call (agreed this comparison is lame, but not as lame as calling up nature with a cell phone as in Chennai Express). He might as well rush off into the bushes whenever the train stopped again inexplicably for a considerable length of time in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and squatters in full sight.
His experiences from the toilet in his hostel wing were enough to steel him in any eventuality, like the toilet presenting itself a fine morning in all its glory, smacking of the previous guy who had to abandon the toilet owing to the tap’s refusal to cooperate.
Before he began, he had to ensure he aligned his don’t-ask-me-what in line with the hole. Else, well, need I say more?
Also, the container that held water inside the toilet was chained to the tap itself. Good measure, considering how we as Indians have the itching desire to pocket anything that is unclaimed. However, that also meant he would have to reposition himself at an angle to his original position after he was done, in order to ensure that his you-know-what was within the scope of the container.
And as he would squat in order to relieve himself, he would have to cling on to something for dear life, for the rhythmic movement of the train could throw him off balance. That also entails the risk of the poop missing its target, and with the squatter off-balance, things could get complicated, much like a strike missing its target, and the drone crash landing into the same spot.
And the ultra-fine stream of water coming out of the tap meant that there is a time lag, between wiping and washing your hand, of about two minutes, which seems longer than the wait for the passport to arrive even after you have submitted all your documents in order.
Much ado about pooping!