The need of the hour….

….. is cleaner toilets and heightened common sense according to me, among many other things that are pressing our Nation. My blog posts are usually the reflection of my boring life in the form of day-to-day happenings. I seldom write about anything social or of national interest. But these few days, a lot happened around this personal hygiene piece which happens to be a major issue that I couldn’t stop myself from writing it here.

Now some of these may be very disgusting, but I still am writing about it – as it needs to be brought out. If people (well educated) can do these kind of things, I feel there is nothing disgusting in my just sharing them here.

In a country where a lot of people don’t even have toilet facility, I know I shouldn’t crib about unclean toilets. But I am not taking about just the public ones in the bus/railway stations. I am talking about the restrooms in big shopping malls, corporate offices and the ones in the toll booths. In all these places, as far as I know educated and civilized people are the sole users. Agree? Ok.

Let me begin with some horrendous experiences I had in my own office. Fine morning. I am in the best of my mood. I decide to take a break. Go to the restroom, find the first one empty, finish my job, reach out to the health wash. Something sticks on my hand. I try to see what it is, before I know both my hands are victims of someone’s poo. I am not at all exaggerating here. Not knowing how to react, I run out and wash my hands atleast ten times. But the disgusting feeling isnt going away from head, until now. How can a person do this or be unaware of it? You come in, do your job and then, forget that others might use the restroom too.

More often than not, I find tissue papers in the toilet bowl. Then there are cases of not properly flushed toilets. The major issue of sanitary napkins being put in regular dustbins (without even being wrapped) instead of the specially designed bins. Wouldn’t all these people look for a good restroom first before using one? Then why cant they leave it clean for others to use it? No number of sign boards or notices can change these people. They remain oblivious to everything around them and continue to do what they do.

Another incident – One dull afternoon, just after lunch – I go into the restroom to be welcomed by a wash basin full of puke. Doesn’t it make you sick all over again? The whole place is stinking and I guess the person who ever did this thought its not her job to clean her puke. She decided to leave a little surprise to people like us, immediately after lunch.

I don’t understand this attitude at all. If you cant clean your own sh*t, what makes you think that the appointed help ladies would do that for you? The company might be paying them, and they can come and clean the restrooms every hour but that doesn’t mean that you should leave them with enough work for them everytime. They are human beings too, after all.

Then there are malls. You are busy shopping and then the nature calls you. You have no option but to use the public restroom. In one you find tissues, in the next there are used sanitary pads, the other one has undies (best!) and in another, a mom is making her kid pee on the floor. What do you do?

Arent all these people educated and civilized? Where has their common sense gone? Will they do the same in their own house? If not, what makes them do it in a public restroom – I fail to understand.

We crib endlessly that no public restroom is clean, but isnt it our job to leave it clean when we have used it? If everyone thinks and does the same, I guess even public toilets would be cleaner, just like our homes.

But this is just one side of the story right? Can we all really ensure cleanliness in public toilets without the basic requirement? You know what brings a smile to my face, after using a public toilet? Water. The tap instead of only gushing out air, if it can give some water, I smile for the fact that I can leave it clean for the next one to use, especially in the bus/railway stations. It means a lot to the 3rs/5rs or even 10rs I pay to the greedy and creepy guy outside.

This would be a never ending topic for me, given the fact that I am a frequent traveller and user of public toilets. I am not even talking about the so called toilet wall, where the bus stops at mid night so that men can pee/smoke while women can practice bladder control exercises.


30 thoughts on “The need of the hour….

  1. Terrible!! As I said before you must not remain silent when it comes to office matter! you know the target audience and one scold will make other to shiver! public toilets arrrrghhh!!!!! I just wanna slap people who use the place to the most shabbiest one!!! I hate it! I never drink lots of water when I go out, the sickness of using the stupid toilets makes me to throw my water bottle till I reach the better ones! I can’t withstand by seeing some idiotic activity like this 😦 😦

    • I should raise an issue Chimunk, on the office matters. But somehow I was silent until now 😦 I havent even shared this with S or my friends here. Its so disgusting to say it out. Typing it out made me feel much better.

      Yeah, I too never drink water for the fear of using public toilets. But one cant remain away from them forever right. There are times we are in desperate need.

  2. I know gb. I can so relate to it especially after returning from the trip. Even the airport toilets are not clean , what is that we are projecting to someone who is visiting our country 😦 very sad state

      • Sorry to burst your bubble, GB, but US toilets are no good. I have seen messy toilet stalls here as well. In malls. In Office. In libraries. We have toilet seat covers. We have four rolls of tissues all the time. And still. I fail to understand how difficult it is for someone to leave the toilet clean. I do nothing to clean it before I leave. I just use my common sense to add a toilet seat cover before I use the toilet and then flush it. Just that and no more effort is required and still I see tissues on the floor, filled up in toilet bowl, pee sprinkled on the toilet seat.
        I wanted to write about the same issue but you and CM covered it well. But have no idea what could be done to change this. All I can do is to make sure I don’t add to the mess and tell everyone I know to do the same.

      • Thanks for sharing this aarya! I forgot that the world is filled with senseless people. Ofcourse a developed nation like US can also have this problem. But its when foreigners come visit us as tourists or when the NRIs return, they make such a scene out of everything in India, which made me believe its quite different out there.

  3. I read your first line before reading further I had to tell you this. In a very big hospital, I saw a young lady- patient, washing her hands from drinking water can. Heights was her hand was touching the water outlet all the time. I got so irritated. In a hospital where so many patients drink that water and when you have so many toilets just few steps away, can’t you go and wash! OK. May you are sick you cannot walk atleast don’t touch the water outlet. So angry.

  4. Totally Agree. Just because your company is paying someone to keep the places clean doesnot mean that you can throw things here and there.They are also people!

    People who forget to flush, who forget to clean the seat, who throw sanitary napkins here and there – I don’t know what they think.Do they forget to clean themselves too after finishing their job I ask?

    • Most people fail to understand it SS. How many time have I seen people combing hair onto the wash basin. The white colored bowl would turn to strips of black with all the hair and yet they wont try to clean it off. They pretend not to notice it at all and go on about their business. Its the task of the cleaning lady out there to clean everything, or else will she not get escalation? I pity their lives. In corporate office they cant raise their voices but do their duties.

      Very valid question. May be this shuld be put up on the posters. Appo achum Rosham varutha nu pakanum.

  5. Seriously terrible ya.. I also don’t understand how people leave it in such a state when they know someone would use it .. at least they can think of themselves, they might have to use it again… you know sometimes I fear when some people come to our house.. some people don’t even know how to use the bathroom when they are visit somebody’s place 😦 imagine how irresponsible they would be when they’d use public toilets!

    • Its disgusting! Yes.. they would want to use it too. I remember an incident, in a mall a lady refused to flush the toilet. I dont know why! She plainly refused. When the cleaning lady screamed at her, she said its your job to do. I wanted to ask her right away – if I push you back into the same toilet you used, will you use it again without flushing? No right? Then why the hell cant you flush it out on your own?

      Oh thats another problem. Our country just needs people with common sense is all I can say!

  6. I’ve had some luck on this topic. Before a few years, I was traveling through small towns of TN and Kerala, but fortunately, public toilets (that I used) were not that bad. But mostly, I use the ones at the hotels/lodges. Those are somewhat fine.

    One thing that we as a society need to do is – We should make the life of conservancy workers better. We can give them an oxygen mask or some perfumed mask so that they’ll not be exposed to all that smell for prolonged periods. Imagine how difficult that should be, for them.

    Destination Infinity

    • Its good to know that you didnt have much of bad experiences DI. Mostly in lodges and hotels, there are okk. These days, Bangalore bus stand and railway station is over crowded with people that there is not even a drop of water, on top of it there are atleast ten ladies standing in queue to use the toilet if I come out.. What do I do?

      Seriously. Just today I saw a lady wearing mask before entering into a restroom to clean it. Atleast she is protected against some germs!

  7. The smearing, is an act of violence. No self respecting educated person would do it. Some streak of self loathing animal, might have done that.

    We teach ourselves, our culture, ” bhaghawan.. say pranam”.. We teach.. ” keep flowers on festivals” ” clean the house and front yard well” ” then only laxmi will come”.. ” Light diya” etc etc..” dont waste money”.. “earn well”.. ” get first rank”.. “get Eng/doc entrance”… we teach. But our people do not teach children hygiene and social responsibility. It is degrading.

    Why do we need to depend on Sanitation workers. Why cant we clean our spaces ourselves. We have forgotten Gandhi in many respects, and this sphere is one more!

    Instead of aiming for all first ranks, let the education be for the social responsibilities first, then we can go around conquering the world with our computer brains.

  8. My husband and I once drove to Vancouver and were in the middle of nowhere and I had a desperate urge to use the restrooms, we saw a few on the high way and stopped there, I was so unsure to go inside, but I was in for a surprise, the toilets were spic and span and were very clean, there were ample tissue rolls and soap. I have never experienced this in India. Forget the soap, let us at least have some civic sense. You definitely have to send an email to facilities and raise a stink about the stink that you experienced.

    I have also seen many homes in India where the toilets are horrible. In my mom’s house too, I am not happy at the hygiene, I don’t say anything as my mom is old. I just go in with a pair of gloves and a bottle of phenoyl and other disinfectants and get to work and leave the toilet clean.

    Another experience I want to share with you, last year we had a few ceremonies for my husband’s grand father who passed away 2 years ago. We had rented a place which is known for conducting these ceremonies. Our dining hall was facing the toilets and the stink was soo bad that we just couldn’t eat our food. I believe the place where you are supposed to take bath was filled with urine and fecal matter.

    I felt so bad reading about your experience at work. I have never used a public toilet in India after I left to US. It has been 15 years and my bladder controlling abilities get better every time I am in India :).

    • I am glad the highway restrooms were clean for you! I cant imagine tissue papers and soap here. Not anytime soon. Forget soap, as you said – only if people had a little common sense. That would help.

      OMG! That must have been terrible experience for you.

      LOL on bladder control abilities getting better everytime 😀 We have no other option, right?

  9. Now what will you say if I say I saw period stains on the western loo 😐

    A supposedly famous mall in Chennai had such appalling restrooms that I had to use them out of sheer necessity. Another one in Bangalore had no running water to flush!!

    In a strange occurrence, all of the pay and use toilets which I have used have been spic and span having running water all the time. Its the public toilets ( the free ones ) which make me practice ‘control’ techniques.

    • Oh yes I almost forgot about the period stains. Colorless water I can understand. People cant see. But this stains? How can some forget to clean?

      As I said, I had worst experiences at malls, both in Bangalore and Chennai.

      I end up paying in every public restroom, Visha. And most of them are worst. I caught up a row with a guy once in Tirupathi for such bad state of the toilets and he demanded ten rs.

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