Thursday, December 17, 2009

The great Indian snaan trick

Just the other week the Drift Memsaab and I were on a long international flight. Memsaab decided to hang out at the back of the airplane, drink some chai and do general gup shup with the flight attendants.

Just as she is settling in, she notices a man dart into the toilet. While lolling around the Memsaab keeps track of time. 10 minutes go by and the man still hasn't emerged from the sandhaas. 20 minutes go by. No sign of the dude. When the duration hit 30 minutes, the Memsaab thought it prudent to point this out to the Attendant in case the man had suffered a stroke or other illness that might have rendered him motionless in the toilet.

The Attendant rolls her eyes and knocks on the door. There is an affirming grunt from behind the door. Then nothing. At least all seems well.

Another 10 minutes go by. Finally the door opens and the man comes out and runs off. The Memsaab decides to use the toilet. To her astonishment she finds water EVERYWHERE! Its all over the sink, the potty, the floor and the mirror. Memsaab comes out and decides to consult with the Attendant.

"Why is there water everywhere?" she asks.

The Attendant peers into the toilet, smiles and says: "Oh, sometimes we find that people try to take a bath in here"

SAY WHAT?! This revelation stunned me. Even when the Memsaab was guffawing telling me this story, I could barely crack a smile. Its not that I was particularly astonished by this - after all, people are capable of anything. But the mechanics of it bamboozled me. I questioned the Memsaab extensively and nope, the man did not seem to carrying any mug, lotaa or other receptacle in which water could be accumulated.

This means that for a bath the only instruments available to the chap were the 6oz paper cups or his cupped hands which would hold even less. So the man went in there - took off some or all of his clothes and in that super cramped space, proceeded to wash himself - 6 oz at a time. Someone who can't take a bath and hop on a 14 hour flight without feeling compelled to clean himself extensively again in mid-flight is truly committed to CLEAN!

Once I had this picture in my head - I was able to entertain myself endlessly throughout the flight by conjuring up the image on demand. Thus I was saved from having to watch Paying Guests on the in-flight "International" channel.

37 comments:

Nitan said...

On direct flights one can expect anything Aspi, 14hrs is a long time to kill, take some out for cleaning yourself and leaving the toilet (not bathroom) un-useable !!
I guess this is the reason I stick to flights with a stop you can get off for your cleanliness business and never have to use the bathroom.

musical said...

OMG! This "clean" makes things oh so dirty for others to use :(. But i know this happens on Indian trains a lot.....

Anonymous said...

I am amazed memsaab didn't come upto you and say "upgrade, please for the sake of mental sanity"

Kanan said...

Eeeek! was that an Indian man?

Aspi said...

Kanan, It WAS an Indian man!

Anon, the flight - surprisingly - was not overbooked so no upgrades available.

musical, I have to travel by train soon - I'm a little scared!

Nitan, that flight is so awesome that only I am willing to tolerate a lot to be on it.

Anonymous said...

Aspi, I take the rajdhani from Delhi to Baroda all the time, every year, it is better travel and hygiene than the flight!!
you will enjoy the train ride. The best part is the time, you hope on at 4pm in the evening and 4am you are in Baroda. No time for most people in India to start their morning business.

meena said...

Cupped hands? arent the taps in the toilet the kind that need to have one finger pressing them to work? I remember musing one time how one can be expected to do a good job of washing hands if you dont have both hands free...

..hows the trip going so far aspi?

Kanan said...

Hahaha, Aspi, that's just too crazy... I got another thought... he might not have been snaaning. May be he was washing instead of wiping and the limited space caused the splatter. ;)

Pitu said...

Teehee I've heard that before. You should go to Mumbai and have chai with my maasi- 35+ years as a flight attendant and woman can tell a mighty good story :D

Aspi said...

Anon, I used to do train trips - just too crazy. Would always fall sick on the ride.

meena, just to be geeky - you can fill up your cupped hands by using your thumbs to press the buttons on the tap :) The trip is going well so far.

Kanan, you might be right!

Pitu, we should be interviewing her no?

sudipta pal said...
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Pitu said...

Aspi: I've tried to :( but she's always flying somewhr and has zero attention span lol. BTW I told Beth when u return to Chicago we'll all watch a trashy masala movie in my basement! Preferably something with Feroz Khan in it :p

Aspi said...

Balding Feroz or Bald Feroz? For the record, I like Bald Feroz better. He was magnificent in Janasheen.

Daddy's Girl said...

WTH? That's so bizarre!

Dikshi is Nervous said...

Taaaim Phor a navi Post Please

megan said...

OMG that is super weird and nasty... EWW did that guy take a towel with him?

i don't know how you expect to be clean showering like that, yuck!

nuna8 said...
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nuna87 said...
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abhishekfl said...
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riya said...
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Anonymous said...

don't you think by now these junk mail people would have realized that this is not the space or post to advertise on...why waste you time and energy doing this and plus annoy people.
I can see why you needed a word verification!

Down with Audacious Spammers said...

It is disgusting to see the spam of advertising on this blog. Plase remove all of Them Dear !

To Spammers: Spare this site and spread your BS somewhere else !

Loyal Readers of Aspi's Drift.

Sunny Verma said...
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Joules said...

This is too funny. Have wondered sometimes how some people take so much time in that cramped up place they call a bathroom on the plane. Now we know :)

Anonymous said...
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Aspi said...

Man, how many florists ARE there in India?

Dikshi, I'm working on a few new posts - this career arc of Priyanka and Katrina has me fascinated. So there might be something worth doing there. And I have a Q&A with a photog whose work I love coming up soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey, not sure why my comment was deleted. But Aspi, it would be awesome if we could have a post on Music ka Maha Muqabla...thanks!

Rony Mitra said...
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Aspi said...

Hi Anon, sorry - that was probably an oversight on my part while battling India's awesome florists who leave spam around here. I've been watching that show but will be able to work on something only after Jan 1. Will definitely try and do something though - I love that show!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aspi will look fwd to it. Luv that show too it is so compl wacky...

Anonymous said...

can you imagine if he was all naked and the plane starts experiencing severe turbulence and he has to leave the loo Right then?

David Dhawan said...

Wow, that joke should be in one of my films!

Wah wah kya idea hai sirji!

Drift Memsaab said...

I have been thoroughly enjoying the comments and the write-up on this one...LOL! Incidently, I would like to mention that this man was in his twenties, and looked fairly "westernized."

But to be generous, here is an alternate theory. Maybe this man realized that he was emanating BO. To save his neighbors much distress the gentleman that he was, he decided to clean up his act....His wierd snaan was an act of clearing the air...just a thought???

Aspi said...

A guy who is considerate enough to relieve the air of his BO then occupies the can for over 30 minutes? I'm not buying it.

anamika said...
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anamika said...
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anamika said...
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