This one is largely an urban experience. For some reason, you wrongly expect that a person who has paid Rs. 300 for a movie ticket will have the basic decency to take a wipe the toilet seat before they leave. I don’t know why. But when I see those 2-3 water droplets on the toilet seat when I enter, it just makes me a hulk. Even the pot is angry. It is disappointed that women don’t have even the basic decency to wipe off the seat before they leave. This is even when paper rolls are right there. Available for use.
Let’s go to the worse possibilities. You enter the washroom and you find a bloody pad (literally bloody) lying in the corner. This is, of course, common everywhere in the country- public toilets, highways, restaurants, malls, everywhere. This is a very unique way of leaving your mark in a territory. First I used to wonder, poor thing. She did it because there was no dustbin lying around. But then I saw it happening even where there was a dustbin.
Woman, it’s simple. Carry a pad wrapped it in a double or single sided newspaper when you leave from home. When you happen to use it, use the wrapper of the pad to cover your used pad then wrap it in a newspaper and then dispose of your heritage. It takes 9 seconds initially, 5 when you practice with time and get pro at it.
Yes, of course, there are places where the dustbin is not available inside the bathroom. It can be very embarrassing on a highway where a male colleague is waiting for you outside the washroom area. But it’s okay. It really is. Spot a dustbin before going inside and use your secret FBI agent skills to dispose it.
For FAQs: If you are out the whole day, yes carry 2-3-4 pads and wrap each one of them with a newspaper. If it is Ahmedabad Mirror, it takes a double sided paper. TOI takes single sided, so does any other Regional paper. It takes 15 seconds in the beginning and 10 when you have practised. So 30 seconds for womanhood and the greater humanity. Go for it.
There’s, of course, the government to blame for everything. They must have people to keep toilets clean. The owners to blame for not having enough water (carry a plastic water bottle inside with you, also to save infection risks and keep the toilet clean) and dustbins. And other women (of the world) to blame when we discover potty remains or bloody pads in a public toilet. But when are we going to look within?
In the malls, I have seen some women spend infinite amount of time looking their face, setting their hair, applying perfume, combing their hair, using the hand dryer; and I wonder, “Would she have flushed properly or cleaned the toilet seat?” There is no correlation. It’s different to forget once or twice but not having these habits can be grossly dangerous. There’s no way we’d have left it like that in our own homes. Public places are our own spaces. Own it.
Please be lovely. Don’t be gross.