I feel like we are at a point where climate change is irreversible. Recently also I read a blog on how to brush teeth in one cup of water. Every drop of water you save, you are going to cling on to this city, posting blogs the next year also about how to wash hands with 2 ml of water. So now, when I brush my teeth, I turn the shower on, just to speed up the process.

It’s not like I never tried to save the environment.

After a heavy lunch on a certain Wednesday in office, I immediately went to the toilet. I performed the task that is meant to be performed in the toilet. After the completion of the task, I had two choices. I could either use the jet spray and waste water, or do the cleaning American style and save the environment. I chose the environment. But the thing is, I had never done this before.

I was brought up in a lower middle class family in Chennai. We lived in a 1BHK house with 1 Indian style toilet. When I was a kid, if I saw a western toilet, I would promptly climb over it and do my business. In my mind, if you had a western toilet in your house you must be filthy rich. Only later did I realise that I was filthy poor.

But my dad had an explanation for everything. He was a well educated poor person.

I asked him, “Appa, appa, why don’t we have western toilet in our house?”.

He said, “Easwar, Indian style toilets are actually better by design, the way you sit in an Indian toilet is actually a yogasana, which is pretty beneficial for your bowels”.

“Oho, benefit to the bowel and all is good to hear, but I heard Kokila paati did a somersault while trying to sit in the toilet and is in the ICU?”

“That is Darwin’s theory holding it’s own son, you can’t blame the Indian toilet for it” he said.

Coming back to the story, I used the tissue to do the ritual. I did it once, I did it twice, I did it over countless times, but there was never a sense of fulfillment.

Neither did I have the confidence to wear my white Jockey underpants back on nor did I have any tissues left. This was when I realised the level of confidence that our ancestors had, komanam and langod were always white.

Which American model have you seen wearing white jockey underpants?

Then I googled the amount of water used to make one roll of tissue. 12 to 37 gallons of water was google’s answer. That settled it for me.

I used the jet spray and wore my underpants with full confidence, and put the tissues into the dustbin along with my idea of saving the environment.

Environmentalists and Public Toilets

When people blog about being cautious about how we flush to avoid wastage of water, some people directly take it to their heart and don’t flush altogether.

I don’t understand what goes on in their mind. “I have done my business here, the next person is also going to do the same thing, he can flush it all together. Saves a lot of water, you see.”

Or do they think it’s some form of relay, where you pass the baton to the next person coming? “I’ll do the shitting, here take the baton, now you go do the flushing.”

We could actually give the benefit of doubt to the person. Maybe the flush wasn’t effective in cleaning. But we do have a jet spray. And the jet spray has so much pressure that it gives a push back like an AK-47. Some of the jet sprays could be used in factories for metal cutting.

First I thought, people didn’t know how to use the jet spray. But evidence proved that they had used it everywhere else except the closet. Usually one has to swim through the puddle of water to get to the closet.

The line of thinking got me to the possible solutions for this.

Or we could just be a little sensible.