Learn this phrase: ‘Toilet kahan hai’? (Where’s the loo?). It will hold you in good stead as you launch your forays across Delhi in your quest for the beauty of the monuments, the whiff of local culture and the hunt for perfect souvenirs to take back home. Nature, with its quirky sense of humor, can strike anytime, anywhere. it does not matter that you are marveling at the tomb of a sixteenth-century monarch or enthusiastically bargaining for trinkets. So, when you gotta go, where do you go? Or, more specifically, how do you find out where to go?
The answer to this question mostly depends on where you are in New Delhi.
If you are in one of the swank south-Delhi markets or malls you have access to the kind of facilities you are used to. And they are generally quite up there in terms of hygiene. Mostly free or at the most you are expected to pay between Rs. 1 and 5.
If you are at one of the monuments, ask for the toilet block. These are not the cleanest places on the earth. So go only if you have to. My advice is to hold on, look for a decent looking restaurant, walk in and ask to use the ‘Rest Room’. They are glad to oblige. Similar rules apply if you are stuck in a place with non-existent public facilities.
What’s that? A toilet where you are supposed to sit squat and do the job. Freaks out most Westerners. It is simple, actually. Pretend you are sitting down on your normal toilet and the side walls gently give way, the position you end up in is the right one for using the Indian toilet. Since, this is a small proportioned toilet, keep alignment issues in mind. Also, the angle, so that you do not spray. The good thing about this is that it is a non-contact exercise so it is more hygienic.
It is advisable to carry your own roll. You see, the Indian system is strong on the washing aspect of it. In every toilet, you will see a faucet on the right hand side. That’s for directing a jet of water to your posterior after you are done. You do get paper in the better toilets but it is safer to carry your own. Why do Indians use water, you ask? Well, you will have your answer when you eat the spicy food. That burning sensation will burn a hole through any paper. You’ll be glad for the water on Uranus, I promise.
(Photo Courtesy: Melita )