Sunday, June 6, 2010


There are stories that you go about telling people the moment after they happen. Then there are personal stories you want to keep to yourself and never forget. Until one day you realize you are forgetting the details. That is when you go ahead and write about it in your blog.

If you read the blogs by expats in India, you will invariably come across the shock and reluctant awe they have about the sight of Indian men peeing in the open. Roadside, sidewalks, by lanes. You know, anywhere basically. As this is an issue of profound importance, it will not be taken up on this blog. But the story that you are about to read is about the fact that it happens in America too. It surely happened at least once.

Now that we have established the need for this story to be told, let me get on to the story.

This happened few years back in America with a smart and young IT guy. Let’s call him X. X had to fly out of town for three days to meet his folks. Since the cab drive to and fro to the airport would cost almost same as the three day parking at the airport, X decided to drive to the airport.

Now X is one of those guys who suffer from a major ailment in his life. The instinct in animals and human kind that helps them differentiate between East and North does not work right with him. What is worse is that it works. Hence malfunctions.

Having accepted this malady as a fact of life, X is used to taking all precautions pertaining to finding ways when venturing out alone. With a route map to the airport he has been to at least ten time before and setting apart an hour to find the way if he gets lost, X set forth. Like most of the IT geeks, X was a drinking man too. A water drinking man actually, always found with a water bottle with him.

The journey to the airport went well for the most part, until X trusted his instincts over the map (ah! The irony) and took a familiar looking exit from the highway and well, he was lost into an unknown town.

Since this was nothing new to him, X drank some water to calm the nerves and looked for a gas station. He found one, got a cola and asked the directions to the highway. Happily he hit the road again. But this time it was different. X was still lost.

After asking for directions thrice at three different gas stations and finally being nervous about the exhausting the extra hour spared for finding the way back, he finally hit the highway.

At this point his mind was racing, consuming most of the blood supply in the body and consequently causing the bladder to lack control. This with lots of fluid in you can only mean trouble. The way was found but the control was lost. Constantly ignoring his instincts rest of the way, sticking to the map and some metal on the pedal, X reached the airport in time for the flight.

Presently flight was only the second most important concern. X had to take care of some very important business before he could enter the terminal. The moment he entered the parking lot, his eyes were darting around looking for the lavatory that was nowhere to be found. Whoever designed the McNamara Airport probably forgot that people might want to go to the bathroom immediately after driving to the airport.

Since entering the terminal and the waiting lounge in wet pants was not an option so X did the best possible thing at the moment. He careened the car next to a big fat pillar on the second floor of the parking lot, came out in a hurry, looked around once and relieved himself next to the pillar. At that exact moment he was probably the happiest person on the planet. Quite possibly on all the planets.

Thus relieved he caught the plane and had an awesome trip. When he came back three days later he had absolutely no trouble in finding the car. He just had to follow his nose.

Now I am not saying that I was X, and I am not saying that I was not. All I am saying is that, I would immediately know that pillar amongst thousand such pillars. I am sure the pillar will know me too.


Sudhanshu said...

Hmmm... There is a saying "Don't believe anything unless it is categorically denied". Unfortunately there is no quote which means the opposite of aforesaid one. So what, I still follow my intuition. Since you have not denied that Mr. X was you, I infer that he was somebody else. Afterall, why would I let the world know that my friend Pratyush did it and malign his image of Mr. Clean.

But I beg to differ from your sentence, that Mr. X is a smart guy. No he is not. And I will tell you why. If he carried a water bottle with him, and it was already emptied, he could have used that to collect his compulsion. And I am sure everybody else would have perceived that to be either apple juice or peach tea or something else. He could have carried the bottle with him and and disposed in the trash bin.

Now don't tell me Mr. X had the habit of throwing empty water bottles on the highway.

Pratyush said...

Having one empty bottle with you does not mean that you have emptied just one bottle. Does it?
All options were explored and were found wanting.
What we need to appreciate here is that the scope of this story goes above and beyond just one bottle of fluid, that I can tell you with absolute confidence.
And yeah! Mr X is a smart chap!

Vibha said...

Kuch Aur nahi mila likhne ko ??

tarana said...

i never knew u can be funny too..coz rest of ur blog says u r a master satirist.n ya Mr X is a smart chap

Pratyush said...

@tarana: Thats right!!
Wait, I didn't know you could be right too :-).


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