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A Traveler's Saga

Photo taken at Plitvice National Park, Croatia by Vibhor Dhote Oh! What are these days I have found myself in! The bagpacks I carry n...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Pee Journey

If you’re someone who has traveled long distances holding the urge to pee and hence, doubtful of drinking another gulp of water, you’ll probably understand what I’m going to talk about.
Every time the vehicle I’m traveling in gets a jerk because of the bumpy road, I fear I’ll get back to being the 5-year old who peed her pants in her sleep.

If you’re a woman and traveling, here are some pee stories that may act as a caveat or a tip for your next journey. :-P

Mumbai to Hyderabad

I remember taking an overnight bus from Mumbai to Hyderabad which I had boarded at 8pm. By 11pm I knew I couldn’t sleep if I didn’t pee. I go to the driver and ask him to stop at a hotel I see ahead. He doesn’t. I stand near him for more than fifteen minutes asking him to stop because I had to pee but he just wouldn’t stop anywhere else but the dhaba he usually stops in. He would say we would reach there in ten minutes. I finally had to hold my pee for around two hours walking to and fro the aisle of the bus, too uneasy to lie down on my sleeper seat. So much for the driver’s fear of losing his commission.

Madrid to Barcelona

We had hired a car and hence, stopped at every fuel station where it was certain that there was going to be a store and a clean washroom awaiting the arrival of my precious pee. I believed in visiting those washrooms even when I didn't really had to pee. 3:-)

Guwahati to Tezpur

Driver decides to give a pee break exactly when I need it. I board the bus at 8am and the driver takes a stop for ten minutes at 10am.

However, there is no proper urinal nearby. All the men in the bus get down from the bus while their female companions stay seated. In front of my eyes I see around ten men, not bothering to go any further or hiding away from our sight, showing their backs to the bus and the people in it, taking various spots in the land in front of us and peeing their heart out. After ten minutes the bus starts again and no one bothers if the women wanted to pee too. It stops later for lunch in front of a dhaba at 11.30am and the women then finally get to queue in front of a morbid toilet.

Hyderabad to Mumbai

The driver was so nice that he stopped the bus only for me and my pee at 8am even when I was just one hour away from my destination, even when it was my mistake that I didn’t wake up at 6am for their breakfast stop.

Gurgaon to Jaisalmer

There are few chai shops on the way as we get closer to the destination. Some toilets are so dirty that it is safer for women to pee outside in the open to avoid germs climbing their way up. This is because when you sit and pee the probability of catching germs is way higher than when you’re standing. Those sexist E. Coli bacteria. Damn!


 Traveling indeed gets difficult when one’s monthly chums have come for a visit and you don’t find a decent washroom. During those days, I make sure to then find a decent restaurant that would have all the sanitation facilities required. In case you don't, hold the thought and the pee. It’s never safe to pee anywhere especially when you’re on your periods. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Binary Life



My car moved when I typed 1
It stopped at each 0
I type 1 and the lights were on,
At every 0, it was dark again...

I look away from the perfect screen
Through a glass window covered with dirt,
And I see beyond the translucence
A dimly lit house on the hillside,
A broken door left ajar,
A worn out roof that'd still let
A few raindrops seep in,
A man limping his way home
the way he would have run if he could.
I see the imperfections 
Of the enormous tree
Under which a child could still be drenched-
One drop at a time.

I see a half-torn ten dollar bill,
Lying near some worm-ridden mangoes
The owner of the tree couldn't pluck on time,
Useless as both could be, the way
A writer would think away his time,
Without words to put on the paper.

I come home late at night
Another day of programming  LEDS
and wheels of the tiny robot car,
Coding 1 or 0, I kill my day,
Only to find my night dimly lit
Like the house on the hillside,
Not dark enough,
Not bright enough.
I paint the walls of my room white,
The furniture in it- all black
Only to find my life a little grey-
Impossible to love,
Improbable to hate..