We have laughed, ridiculed, staggered- yet the TOILET PAPER CRISIS is real. People are reading news, social media and messages from friends & family, and they are still hoarding toilet paper.
I now understand the crisis and this behavior. Last Monday, I bought groceries from the Indian store near our house. Anxiety has known no boundaries in my head – I have been anxious of this virus since February- blame it on my over-imaginative brain. Coming back to the point, when I had filled my cart with 20 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of rice and spices, I experienced a yogic calm for a couple of hours. I felt READY- ready to deal with this crisis and the tiny microbe that is causing havoc around the world. And then it struck, hoarding toilet paper is a way for people to feel prepared. Of course, I had read this, but I only understood it once I bought many packets of spices. A man’s primal needs are to eat, sleep and poop. And when they have enough toilet paper – they feel set.
There is an easier way to be prepared for this. We don’t need to cause additional stress to other people by hoarding on toilet paper. There is a simpler solution.
In India, even modern homes don’t rely on toilet paper. Every modern home have bidets – either the basic one or a fancier one(which depends on the wealth of the household). This is the story of modern and reasonably wealthy homes. Everyone else relies on a simple lota -or just a mug and a water outlet to wash their behinds. In India, people travel with disposable soap sachets, because the concept of toilet paper is still catching up. In my humble opinion, this non-eco friendly concept of ‘toilet paper’ won’t catch any steam with Indians.
There are four ways to clean yourself after you have pooped – WITHOUT any toilet paper.
- Lota/Mug : This is the most basic of all. Take a mug, fill it with water and use your hands to wash yourself. I know it sounds gross – that is why people travel with disposable sachets of soap. Yes, you have to wash your hands thoroughly; wash your hands like you have just chopped a dozen habanero peppers!
2. Spray Bottles : A bit of an advancement from the lota. Use a spray bottle to squirt water and clean your rumps. This is still available in many stores. Your hands remain clean and c’mon you can deal with a bit of wet bum!
3. Hand Held Bidets: This is the most common bidet seen in Indian homes across the whole of India. Many Indians living outside India also have this in their homes. It is a permanent addition to your toilet. It is extremely easy to install, and it is not an ugly sight like a spray bottle or a mug in your beautiful grey-walled toilet.
4. Bidet-TOTOS : This is the most sophisticated way of cleaning your bum. These bidets sit on the top of your toilet seat and have a built in water spray, and drying capabilities. Some are so complex that they come with a remote, with options for ladies and men, backside and front side, low-high pressure….and so on.
Toilet Paper doesn’t have to distort your life – there is a solution! With your dogged determination you can solve this and be prepared.
And yes – keep practicing Social-Distancing.
More links for buying bidets, Totos and mugs