I have a question!

I have a question. It has born out of a repeated observation. Almost all the times when I have been to washroom to relieve myself, I see that people become completely silent. And I am making this observation against the washrooms which are located in a building where people work and most often know each other in person, for example in an university or in a office. The fact that they know each other makes me wonder why did they even not acknowledge the presence of the people they know. I understand that this might vary from culture to culture but I have tried varying this observation by asking many of my friends and family and they seem to attest the same.

Well the simplest of reasons I am being told of is that it is out of etiquette to do so. But I don’t remember any teacher of mine telling me about this. Or may be I have been to one of the not so good schools. But even if it so I wonder how people could resist saying hello to the people (they know) when they encounter them in washrooms and loos. How could the etiquette gain such an enormous power that it dictates human behavior to become completely strangers to each other during that time? Strange, isn’t it?

The another argument which comes upfront is the following: Washrooms are usually the places where there is always filth and foul smells. So why to stay there to exchange words of acknowledgement. One always tries to leave such a place as soon as possible. Well I could have really considered this argument had I never been to any washroom myself. The washrooms I am talking about since the beginning of this post are actually the ones which are very well kept and sanitized. These are the washrooms equipped with world class toilet fittings. These are fitted with hand dryers and automatic dispensers to release water and soap solution in urinals and toilet seat. To an average nose like mine, there are absolutely no foul smells. So an urge to leave ASAP doesn’t seem reasonable.

Consider the third argument: Bathrooms are usually congested spaces so its not really possible to carry a conversation. To me this also doesn’t seem to be the case. Current architectural plans of bathrooms are quite spacious. They are some times as big as living rooms and have ample of space to move around and relax. Thus this argument doesn’t seems to sustain as well.

I don’t really know why people behave like that. Take all the arguments and see them in parallel but what I am wondering about is the disappearance of a simple acknowledgement in these spaces. Till we find the answers we are free to speculate and off course to observe silence in any such washroom we enter.

Art in a restroom- An attempt to explore ‘Dadaism’

This project attempts to put ‘Objects of art’ in a space like “public restrooms”. We explored ‘Dadaism’ an art movement. The exhibition was conducted in the male and female restrooms inside the campus of NID.


A dreamy morning

I woke up this morning at around 7 … had a bath and then somehow again went to sleep only to woke up at 9  to rush to my office. Within this time, I had quite an unusual dream, and it goes like this.

I was climbing up the staircase to get to my flat…  but the steps were getting smaller and smaller with lesser and lesser foot space to use. This didn’t affect me much in the beginning as it seemed like a visual illusion to me but it did slow me down. I just continued as I had to get to my flat after returning from a day’s work. Slowly and slowly quite alike “Alice climbing up the tree to get to the wonderland”, I got to a point where all the steps finally vanished and I found myself gaping through a ventilation window into someone’s drawing room. Even those present in the room, a family of possibly 3 members were surprised seeing a stranger looking at them through the ventilation window but they quickly resettled as if nothing had actually happened. They gave me a feeling that they had many such experiences. As if they knew that the staircase end at their ventilation window. So every now and then they had some stranger looking at them. If I recall  there were three people in the room, a man in his early 40s with his wife and a kid around 12-13 years old with chubby cheeks.

I knew that I had a flat in this building and the only way to get there were those strange staircase. So I had no option but to follow whatever came next. I stepped into their house with an excuse on my face, telling to myself that its OK to use their house to get to my flat. Apparently the family stayed quite indifferent too.  They kept doing whatever they were busy with. For few seconds, I sat on the couch with the kid.. trying to dust off my clothes. I also gather the stuff which I had dropped on the floor while I was jumping down from the ventilation opening. While I was taking this little break I saw that the family had exactly the same cap and also the same model of the cellphone as mine. So for once when I got hold of my stuff, I was a little confused about its ownership. But then I had to make my move. I got up, pressed chubby cheeks of this kid and gently stepped out of their house. By this time, I woke up and my dream ended!

I was really surpirsed by this dream and was wondering how could I remember it so well. Its very rare with me that I could remember any of my bedtime dreams.