Surprisingly Shailja and Preeti seemed at ease with all that we were whining about. It was agitating us all the more.
“You really don’t mind using toilets in such circumstances?” complained Cuckoo
“Does it not bother you that people are knocking at your door when you want a little peace in the loo? I fail to lose all pressure in accord with such external pressures.” I added
Preeti and Shailja started to giggle and finally Preeti spoke up in between her giggles.
“We knew such a scene would be created. That’s another reason why we did all our survey before hand.”
“What do you mean?” Cuckoo asked
“We mean that just three bogies down the line the second class compartment starts. The toilets over there are better and the people are fewer. Since we are not allowed to use the toilets there, we have to be a little discreet and choose time when most of the people there are well settled in their compartments.” Explained Shailja in hushed tones.
Our serious expressions gave way to slight smile as Shailja continued to discuss the plan of utmost secrecy. We were just being geared up to tackle a matter of life and death, of national security, of matters running across the borders.
“The cleaning lady comes at 6 a.m. and one time in the evening around the same time. So we will go at around 6.15 a.m. or 6.15 p.m. so that we can get access to clean toilets. And keep in mind, we never go in groups. We will go only one at a time so that no one can stop us. But we go there only to use the toilets. For brushing your teeth, washing your face or for just freshening up, we use the basin in our bogie only. And remember, you do not share this knowledge with anyone.”
Happy to have a new secret that could make our lives easier for hours to come, we planned everything. Who will go first, who second and so on. When you gotta go, you gotta go. So for now we compromised relenting to the toilets in our bogie nurturing the thought of having a better day with better toilets the other day.
The evening approached and we geared up thinking now is the time to have our private time with the loo. Since all of this was Shailja’s masterpiece, she had to be the first one to be honored to use a clean toilet. As she wore her slippers she had a look of a soldier who is going for a mission which he has already won. We stayed there watching her leave and then waited anxiously for her to return. We were extremely surprised to see her return within 5 minutes.
“What happened? All well?” Inquired Preeti.
“10-15 girls from our college are already lined up there. Seems that it was not me alone who came up with this bright idea.” Replied Shailja grimly.
We burst out laughing. We had almost one more day to go and one more problem to tackle. As far as this one was concerned we put it on hold. We all went to the travel agents and asked for a shift in our compartments so that all four of us could be together. After sometime the travel agent came to us and broke the bad news that both ours and Preeti-Shailja’s companions were bitches and didn’t want to relocate. So this was another defeat we had to face on the same day. All this was getting too much on us and we decided to tackle it on the warfront. We cooked up another plan for the next morning.
Chitchatting casually we went upto the queue of girls lined up to use the toilet of our bogie.
“You know Cuckoo the toilets of the second class compartments are much cleaner. Let’s go there.”
“Yaar, we have already been here for sometime. I am feeling too lazy to walk till there. Leave it na. Let’s stay here only and wait.”
By the time we were discussing to go or not to go, three girls had already left quietly. Now we had just 4 more obstacles infront of us. Preeti came running to join us and started speaking to us excitedly.
“Shailja and I just went to the toilets at the other end. We got our turns very quickly and those ones are comparatively neater also. You guys go and use those ones.”
“No yaar, Cuckoo is too lazy to walk there” I replied nagging my friend.
By this time three more had girls left. Cuckoo winked at me while now we waited patiently for our turn.
“Just few more hours Cuckoo. Then we will be in our hotel rooms and we can take as much time as we need in the toilets.”
“I know. Desperately waiting for that moment to come.”
“I didn’t eat or drink much so that I don’t have to use the loo that often.” Shailja responded
“Same here.” we replied in unison
After our turns we went back and hit our gossip sessions. After few hours our train hit a station. The travel agents came and asked all to collect our luggage as the next station would be ours. The commotion began and finally what seemed like a long wait and a long journey, we stepped out of the train. Don’t know about others but my thoughts were very clear, I will be using the loo as soon as I shift to my room and for long… After all I had to compensate for the two wretched days.