Sunday, July 23, 2006

Potty humor

If I don't visit this museum soon, I think I will die.

I heard about the Sulabh Toilet Museum a few years back, but every time I've ever mentioned it to a Delhiite, they've looked at me like I had three or four heads. I know, it sounds crazy -- even the NGO that runs it admits it! (e.g., "Ever wondered what a museum dedicated entirely to the history of toilets would be like? If that peculiar question ever crossed your mind -- seek professional help! But if you really want to know, you can visit Sulabh in New Delhi, India") -- but then again, this is India. Chalte hai.

If you're not near the subconty, the Web site itself is pretty good. Don't miss the section on Aryan codes for using the loo, including these edicts from the Manusmriti:

  • Before going to the toilet the scripture prescribes elaborate drill
  • Before going for defecation one was to chant the following mantra from Narad Puran: Gachhantu Rishio Deva/Pishacha ye cha grihya ka/Pitrbhutagana survey/Karishye Malamochanam
  • Before going for defecation it was prescribed that the sacred thread should be rolled to a smaller size and be put on the right ear
  • The head was to be covered with a cloth. In the absence of cloth, the sacred thread was to be brought over the head and was to be hung on the left ear
  • Then while observing silence and facing north in the day and south in the night one could defecate
  • While defecating one was not to touch water
  • After defecation the water pot was to be held in the right hand, left hand was to be used for cleaning
Thank you, Dr. Bindeswar Pathak, for all your work related to my most puerile interests!

1 comment:

Venitha said...

It's hilarious to me that this place is in India, which has got to have the WORST toilet facilities on the planet.