Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Chamber of Thought


I have witnessed a few profound thoughts coming out of me from nowhere. Most of them were a direct result of spending more than average time on the pot. Somehow the pot works like a positive feedback loop. Not that anything loops back, but results into clarity like no other.

A few salient features of the pot thought would be, the dead silence. I am blessed with a potty area which somehow shields all the ambient noise. Even if there is a loud band marching past the street adjacent to my building, I still have no clue about it if I am on the pot. I haven’t seen many architectural wonders in my life, but this surely is one of them. Who needs a sound proof studio?

The potty allows many activities, other than the obvious ones. One of them is, reading the sports pages in the newspaper. There is nothing like reading about a speedy forehand at Wimbledon coupled with your invincible outward thrust. My potty comes with a cute little exhaust fan, which fortunately drives away all the smell. So it manages to provide me with no olfactory guilt whatsoever.

Amongst the other uses, ‘thinking’ is my all time favourite. Nassim Taleb writes in “fooled by randomness” about the ideas, thoughts or even urges that we encounter, people happen to remember the exact place, the exact time & their exact activity at the time they have a profound thought. When I look back, many of my ‘good’ thoughts come from my loo. Sometimes when I sit on the pot, I look like Rodin’s Thinker. Usually accompanied by a newspaper or mostly with an above average sense of serenity. The flush sounds like the river’s water flowing off a cliff to turn into a massive waterfall. The trademark dim light leaves a feeling of a dark evening by the beach. The silent drone of the exhaust fan, rapidly takes me to a state of trance, wherein my potty travels through worm holes of thought.

The thought generation is mainly because of the confidence I feel on the pot. Enclosed in my own world, no one to disturb, elegantly plugging me off from the world to be in my bastion. It’s amazing to realize the range of thoughts that can occur while on a pot. Sometimes I suddenly remember a scene from a movie, n try to think how it might look from a certain angle other than what was used in the movie. That’s a serious time killer. I can spend a grand amount of time in visualizing that frame. Amongst the most cherished thoughts are lines from books I have read. To ruminate on those words feels like rewriting the thought itself. Trying to grasp what the author wanted to say, trying to relate to the things that I might have witnessed, trying to realize how I would have written it, focusing on the philosophical aspect of the thought. All this leads to huge chain reaction, one thought igniting the next & so on. Like I said about the positive feedback mechanism of the pot, we can generalize the thinking process with this simple relation. The output of thought is directly proportional to the input of the pot. This correlation strictly works on the basis of time spent on the pot. It‘s like having two diametrically opposite bodily processes trigger each other.

A pot can very well be termed as a final resting place in the fast world. The moment you step out of the loo, its like leaving that pressurized chamber of thought & coming back to your own time. You leave the space-time continuum in that cabin; you realize that a few moments ago there was physics right under your ass.

Any amount of praise for the chamber of thought is incomplete, without the superb monologue from a hit English comedy series called “Coupling”. The character Steve in the series, dives into this monologue trying to explain why it is so important to have a lock on the toilet door (which his girlfriend forgets to put after redecorating the toilet).

“We are men. Throughout history, we have always needed in times of difficulty, to retreat to our caves. It so happens in this modern age, that our caves are fully plumbed. The toilet for us is the last bastion, the final refuge, the last few square feet of man space left to us. Somewhere to sit, somewhere to read, something to do & who gives a damn about the smell! Because that for us, is happiness. Because we are men. We are different. We have only one word for soap, we do not own candles. We have never seen anything of any value in a craft shop. We don’t possess magazines with photographs of celebrities, with all their clothes ON. When we have conversations, we actually take it in turns to talk. We have not yet reached that level of earth shattering boredom & inhuman despair where we would have a haircut, recreationally. We don’t know how to get excited about REALLY, REALLY boring things like ornaments, bath oil, the country side, vases, small churches, we do not even know, WHAT, WHAT in the name of god’s arse, is the purpose of pot pourri. Looks like breakfast smells like your aunty.

So please, in this strange & frightening world, allow us one last place to call our own, this toilet, this blessed pot, this fortress of solitude. You girls, you only go to the bathroom in groups of two or more. We do not pass comment; we do not make judgement, that is your choice. But we men, will always walk the toilet mile, ALONE (with his palm on his chest, like taking a pledge).

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Rodrigo said...
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