October 26, 2007
It is kind of rainy this weekend, and there is lots of rain to be expected in the vicinity of Chicago (close to where I am currently based). Which brings us to the topic of showers. How exactly? Yes, the plot here is equally engrossing as any tolly movie.
Many ideas come to me in the shower (since I read about Archimedes), and today I was fascinated by my shower itself.
Of all the places I have stayed, be it hotels or friends’ homes, shower is one unique attribute that stands out. Every place has a unique shower. Some have controls that are obvious even to the dumbest (with hot, cold, left/right rotation, bath-tub shower operation everything written on the knobs), some have controls that are intuitive, while some have controls that even DaVinci cant crack. Yes, they require you to jump thrice, shout “hurrrrr”, make 2 revolutions chanting “om shavaraya namaha” and then hope “khuljaa simsim”.
Tackling a new (previously unknown) shower is like dealing with a female. You have to know the right buttons.. if you press one wrong button and the water is tooooo hot (or too cold, depending on the situation). You have to properly please the shower Gods to get what you want. Once you get used to the process, it becomes a “scheduled task”: leave the tap for 1.5 mins, then turn the left knob by 6 revs, then right by 3 revs., and that leads to about 10 minutes of (momentary) bliss.
There are various types of showers that I categorized:
1) tip-tip barsa paani: this is that shower which makes you sing this song from Lagaan: “kaaley megha kaaley megha paani tho barsaoo”. It dribbles water, drop-by-drop, or sometimes with a weak force, so weak that even water-fountain from where I drink water seems strong enough.
2) crowd-dispersal type: These are the showers previously used by police to disperse crowds. Every moment of showering is like being pelted with stones in Saudi Arabia. There is no way except highway: no “less forceful” mode exists. I literally bathe in the sprinkled droplets which reminds me of type 1 above.
3) expect-the-unexpected: these are the most interesting ones. Initially things are good: water is lukewarm, force is apt, but then when you are all covered in soap it starts playing a game (reminds me of SAW, the movie). It becomes too hot, or too cold, or the force becomes unbearable or water stops for a moment. If this could be modeled, it is okay, but it has goes by its whims. They are good to play with (like playing with a dog) but early morning when one is rushing for things, it might see itself being pulled out off the wall some day.
4) thud-thud type: These showers are the alarm clocks of the house: when one is showering, even the neighboring village’s hen wakes up. These function with thud-thud noise, as if something is being drilled. It is so loud, you cant even listen to your own singing.
Sometimes I yearn for a simple bucket and tumbler to make things easier (and works for my abs too!).