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:: BackTrack ::

If life were painted on a canvas, it would have been coloured by memories. Bright ones for those wonderful childhood days; fresh ones for the unforgettable teen years; gray for all those difficult times; sober ones for the responsible days of adulthood… And the most beautiful shade of them all would be reserved for those memories that demonstrate ones intimate bonding with the homeland.

BackTrack is a homeward bound journey to find those beautiful colours and catch a fistful of stars shining on the Mangalore horizon. --Suzy Fontes


Room With A 'View'

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By Suzy Fontes, Mangalore [ Published Date: December 29, 2005 ]

If you are looking for privacy enter the 'rest room' or the 'bathroom', as they are fondly called in this part of the world. That is one zone that has a steady membership, you might argue, but have you ever thought of the avenues this little room opens to?

Besides the obvious, this room, with all the accoutrements, offers an immense scope for speculation. It has powers to activate the thought process and secretly doodle (not literally) on subjects, which might seem taboo outside the portals of this all important room.

Privacy is definitely guaranteed. Who would want to accompany you to this `seat of wisdom'? 

Business empires are raised, money is gambled, property is bought and sold, marriage vows are made and broken, villas are built… all in the span of those five to thirty minutes.

And like all the waste that is produced there, they are flushed down the commode. Gusssshhhhh …. The sound of water flushing the toilet comes as realisation of the world outside this room.

I have become a film actress, even acted with Kumar Gaurav (Hindi film actor, who was the heartthrob of young Indian girls in the early 80's… I have adorned the editor's seat, written novels which can give Harold Robbins a run for his money, have become a successful columnist, have conceived plots for films… have become a spy, a la Sherlock Holmes, flown planes, ran businesses, designed villas, turned beautician, dress designer, singer, artist… All vainglorious stuff flushed down the drain after every trip to this room with an overlook

Great ideas. Yes, it is the breeding ground for ideas. I have always felt meetings will have a decisive conclusion if they are deliberated in a bathroom. But can you picture a room full of commodes and company bigwigs adorning them?

May be you can and may be it would make corporate meetings more interesting, especially if the sound of flush were added as a special effect to keep the discussions moving at a steady pace.

Ideas aren't all that catch the fancy of people seated on this throne of wisdom. Dialogues also receive a definite shape. I have come up with striking points in words of war (an earlier tiff re-conjured) and in fact won it on dialogue delivery alone. Of course, they are not voiced.

He said this and I added this and she said that… I wonder why I didn't take up law.

A friend of mine explained this as a phenomenon displayed by introverts, who utilise the time on this seat to give vent to their suppressed thoughts. Highly debatable point, I said.

And what does he do during his two daily trips of fifteen minutes each, to this all important room?

'Plan my future,' he says matter of factly. Every day's activities are planned to meet all the future goals, he contends. Every detail is minutely analysed and dealt with to conceive an ideal future. These ideas are not flushed. They remain with him throughout the day, but none of them receive any shape. I have no choice but to believe him.

And then there are those who need company. No, not the human kind. Newspapers are the staple bathroom diet of many. I have always wondered how people manage to hold on to the long loose sheets of the paper, or even fold them while seated, back erect, on that throne. Tabloids I would have understood.

People on the move argue that it saves time that would have otherwise been spent on acquainting oneself with the world affairs through the newspapers.

Novels and comics too are common items that accompany people on their short trips to the rest room. For another friend, it is like any other room and reading a novel there is as natural as reading it in the sitting room or the bedroom.

I know somebody who has a special book for the toilet. It occupies a special place in the bathroom until he reaches the last page. I have no clue if he has finished any book there or how many pages or lines he manages to read in each session.

And then there are those who plan their day's work during the brief tryst with the toilet...Those who analyse their dreams, those who just day dream, those who cannot relieve themselves without singing, those who can snack while seated (yuck!) and those who need a lot of concentration for the work at hand. Constipation requires meditative stance.

Time spent in the toilet is also an interesting factor. Some are out even before they know they are in and some cannot seem to have enough. The latter ones are probably those whose imagination runs wild on this seat.

And there are some like my husband who is in the toilet only till his cigarette lasts. He has conditioned himself to the cigarette.

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Shaly Pereira, Oman:
Wit at its best. The room with a view……an untainted view within one’s own self……the only place where all masks are removed and where the imagination goes wild.

Amazing piece of writing Suzy. Good going…….keep going:)
Amarnath Bantwal, Kuwait:
Hilarious! Quite a view there Suzy :)
Loads of things to be DOWNLOADED and gussssssssssshed too. Pot-pourri of ideas, the graffiti on the walls are absolutely creative.
That bit on meditative stance was brilliant!

Darryl Albuquerque, India :
Hello Suzy, for some time now I have been reading your lucid 'Backtrack' columns, but for some reason have never told you how good your writing style is! I have not had the chance to read you when you wrote in Muscat, but better late than never. On an unrelated point, I had a classmate called Scanzy Fontes....a relation perhaps? Keep putting that pen to paper!
Judith Serrao, UAE:
Hey Suzie, Good one.... A Room with a ‘view’. Delighted to read something written about my favourite & much-loved part of the house…..the ‘bathroom’ or the ‘rest room’ ;). I always end up ''resting'' in this room for longer than required…this room also doubles up as our dressing room coz it has a full length mirror and my everyday needed ‘hair dryer’ is also lodged here. I have to come out in a hurry most of the time though; to the banging and thudding on the door :( :(:(. Whenever I complain that my book or magazine is missing… the first place where everyone rushes to check is … you know where ..HA .HA..!!!!
Total Comments: 4   Showing: 1-4

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