Thursday, April 26, 2007

To pee or not to pee is hardly the question

There is something extremely disconcerting about having to pee on demand. We have spent a lifetime learning to control the urge to relief ourselves, crossing our legs and thinking desperately of anything but a loo to avoid embarassing ourselves on trains, in classes, at a shop or whereever. We have been schooled to a reasonably high-degree of self restraint, and have built the ability to hold on (and I mean that in a purely figurative sense!) until an appropriate opportunity to pee presents itself. Forcing the mind to work the other way - encouraging a tinkle - simply does not work, and disproves everything psychosomatists have ever said about the mind influencing the body.

Alright, backtrack. I realise a little explanation is in order, some elaboration on the context of this sudden discourse of urination. A few days ago, I went for a medical checkup, just a routine formality. And one component of it required a urine sample. So there I was, banished into a fairly spacious and well-maintained bathroom, with a little transparent plastic container in my hand that I was supposed to have brimming in a minute. The kindly nurse asked me to leave my bottle (with my name stuck on it in what I felt was a completely unncecessarily large font) on the rack along with the samples of others who'd been through it before me.

I don't know why, but it's always in times like this that I truly come to understand what performance anxiety is. There's nothing particularly complex about micturition. I've spent a good number of my mornings involved in the activity. At one time, I was so good at it I did it in my sleep. And yet, on this one day when I needed it to happen... nothing. It was embarassing, it was frustrating, it was frightening. And it's not the kind of situation you want to face at eight thirty in the morning on an empty stomach.

I balefully eyed the other samples lined up against the wall, in their varying shades of yellow. All the containers had fetchingly colored caps (red, blue, pink...) that did nothing for my mood. The whole arrangement looked straight out of a Asian Paints commercial ("Presenting the widest choice in India - blue, red and 37 shades of yellow!") They seemed to be mocking me, all of them filled well over the 75% mark with the morning cheer of random strangers. And here I was struggling to do my bit...

Add to this the fact that the mouth of the container was agonizingly small, which essentially made the whole exercise less of a clinical activity and more target practice, and I was - if I may be pardoned the pun - thoroughly pissed. What kinds of thoughts and images would one need to conjure in such a situation to ensure the job got done? This wasn't as simple as in the case of a blood donation (where you manfully steeled your features and silently yelled blue murder in your head while someone stuck a smacking big metal stick in you) or a sperm donation (where... erm... ahem.). I had to fall back on memories of feared exams, near accidents and other such incidents that had caused me, at those times, to come close to wetting my pants. I don't know if this is what worked but five minutes later, I found the container not entirely empty. The level of fluid in there wasn't anywhere near as much as in the the bottles along the wall, but I didn't care. Just how much would they need to test anyways? I zipped up and zipped out.

It's easy for this guy, his Government pays to ensure he pees. But mere mortals like you and I must fend for ourselves, and make the best of a messy situation. Sigh.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Glad to see you blogging :) And whattay topic to start with.....interesting and downright hilarious. You don't seem to have lost the touch which was present in a few earlier jottings, despite the long gap. keep writing :)

AC said...

Thanks anonymous (is that a Ms. Anonymous, by any chance?) Hopefully I'll be able to blog more regularly now that I have more time on my hands...

Divya Das said...

back to bloggging!!! ahem.. IIM must have been quiet a ride!
btw.. Hey AC how is it going.. Not as pissed up (wonder if such a slang exists! well wat the heck.. i made it up, if it didnt!) as quoted I hope!!
Hoping to see more from u... More hygienic topics i suppose!! ;)

Gayathri said...

Lol!

RPK said...

good to see you back ac......

AC said...

Hi DD! Yeah, IIM was fun, but not very productive from the literary/blogging point of view! Hoping to get things back on track now and have more posts in the near future!

And gayathri and rpk... thanks guys, do come back for more! :)

Anonymous said...

A visit to the pee-driatrician's after a long while eh? :)..You have my pee-ty..

Cmon AC, all you had to do was to think of Sunil Maheshwari and then let it flow ;)..

N!kh!l said...

To comment or not to comment!
Just could not stop myself. Good one dude.

Abdul Aziz said...

machan..

you have my sympathies, you do...

but its nowehere close to the pooh-sample routine in a tcs medical check...

Praise the Lord, they ask you to do it at home..

AC said...

Thanks Nikhil :) It's really very gratifying to meet someone new on my blog! :)

And Abdul... yeah, I've heard people lamenting those TCS medicals :)

Anonymous said...

You know... maybe the mouth of the container wasn't really small... it just seemed smal in your case, if you know what I mean ;)

AC said...

uh... ok... didn't think of it from that point of view! :)