It's a Privelage to Pee!

A few years back, there was a hit Broadway play called Urinetown. The show was centered around the premise that in the not so distant future, a drought would hit us all & it would become a privelage to pee. See, as the drought increased, the government rationed water & began enforcing with rigor, anti public peeing laws. So, the rich peed in luxury, while the poor begged for coins to use the public toilet - lest they be sent to Urinetown (or as it was, killed by the police). The premise is ridiculous, and clearly a metaphor against global warming, government taxation of the poor and a whole host of other issues.

Lately, I've found myself asking - just how ridiculous is this? Here in India, "Is it a privelage to pee?".

It would certainly appear for some, is a privelage to pee in private. On most days, I see between 10-20 men publicly urinating on the side of the road. This is very typical near the labor camps that sit in the shadows of new construction here in Gurgaon. It seems when nature calls, nature calls. Interestingly you will never see a woman pee in public, I've been told they must rise before sunrise in some of these camps so that they can relieve themselves in public.

Now, the laborers I understand. What is perhaps more shocking is the sight of professional men standing on the side of the road relieving themselves. For these folks, it is clearly not an issue of access to toilets, but rather a culturally accepted, albeit not enthusiastically, practice.