Bengaluru Days: The quintessential Indian bathing experience

Funny as this article may sound but this can be the answer to the growing water scarcity problem.

It comes naturally to me and I am sure a portion of the 1.2 billion people will agree to the same- I walk into my bathroom, the shower head is at a comfortable level and instead of reaching for the knobs to control the hot and cold water, I instead reach out for the taps below them. I pull the bright red bucket and place it such that both the hot and cold water nozzles are directed towards it.

First I let the hot water flow. I wait for it to fill half way up and then I turn it off and open the cold one. Now I reach for the weapon of choice, the mug, coloured blue in my case. I then use the mug to stir in the cold water. I stir, make waves, and forget that I am grown up and I do this  until a favourable temperature has reached. At this point I close the tap and dive the mug in and scoop out enough.

Depending on whether I need to shampoo or not, I start pouring over my head or start from the shoulders. Once wet, shampoo, soap, rinse and… repeat only if enough water is available. A few of these baths and you will master the exact amount of water needed to clean yourself.

Unlike the shower where the mechanical work is taken out of the equation, there lies the temptation of lazying underneath the shower head longer than that required, which happens to me a lot!

It is interesting to find a very healthy debate of whether to bathe using a shower or a bucket doing the rounds of the internet. The ‘pro for shower’ experts suggest that a shower head dispenses water at a lower rate thus saving water but ‘pro for bucket’ experts believe that the longer you stay under the shower the more you end up wasting and don’t necessarily turn off the shower when scrubbing..ah-ha….oh wait…what if I go for seconds and refill my bucket..hmm.

But the bathing experience does not stop there. Washing your clothes by hand is the grande finale. A scrubber and a bar of washing soap is always available at hand. A quick scrub and it saves my underwear from waiting for that elusive laundry day stuck under a pile of clothes.

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