They used to scare me- those grafitti of human anatomy that lined the walls of train toilets. No onespoke about them to me, but of course, everyone must have known they were there. But to a little kid,
these were as scary as spooks.
Everytime I travelled by train, I used to instantly go and check the toilet, fearing their presence . It
used to worry me that people resorted to such obscenities. I vividly remember,, once reading “fuck
the nun” in the wall and discovering, to my raw horror, that there actually were a bunch of nuns in my
That night, I did not sleep well.
The next morning, I ran to see if the nuns were safe. They were talking amongst themselves normally and nothing seemed amiss. I breathed, relieved!
Many years later, after obscenity has become more common and human failings familiar, the toilet
grafitti does not bother me.
But even today, every once I enter an Indian train toilet, I scan the walls for fading ball point ink marks
and wonder which of the many I share space with, have such dark secret obsessions.