Episode 1: Diarrhoea in India, specifically, Bangalore
It is a fate that many suffer, under the brown awning. To have diarrhoea in India is to live life well, it is often said. Well, let them say it.
Shit is the tofu of cursing and can be molded to whichever condition the speaker desires. Hot as shit. Windy as shit. I myself was confounded as shit…
― David Sedaris
Most of what I do when I rush to the toilet is spill gas into the bowl. I have diarrhoea, in India. India, they say, is the place for this. Plups of steam-brown turd cloud the toilet water, clinging to the surface tension, swimming around like schools of muddy fish. What goes beneath is lost to the eye, wisping into nonexistence.
It has been 7 weeks and it will not abate. We are still in Bangalore. The hotel manager, kind Ramesh, lets us stay in the double deluxe room on the second floor for off-book prices. Tax free. Airbnb won’t take any of my pounds, nor his rupees. I transfer GBP direct into his account. Exchange rates come and go, like water in an estuary. I guess everybody wins. We are external to the system—awol, MIA, offline renegades living irl.
With 1GB of data each per day, we can watch precisely 6 hours and 37 minutes of Netflix, in colour, provided we sacrifice premium resolution. But on a 12 inch screen, 100 fewer lines of pixels makes little difference. We have only actually maxed out twice. We also read. Anything as long as it is in the vicinity of the bog. Anything which distracts us from the matter at hand, or, rather, at arse. Diarrhoea in India.
It is a strange thing, almost meditative, to surrender completely to the bowel. Autonomy and liberty go hand in hand, as blessings, but it is well known how the human mind responds to authority. We crave it. We could not have had tyrants without this oxymoronic muscle. We are slaves to hormones and genetics—and the bowel knows how to exploit these weaknesses, with finesse. In Trainspotting, Renton finds pleasure and solace in the simple, choice-free life heroin allows him to lead. Replace ‘hit’ with ‘shit’, and the analogy is complete.
One small fortune is the lack of direct clashes, as yet, in our schedules. I have heard tales of double-teaming, an arse directed between the legs, the hopeful projectile sliding along a thigh, browning it, muddying the waters between friend and enemy. We are still friendly. The closest we have come is a nervous shout, outside the door, followed by a slick wrap-up operation.
“Any chance you’ll be out soon?”
And then the swift return. Stay tuned for more episodes in this Series, A Series of Flatulent Events, all of which deal with diarrhoea, in India.