19/06/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal
I’ve always wanted to write about travelers who walk the length of a train with their toothbrush sticking out of their foaming mouth looking for an empty toilet or, at least, a basin. Sometimes you find such specimens with their head stuck out of a bus window showering the remaining lesser health conscious brethren with menthol flavoured spit.
Disgusting, if anything.
It’s like staring at a cow, only cows are beautiful.
Anyway, I’m sitting in the August Kranti Rajdhani Express and have just stuffed myself with breakfast (the Rajdhani folks spoil you silly) when I see a guy not older than myself go past me his toothbrush stuck in his mouth. I’m glad he wasn’t foaming, or I might’ve stuck my leg out and tripped him over. Of course I would say a sorry.
I realised only then that I ate my bread-butter-jam-omelette-ketchup with a few green peas and 3 cups of tea without as much as a gargle and spit. Only if you discount the “gargle and swallow” maneuver I pulled off with the first cup of coffee, though. But I felt a darn sight fresher than the idiot with his groggy eyes and zipper open. Which brings up the question: Why the fuss about brushing ones teeth while travelling?
I’ve tried reasoning with my sisters on earlier trips and they all collectively tried and disown me for good, by employing all possible combinations of their facial muscle to get their point across.
They didn’t say it outright though, bless them.
The point in contention though is that why make a big deal about ones teeth for a day? I mean if gargle and spit works then why the hell make a hullabaloo about it for one stinking day! For the squeamish let’s add a chewing gum or a mint chewy or something. But, clearly you’re not going to be afflicted by a dental disease if you don’t brush. A mint flavoured chewy will even mitigate, to the point of annihilating, the bad breath.
I like travelling on the barest of essentials. It should be comfortable but not weird. I remember my class 8 school overnight outing to Gorai beach. A mate’s mother actually asked if she could send a mattress for her son!
Just like lugging a mattress and hot water bed is stupidity on a trip so is, in my books, brushing ones teeth during an overnight journey!
I was travelling from Manali to Delhi once with a few friends. While they looked around at the breakfast stopover for a basin and some water, me and two other guys sat themselves in the most macho fashion and called for coffee and tea. We felt like mafia bosses for the rest of the day. After all, it was a disgusting, for the other mates at least, statement to make and we did it with dollops of pride.
Some of us are a little more awesome than the others in the little things of life.