Saturday, April 5, 2014

A humble request to one an all - Take a bath!

The world is a lovely place - the sights and sounds and smells enthrall one and all. It mesmerizes the senses and fills your heart with joy - until someone decides in the morning that they do not need a bath! Call me a 'smellfungus,' if you wish, but I cannot bear it and I'm pretty sure neither can you!

We all know that someone - be it in public transport, school, college or the work environment - who is a bit too lazy to take a bath every morning before coming in. Let's call this fellow, Mr. S. This incorrigible ignorant thick-skinned individual is often oblivious to the 'mustard gas' that he effuses throughout the day making everyone gasp for a breath or run for the nearest open window.

His very presence nearby, can instill fear into the hearts of people around him. They run for their noses, the moment he approaches. Those who are unable to avoid him due to some reason or another, take a deep breath before approaching him and make it last for as long as they can. But a breath only lasts that long. With the horror of death in their eyes, they exhale and gasp in as little air a humanly possible. The cycle repeats itself till the matter is resolved or the poor fellow gives in and accepts his predicament with courage and conviction.

Our Mr.S seems to enjoy his celebrity status:

- He never has trouble getting an empty seat on a bus.
- Buses speed up and get him to his destination as quickly as possible.
- People rarely argue with him - including his boss.
- Waiters rarely stick around long enough to ask for a tip.
- Shops give him discounts to shop fast and get out to stop customers from running away.
- Restaurants run out of food and bars declare 'dry day' at his sight (that helps him keep off excess weight).
- He manages to get a seat in a packed movie theatre.
- He can get his work done in one day at any government office without a single paisa paid as bribe.
- He saves a fortune on his water, soap and electricity bills.
- The children in the neighborhood never break the glass on his windows while playing cricket.
- He can even confirm an RAC or waiting list railway ticket on a packed train without Tatkal charges, simply by climbing on!

Well, I exaggerated a bit, I admit - but I see no other reason as to why he doesn't bathe!I mean, I'm sure the met department has to recalibrate the pollution sensors if he ever happens to walk by!

Mr. S seems adamant not to take a bath. He might feel that a spray of deodorant or strong perfume might "fix the problem;" he might just 'feel snazzy' one day and try on a perfume for a change, or his family members might force him regularly to use one as a saving grace.

Unfortunately, not even all the perfume in Arabia can mask that fetid effusion. The odours intermix and start a duel of good vs evil. But no mere earthly perfume is capable of banishing that pure pestilential evil which emanates form his body. A little hot water bath in the morning could just have done the trick! But sadly for the world, Mr. S is as recalcitrant as his beloved essence.

When all hints fail to elicit a favourable response, desperation mandates a definitive step. One such Ms. S, in our office was regularly asked "What's that smell Mr. S? Has something died in your office?" Suffices to say, he finally got the idea - but only after quite a few people asked him the same thing over a few days.

Once on a bus, a daily passenger crossed all limits of politeness and humbly requested a fellow passenger to take a bath before climbing on to a crowded bus. Nobody protested and few even chuckled at the entire situation. There was no protest either. Well, he was right!

One such fellow in college managed get the subtler hints and mended his ways after people started getting up the moment he would go and sit next to them.

People need to respect other people' space and something as basic personal hygiene should come naturally to everyone. It's never too much to ask and people shouldn't shy away from asking, "What's that smell boss?"

An old adage says, "Charity begins at home." But, thanks to the innumerable 'close encounters of the smelly kind' that I have survived through, I must assert -
Charity begins in your shower.
Do remember, this every time you feel you don't need a shower in the morning.

Issued in public, as well as personal interest. Here's hoping like-minded readers spread the word and 'some people' learn to respect other peoples' personal space.

Thank you.

The previous post has been written for "Racold water heaters" (, and this post has been written as an entry for an IndiBlogger contest - "Close Encounters of the Smelly Kind" held by Racold.