Washroom Buddies

This post is an inspired by a conversation I had with my school-going son.
One day,back from school,he was excitedly talking about one of his school friends.I asked him whether the new friend was a classmate.
‘No Mummy’,he replied.
‘Oh,he comes in the same school-bus?’,I volunteered.
‘No Mummy’,he replied exasperated.
‘Then?’,I asked puzzled.
‘He is my toilet friend’,he replied after thinking a while.
I couldn’t suppress my smile.
‘Why are you laughing’,my son asked,clearly upset at my amusement.
I reassured him that I didn’t mean any insult.

That set me thinking.We all have our ‘toilet-friends’ -to put it in my son’s words.
These are the people with whom we have very little interaction outside the washrooms.We do not have much in common with them other than the same workplace and same gender.

College Days..wash room was a safe haven.A place where we can have our own space in a co-ed environment.We used to call it all sorts of nicknames-beauty palace,paradise and what not.That was a place where we could literally unwind and make friends with girls from other streams.I even remember a particular situation-I got punished for not doing some homework.There was another girl also punished along with me.We were made to stand outside the classroom.We felt so self-conscious standing there and were aware of ridiculous gazes cast at us.To escape,we hid ourselves inside the ladies washroom for the entire period-and needless to say,we bonded well with each other that day.I think that was the first and last punishment I got.Was very careful after that.

My washroom buddies continued in my corporate life too.It was the place where we bonded with ladies from other teams.Even when we were seated on the same floor we hardly got to interact with each other as we did not have to discuss anything work-wise.However,inside the washroom all those differences vanished.We discussed about everything-hair fall,kids education,in-laws,office-gossip,Bangalore traffic…endless list.

Actually,washroom served more purpose than one.I have seen girls using it as a safe place for private phone conversations.I have seen girls fighting with their boyfriends/fiances over phone.I have seen ladies venting out to their mothers/sisters about family problems.Things that they would not discuss on phone in front of their male colleagues.Ladies washroom was the perfect place for such conversations.They could cry on phone to their hearts content,unseen by their team-mates.Romances,heart-brakes,pestering in-laws, tantrum-throwing kids,family issues,menstrual problems,irritating bosses and colleagues…anything can be discussed freely inside the ladies room.
Of course,coming to bosses,if the boss also happens to be a lady,better mind your words.

My son’s small little words brought back memories of all my washroom buddies-right from school days to the present.I might not have met many of them had it not been for the rest room acquaintance.
I do not remember all of them now though,but still some memories,some advice they gave me,some tips they shared with me..has stayed with me all along.

So a big thanks to all my washroom buddies.They have also been a part of my life somewhere,helping me to pull along.

I am sure the same holds good for many people reading this blog.Now go back and try to recollect the names of your washroom buddies.I am sure each one of us have at least some buddies whom we really enjoyed talking to.Try connecting to them,if you have already not done so.Because,friendships can blossom even in the most unlikeliest of places.

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