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Is Bathing A Marketing Fad?


I remember when somebody told me that joke about the person who talks about one of his friends who took bath once a month, and he says -- Ah, and I start to get this prickly feeling only on my 29th day. I didn't laugh to that joke. In fact when somebody told me the meaning, I was half serious when thinking about suing whoever was responsible for such a discriminatory, false and foolish story.


First year, when I came to IIT, most common diseases which afflicted people could be attributed to water. Drinking water is one thing, many fell ill just by bathing. According to statistics (You may remember that 92.6 statistics are made on the fly), 63 percent of all skin diseases are easily due to ill-conditioned water. So, what does it suggest -- Use the same water which is going to hurt your skin for saving it? I find that logic a bit hard to digest.


Come second year, and I had lost the most of great morals which come commonly when one comes from home. Bathing every alternate day was the call of the day. I was never really fond of water -- the least for bathing. But, as the days passed, I started analyzing as for how many days can one pass without taking a bath. It was a bit uncomfortable at first: I had never been allowed to skip a day, at home. The results never fail to astonish me whenever I look back at them.


Only recently did I encounter a person who claimed to have not taken bath for last 3 months. He smelled heavily of some cheap deodorant. But, by Jove, did he look healthy! I had heard the tales of some king, I believe it was Changez Khan, taking only once every 6 months. It is well known that this king lived more than most of us do. But, as I say, reason takes nothing from an example. The king lived, the dog died! who knows, why? I could even give the example of my dog who took a bath only every few weeks -- not bad by dogs' standards. I would say that he was one living being who loathed the bathing water more than me. He's dead, so I make it to the top. Wow!


Now, as many of you would be wondering, how did Tony die? And why the hell do we care? Good questions, I must say. Well, he died his natural death. Yeah, died naturally when he was running away from his bath! Okay, so much about Tony! I am glad that there is a door to stop me from running, when it comes to bathing.


But that was long ago....long long ago. I was 12 then, just another blue eyed boy. Well, dark eyed, if you really care, but just another boy, nonetheless. That was year 1991. Bathing was much in fashion then, as it is now, but for me it was a sorrow, deeper than any. My mom used to wake me up early. I would roam around for a bit, try to pass on the time so that the school time would come near, and I could evade the dreary chore. No such luck. At around 6:30 am, mom would just manage to push me into the bathroom.


As I hated bathing, so did I love the time I spent there -- most of it anyway. Actually, I would get in, play with the various gadgets over there : the tap, the shower, the umpteen kind of soaps and detergents, the baskets -- but it was the drainpipe which I held in the highest esteem. I loved to just wrangle it and squeeze it, and what and what not. At around quarter to 7, mom would give out a holler for me. Yeah, my beats went up for a few seconds. I would leave the pipe and get back on to the most hated job ever, and well, would somehow finish it. Mom always held that look of astonishment which seemed to say -- So, you bathed!


Talking about my family, my brother was the nearest anybody could come to me in his bathing habits. He bathed just once a day, without being much too glad about it. My mom just loved the act. No wonder I hate my granny! Daddy wasn't any less worse. He wouldn't eat before taking a bath. Can you believe that? I mean, how should somebody not eat just because he didn't have a bath. But, who could tell that to my dad. Those days, he even insisted us to get into this silly habit of his. Thank God, this is one thing which differentiates him from me.


I can still remember the joy which I went through when I learnt that my parents won't be around ten days. That was winter time, and I was just fed up of mom forcing me to go through that hell. That was my first experience when I actually skipped taking the bath for a couple of days together; ok, a week more than a couple. Anyway, my folks returned from whatever holy the place they had gone and returned to find the house in the most untidy condition they had ever seen. I believe that was something which actually saved me from her wrath. She didn't seem to see the thick layer of dirt, laying on my body. Later, when I was taking the bath, chipping the layers of dirt, I was thanking God that he made me as messy as I was.


An year or about later, my daddy met an accident. Those days, mom didn't get much time to fool around with us, or to look into our silly problems. At first, I felt a little ashamed of myself, not taking a bath, taking advantage of the unfortunate circumstance. But, that was just a moment. The more I didn't bath, the fresher did my soul feel. Mom wouldn't notice that anyway, so I got braver. As dad got back and the life got back to what they call normal, I started to feel miserable, being pushed over for that bath, everyday, all over again. I could have wished for that truck to hit my dad again, but then, I was not that dirty at heart.


Now, take this: If bathing is so necessary a procedure, why do they need to advertise so much about it? I don't think that bathing is any less dangerous as, say smoking. Hey, how many of you don't know anybody who has fallen inside the bathroom? And, many of you would recall your neighbors, the uncles, the late aunts who just tripped off the bathroom floor directly to the hell, or the heaven as the case might have been. Haven't ever you listened to the stories of babies chewing the soap like some delightful candy and giving dreary fits later on? My, my! and what about he most common ones? Getting rashes and likes. I concur all these ailments owe their origin
to only the most innocent looking and the most devilish fluid we ever knew : Water -- yes sir, plain good old bathing water. Ah, it is fine till you don't have to bath with it, but hell once you did that you don't know what bad you are doing to everything and everybody.


A great scientific magazine says: For every 100 cases of industrial pollution, there are 68 much more serious household ones. And what's the source? Water! oh yes, bathing water. The dreaded diseases like cholera and typhoid, and yes the killer malaria, they all owe a lot to this nasty habit of ours -- bathing. If only we are trying to clean ourselves, we are dirtying the drinking water : The kindest of all, our own, drinking water.


As if all this was nothing, we also waste about one in twenty of our life hours to this painfully boring chore. Come to think of it, we have been wasting so much time just because we heard in some silly commercial that we should bathe to look like some macho movie star or some sultry queen of everybody's hearts. Oh puhleeze! On top of it, they bring all those white coated men from mars or wherever to preach that this much percent of the micro-organisms would be washed away if we bathed like they told, or used the toilet soap they asked us to. Wow! so, even after bathing, if I fall ill, I should be able to sue this cringing little fellow. Right? Wrong! this poor old man can't be sued for his mis-conduct. Damn, even the doctors can be sued if they ill-treat me, forget everything else. But these holier than thou mimics -- oh they are something else.


Water requirement for drinking cooking purposes, per person, per day: 4 liters. Water requirement for bathing, per person, per day: 40 liters. Now, somebody was talking about the drying wells, and the scarcity of water for so many useful purposes. I agree one needs to take bath once in a while. My Tony certainly did benefit by taking a bath, rather unwillingly I agree, but that was only when I bathed him once every two weeks. Even his doctor, that veterinarian told me to never overdo it. But humans, that's completely different story. There are these commercials telling, almost preaching us to bath like maniacs. I so wish, I had a veterinarian for a doctor myself, who would tell me to not to bath more than once every two weeks. Mom won't be very happy, but atleast I would be free from this troublesome activity.


Sorry, I would have loved to write much more, but I have to go. Mom is calling me to take a bath. Hope you all enjoy your time. I will keep on my drive to shut this silly and gruesome routine out of our lives. Till the next time, buh bye.




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by Pankaj





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