Who in India hasn’t had toilet woes while travelling?

While today, we may have a grouse against unclean toilets, there was a time, when Indian Railways did not have any toilets at all on trains. Imagine the plight of poor passengers!

It was apparently this gibberish complaint about the lack of loo, written by Okhil Chandra Sen to the Sahibganj Divisional Railway Office way back in 1909 that led to the introduction of toilets on trains. The anguish and distress of a man who needs to answer Nature’s call comes out loud and clear and it’s way more cringey than his lack of grammar. Next time you are in Delhi, visit the Railway Museum where this letter is displayed, and thank Mr Sen for bringing ‘relief’ to India travelers. Here’s the transcript of the letter :).

“I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with ‘lotah’ in one hand and ‘dhoti’ in the next when I am fall over and expose all my shocking to man and female women on plateform. I am got leaved at Ahmedpur station.

“This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung that dam guard not wait train five minutes for him. I am therefore pray your honour to make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big report to papers.”

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