Many accomplished singers owe their success to the known phenomenon of ‘Bathroom singing’. Its not that the place mentioned herein is equipped with some cutting edge instruments and designed to extract the best pitch out of your vocal cords. Rather, it’s the sheer privacy and the confined isolated environment that ignites your desire and triggers the stimulus to build raw confidence during the preliminary solitary trials.
Again ‘bathroom’ affords an ideal playground or the kindergarten that induces an urge and then nurtures some of our earliest pursuits with regards to the smoking adopted during the carefree adolescent days. Now that’s where you drifted and plunged into that habit. Right?
While the former is more innocent and a personal affair, the latter is often mischievous and comes with a twist to relish the taste of a ‘forbidden fruit’ only to be savoured with your buddies and pals at all the appropriate forums like the campus, café, lounge or simply a ‘tharra’. Needless to point out, there is more to the whole deal that partly includes invoking required precautions and experiencing such fun together only when the atmosphere is deemed fit.
When ‘Bathroom singing’ is a commonplace term and ‘Bathroom smoking’ a known reality, it is absurd to realize that someone needs to coin a term ‘Bathroom reading’ for I can’t be the sole offender with the tendency to indulge in such an inhibition.
Whereas it has been conveniently settled in one of the ilogs that the art of multitasking transcends through the centuries to the days of Leonardo Da Vinci and Mona Lisa, my personal history of the act traces itself back a little later and stretches itself to the last decades of the last century.
The earliest known facts comprise reading of suspense-thrilled works by Ishtiaq Ahmed, Famous Five and Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton. Evidence of more profound ‘bathroom reading’ grew as the quantum of assigned homework bundled or as the examinations drew closer. Instances of such occurrences increased as the pastime developed into a habit. Manto, Shafiq –ur – Rehman and Pitras paved way for Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. Naseem Hijazi somehow always resulted in serious bouts of constipation.
As life turned mechanical and demanding, hardly leaving any slots to pursue personal endeavours, proportion of the trapped reading within the four confined walls accentuated. In other words, the pleasure or leisure became more of a necessity. The reading stuff would now vary extensively from anything like a lame leaf of newspaper, a flamboyant business report, a solemn and stringent specification code, magazines like Aurora or Economist to exciting works produced by the likes of Jackie Collins or some great scribbling about the adventures of Isobel Shaw. Thus I always mixed business with pleasure but how my poor stomach would cope with such a huge chunk and large variety of content is entirely a different consideration.
The mix became progressively richer. My fondness for reading aided by typical and conducive environment helped me grab some understanding of the ancient brotherhoods and complexities associated with interpretation of masterpieces of art and convolutions involved in deciphering ancient codes as brought out by Dan Brown. It made me digest intricacies of life, love, destiny and fortune as explained by Paulo Coehlo. Thanks to the reading addiction and equally to my bathroom, I could squeeze something out of the subtle humour and deftly laid absorbing story lines by John Grisham. The arid management theories put forth by Jack Welch and Stephen Covey felt so much lighter and softer_and I confess to have gone through most of the confessions of an economic hit man in_ the secrecy of my washroom.
As the addiction grows, so does the necessity for multitasking. While I have been able to keep such weird desires in check and at bay that takes all the willpower and strength of character when at work or a public place, something needs to be done to respond to that rousing need and addiction with some fidgeting. Well that’s exactly when the cell phone comes in so handy; The best and most personal moments to respond to a text, forward a nasty joke or sms, surf on the web (on a high tide while comfortably seated ‘there’), update your status on FB or something as innocent as composing the latest blog post.
Time is too precious a resource and that’s why we should make the most of it. With mounting work pressures and intimidating targets I feel a strong urge to carry my laptop along each time. So far I have been able to negotiate and curb the temptation but who knows for how long?
(It was originally scribbled and posted on August 2, 2008. Since then the reading has intensified causing the mix to further enrich and diversify.)