Disclaimer: Not much has been written about this topic, nor many pictures have been clicked, but I took the trouble so better appreciate this post. Of-late you have been very miserly with your comments.
Disclaimer 2: This is a complete guide to use the Indian Railways Toilet successfully. Also to give it its due respect, I have used capital case for every use of the word Toilet.
Disclaimer 3: If you have never used it in the past, you are a loser. If you have never travelled by Indian Railways then you are a desh drohi. Also don’t think very highly of your aircraft toilets. These are at least three times the size so there you go. Use it and then we can have a level playing field for a discussion.
Now to get the uninitiated up to speed lets begin with a few introductions.
How to identify the Toilet?
It is usually identified by a sign right outside the door which says Prasadhan or Shauchalaya or Toilet or all three in no particular order. Picture below for reference. The door is usually hidden by overloaded passengers or luggage or smokers etc. You have to, in most cases, tiptoe your way to the toilet. The door opens to the inside hence crowded corridors are never a problem.
They are never Air-conditioned:
No matter if you are travelling by First AC or Second class, the toilet is never air-conditioned. I was told by experts I interviewed that it is deliberate so that you can answer your nature’s call as close to nature as possible, hence the non air-conditioned enclosure for your comfort only.
This is a peculiar latch which you would not find anywhere else in the world. It is simple mechanical device with a two way action. It could also indicate if the toilet is occupied or vacant. Now they have added another latch which is more sophisticated and says clearly occupied or vacant but its not as much fun as the vacant one where you could surprise the occupant by opening the door or get surprised yourself. Pictures below for reference.
Types of Toilets:
There are two types: Indian and Western and Indian railways is kind enough to provide both. Western is easier to sit but not very clean, the Indian one ensures your skin does not touch any dirt but you need strong thighs, calves, knees to do it in a moving train where your ass oscillates and it also becomes difficult aim the shit in the hole, hence a little tricky. (Holes in both are the same size and avoid playing games on your phone as many people have lost their phones in those holes. Once it is gone it is gone, you can’t ever put your hand in and pull it out.) These holes also ensure fresh air massages your rear and is a little uncomfortable in winters where you could leave the seat with a numb rear.
How to wash/wipe: The tumbler or the tissue?
Once you are through with the act, you might have a strong urge to clean your rear (if it is winters, you might get tempted to avoid but that would be unhygienic and you could have an itchy rear all day so better to wash or clean even if it is winters). Two options to speak but both are tough. The tissue is never there. The tumbler is tied to a chain which ensure that the tumbler reach is just short of your rear which then leaves you thinking, now what. But you are resourceful and you would do good, remember the itchy rear. Some more resourceful people climb and sit on the wash basin and have the luxury of free flowing water to wash their rear. Now that you are done, you need to go to the next step.
Most efficient and always works. You need to be a muscle man to operate the lever or press the button. Nowadays they have electrical buttons but they are for the weaklings. The real deal is to pull the lever and then see you hard work being washed away.
Washing your hands
The tap is innovative and has been there for decades and sure does save water. Hold it and it flows, leave it and it stops, genius. The soap dispenser which is supposed to carry liquid soap is always empty or some smart guy fills it up with water. You should buy the paper soap that the irritating vendor sells as it comes in handy. Pictures below for reference.
Now that you are done and your bowels are clear, go and sip that amazing over sweet tea and relish the samosa to replenish the deposits in your stomach to ensure the next visit to the Great Indian Railways Toilet.