Comfy throne

Manjula Padmanabhan | Updated on December 13, 2019

As some of you know, this column is mostly, but not wholly true. Today’s item, however, is 100 per cent true. It’s about toilet seats.

Wait! Don’t turn away! It really is about seats, not about the toilets themselves or elimination sagas. The story begins in the distant past, when, while visiting a friend’s house in Delhi, I asked to use “the facilities”. She’s a dear friend and I have often been a guest in her very well-appointed home in the capital. However, on this occasion, she said the guest bathroom was being renovated so, if I didn’t mind, I could use her bathroom.

This is when I encountered a rare and wondrous thing for the first time: A soft and fluffy toilet seat. I will pause here for you to stop recoiling with prissy horror. There’s nothing in the least unsanitary about such an item. All it does is solve the Icy Seat Syndrome that so many of us face, particularly in winter, yet rarely attempt to fix. To crawl out from the warm cocoon of one’s bed to sit down on a Siberian toilet seat is a discomfort so awful and yet so minor, that it doesn’t seem worth fixing.

I too would probably never have bothered except for the revelation in my friend’s home. That’s when I realised “Ah! There’s a solution!!” Alas, not an easy one to replicate. Those fuzzy seat covers apparently went out of fashion very quickly. There are lots of less attractive variations but they all require buying seats that may or may not fit onto one’s own porcelain throne. And anyway, I couldn’t justify buying any of them. Yes, I know the Japanese have toilets that can sing lullabies while warming the seat, but they are even less affordable.

For years since using my friend’s loo, I have schemed to come up with a DIY option. I even made one of them using papier-mâché, Fevicol and felt. But it was clunky, ugly and could result in being permanently glued to the seat. So. Why am I writing about all this today? Because I have finally found a solution! It’s so low-tech and easy, I can only assume that all of you figured it out for yourselves aeons ago. My version involves an old towel and Velcro.

Here’s how: Cut a long strip of towel and tack the raw edge. No need to curve the strip, just long and flat is fine. No need to make a tube. Just wrap the strip keeping the middle along the inner edge of the seat and both edges along the outer edge. Tuck one edge under the other. Secure the towel in place with strips of Velcro.

I used five strips. And there you have it. A comfy seat. The covering doesn’t slip, yet can be easily removed for washing. While flushing, I raise the seat to avoid back-splash. Bins hasn’t seen it yet. Bet he hates it! Too bad! Coz I love it.

Manjula Padmanabhan, author and artist, writes of her life in the fictional town of Elsewhere, US, in this weekly column

Published on December 12, 2019

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