A gift you can flush

Of all the wedding gifts a couple receives, there are always a few they’d like to flush down the toilet. AToilet2
growing number of couples in India are flushing their gifts, but not to get rid of them.

PUNE: What qualifies as the perfect marriage gift? Jewellery, dress, diamonds or a luxurious car? None of the above, feels Savitri Mane, who has decided to give her niece the most ‘precious’ gift of all — a portable toilet.

Katraj-resident Savitri’s niece Raksha is marrying a youth from Bhor this week. When Raksha’s parents noticed that the groom’s house does not have a toilet, they decided to gift the bride one.

"It has become a trend nowadays to buy portable toilets as gifts. The demand is on the rise this season. Parents, whose daughters are marrying rural youths, have added a portable toilet to their list of gifts offered to the groom," said Ramdas Mane of Mane Industries in Bhosari. His firm has received orders for more than 1,000 toilets in the past few days. "Already, we have provided 2,500 toilets in 200 villages in Pune, Satara and Kolhapur," he said. [Link]

I’m not sure what a "portable toilet" is, but I presume it’s one that can be carried easily, one that doesn’t take much effort to gift wrap.

Excited bride (unwrapping gift): "A toilet! We got a toilet!"

Groom: "Why are you surprised? Didn’t you put it on the bridal registry?"

"Basically, girls from urban areas are not willing to marry into rural families. A girl from the police lines in Pune was married in Sangli and had to suffer a lot because there was no toilet facility," said Pratima Joshi of Shelter Associates. She added that city girls make sure that these basic amenities are available in their in-laws’ houses before getting married.

"When my uncle asked about the marriage gift, I suggested a portable toilet. As a new bride I would not be in a position to ask my in-laws to construct a toilet at their place. So, while leaving Pune, I will carry my toilet," said Ekta Tare, who is getting married to a youth from Khatav in Satara. [Link]

It’s a great wedding gift, one that both husband and wife can use for many years to come, as long as their marriage doesn’t go down the … uh … toilet.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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