‘There are temples everywhere!’ beamed a visiting professor of history a long time ago. He was referring in particular to his visit to the south of India. That may be the case.

For the countryside people across the subcontinent, the whole of nature is a nourishing shade to relax and unload. Morning and evening, alone or in groups. It’s a matter of cultural convenience at work. Nor could the eco-friendly benefits of the practice to the performer and recipient be denied. It is sustainable, to the highest degree imaginable. And they do it behind the bushes, not over the Taj Mahal.

What makes it a practice to look down upon, and denigrate the country itself, is the association with poverty. But we know it has nothing to do with lack of money.

Since all noble Indian cultural practices have mythological stories associated with them, I wonder what story goes with this practice. Which sage’s wrath, or the wrongdoing of a king, denies two pieces of ceramics and makes people go on a daily morning walk? 

Culture is that strange bag of practices that range from funny novelties to those bordering on the bizarre and horror. We ought to celebrate our having emerged out of the gory past.