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Kishore Singh: Bed 'n bath's not the same!


Kishore Singh  |  New Delhi 

Before our son went off to college in Pune, we toddled off for a bit of weekend fun to the soft-launched Westin Resort and Spa deep in the heart of farmland Sohna. The sprawling property was expectedly luxurious but what took our breath away were the en suite baths in our cottage. You walked into your bedroom to gasp as much in embarrassment as in, well, horror.
There, to one side of the bed "" or "heavenly" bed, as the bellboy was at pains to point out "" was a bathing tub for two. Across from it was the shower cubicle, while discreetly, but pretty much as nature intended these things to be out in the open, was the cubicle where you could relieve yourself.
As far as the theory of it is concerned, it is a fine thing indeed, but here we were, the four of us as a family in a two-bedroom suite, and all we could think about was using the facilities without anyone else looking on.
"I'm not having a bath," my daughter declared her intentions. "I'll use the facilities next to the restaurant," said my son bashfully. My wife and I kept our reservations to ourselves. But then, walk-in bathrooms were hardly new to us.
Years ago, when we had stayed at the Rajvilas, the Oberoi's uber luxury property in Jaipur, we came back not with stories of secluded gardens and fabulous architecture, but photographs of the open-to-the-elements bathroom where see-through glazing was all that separated you from the curious gaze of curious peacocks.
Foreigners, we said to ourselves, securely locking the bathroom door, might not mind sharing the facilities but no one, not even a spouse, was going to be around when we soaked in the sunken tub, or took a shower (with one's back to the peacocks for additional privacy).
At The Park in Delhi, where we had checked in as a birthday surprise, all that separated the bathroom from the bedroom was an opaque glass wall, so we ended up showering with the lights off "" but at least there was still the semblance of a wall and a door between the bedroom and the bathroom. Now, here, at the Westin, the bathroom had crawled into the bedroom itself.
In any case, we dressed for dinner, my wife and I opting for a meal at the Chinese restaurant while the children clamoured for room service and a movie. It was a cold night, and so we made haste with the drinking and dining, and were soon snuggled up in our beds, alarms set for seven so we could do a spot of yoga in the morning.
I am a light sleeper, so it was no surprise that I woke up the instant I heard my daughter's mobile alarm beep at five instead. "Sorry," she said, seeing me switch on the light, "but since I'm awake, I might as well have my bath, while you go back to sleep."
She had barely gone out of the room when another alarm "" my son's "" went off. It seemed he had had the same idea, and requested me to turn in while he chose to shower in our bedroom (his own bath now occupied by his sister).
"Drat," said my wife, as I shook her awake, "I was hoping to wake first so I could go to the loo before anyone else was up." "Truth to say," I confessed, "I took a bath as soon as all of you had dozed off last night, so I might have some privacy." For my troubles, I found myself locked out on the patio with the bed-tea while my wife wallowed in the luxury "" and solitude "" of a bath in the tub.

First Published: Sat, December 15 2007. 00:00 IST