As Indians, we are familiar with the 'concept' of bathroom slippers. It is a pretty confused concept - to have or not to have a bathroom slipper. And, should the bathroom slipper be outside the bathroom or inside, in a dry corner? Over the years, I have seen the rise in status of the bathroom slipper - from the worn out Hawaii chappals to the trendy plastic slip ons with rough pads that give a good 'grip'. Now about the ubiquitous Hawaii chappals - the poor thing. It first arrives home as a bright white comfort-wear, with typically a blue strap. Over time, it is relegated to the bathroom door - a solemn finishing line for the slipper. By now, the edges have been eaten away, the white base is a slippery brownish shade and the straps have become loose. In some households, the bathroom slipper is always carefully placed upright, presumably to allow it to dry. But I think it is exerting control. The mom of the house does not tolerate a slipper in its natural position. Kids know better than to break that rule. And then there are some houses that do not have a bathroom slipper concept. Now, if you are used to going in with slippers, you are kind of left bare-footed and trying to control the urge. The hosts discretely try to find a slipper for you. As you rush in with that hurriedly found mis-sized slipper, you do wonder how folks can enter bare-footed. But in many cultures, it is the norm. So that is fine. In some households, like the best laid plans, the bathroom slippers concept also can go kaput. It happened one day, in my house. Frankly, you can say I am the variable in this complex expression of bathroom manners. Sometimes, I am all into keeping cool dry slippers neatly outside the bathroom. Never inside, mind you. Imagine the lurking bacteria. But sometimes, I am fine if the family walks in and out in their own chappals. It is theirs, after all. Bacteria and fungus inclusive. Now, on this particular day, there were a few relatives at home. One lady wanted to use the bathroom. As she left the room, I instinctively looked for the bathroom slipper near the door. Horrors. It was missing. I got up to get her one, when I noticed that the lady blithely had already entered.. and without batting an eyelid. Does anyone really bat an eyelid? Need to look into that phrase a bit more, at idle browsing time. Seeing me a bit non-plussed with this episode of the misplaced footwear, one friend tried to calm me down. She surmised that, if that lady went in barefooted, she must be used to it at her home. This pacified me somewhat. On the rebound, I do not give the b-slipper concept a fig now. Be that as it may. But, let's build the case of the b-slipper further. I do think there should be a de-something device. You should be able to slide the slipper into this device after use, and it should quickly sanitize it, and pop out the slipper - dry and clean. An advanced version can pop the slipper into a vertical position, just to please that finicky customer who likes to line up her slippers along the wall. It is dry, why line it up? It defeats the purpose - the salesman maybe tempted to tell her. But he has to keep an eye on his sales target, as well. So, on he goes - demonstrating that lever which props up the slipper vertically at the touch of a button. Hospitals could sure use the device. Have you seen those large slippers near the labs, when you go for your tests. Does anyone really dare wear those huge rubber paddles? Sure, bet it is kept there keeping the male patients in mind. Feminism, any one? But we can let it pass, am sure men would struggle to fit their feet in dainty slippers. We women can oblige, never mind. Hmm. There you are. The entire life-story of a bathroom slipper laid bare. A humble bow, so to speak. Now, we can just cozy up in our warm footwear and sign off.. till we meet next time!