Scenario 1: You go to a cinema and it's cold. Of course, you want to use the loo, so you enter the toilet and as always hover over the pot.

Scenario 2: You take the night train but don't drink any water almost all evening long; dehydration seems like a far better option than the horror of having to use the smelly train toilet. Sounds familiar? If you thought yes, you're probably a woman, and one used to straddling a public toilet like an experienced gymnast.

The disposable stand and pee device
(Source: Priya Desai)

But fret no more for I bring happy news. No, public toilets haven't gotten magically cleaner – I only said happy news not a miracle. I am referring to the stand to pee devices, or devices that let you pee like a man. When I first saw this device, I was horrified. The thought of "morphing" into a man seemed too much to take but after trying it, I am happy to report that these nifty devices are actually well worth buying and are available aplenty in the market. Particularly easy to find are two: an imported, reusable version that I bought and a desi, disposable version that my friend gave me to try. I've reviewed both below.

First impression: Oh no!

When you open the packaging, you are likely to be besieged by fear. Both these devices seem really narrow – like those inappropriately sized funnels that cause many a spill. While that could have made for an entertaining story, it does not happen. So don't worry, you won't have any fountains in your bathroom.

Try till you succeed

The disposable stand to pee unit. Source: Priya Desai.

What was true for the spider in that dank cave and Robert Bruce is true for the uninitiated user of the stand to pee device also. And the good news is that it is not as difficult as defeating the English in battle. "Use it at home, or in a shower the first few times" is the friendly advice on the packaging. Follow it. If you'd rather read a bit more, the internet abounds with tips on how to use these devices too.

The best news is that if you learn to use one, the other pretty much follows the same principle.

The disposable device is pretty sturdy and doesn’t get as soggy as you would expect but it causes me much guilt when I have to throw it away, especially because the water proofing is so effective that it almost seems new after one use. I prefer the reusable one and it is now a part of my purse. I carry it wherever I go and still get a real kick out of not having to hover over the pot.

The reusable female urination device. Source: Amrtha Kasturi Rangan.

What does it cost to pee worry-free?

The disposable unit costs Rs 120 for a pack of five. It is also available in packs of 10 and 20. Just the funnel for the reusable unit costs about Rs 700 but if you buy the extension and the box, it costs around Rs 1,000.

So what are you waiting for, ladies? No more thinking "to pee or not to pee", because it's all well that ends well.

This article was first published on India Water PortalIndia Water Portal does not market or endorse any particular brands or products. For this reason, the specific names of the above mentioned products have been omitted. A simple search should help you find the products compared in this article. However, if you want more details, do write to us.