Sunday, December 16, 2012

As An Elevator Levitated

I am a stairs person. No, it is not because I am health conscious and I revel in inner joy of burning a few calories. Instead, the reason is elevators hate me. It may sound bizarre but it is true. Initially I thought it was just another elevator breaking down.  What if the elevators you use regularly, at work or at your apartment building, breaks down leaving you at the mercy of the stairs? Not just in one city but over multiple cities? Then you know it not just a coincidence but the revolt of the elevators.

Last week on a Monday I was on the way to work. I took the elevator. The elevator started making grumbling noises and the passengers collectively commented on the noise. I was happy that I was on the way out. Anyways on the way back I realized the elevator is down and I am supposed to take the fire exits. Obviously we were not provided with the keys to the fire exit at the ground level exit or to the fire exit at our floor. We spent an hour outside the apartment till a gentleman going out of the apartment let us in with his keys!

It was all fine as our home is on the first floor. Wait, I go to office the next day to find out that the elevator in the vice-chancellery building of the university is under repair. Too much of a coincidence eh?

This was not the first time the elevators have been nasty to me. It has happened before when I was in Mysore (and later in Singapore as well). I was this naive, young thing who totally believed that the monthly pay check and space to call my own is synonymous to independent woman!

This was something I wrote sometime in 2008 based on a real-life experience. I’ll let you get a glimpse of my younger self.

A mundane weekend in Mysore:

I, on an average Saturday mid day, resemble a walking super market with a minimum of five bags (filled with assorted things vegetables, fruits, milk, ironed clothes and anything you can think off…)

I get off from my home with a single task in my mind so that I end up only with a single bag when I come back. But Women!!!God made them with shopping in their blood and eyes meticulously trained to read the “SALE” board in any language…And last Saturday I ended up with more bags than I could handle…
As I heaved up to the entrance of my apartment I lavished myself with a triumphant smile ...Voila I reached home without breaking a single cover and picking up things from road…:D :D…

The elevator in our apartment was a piece from history. It had giant retractable metal doors and resembled the ones you regularly see in horror movies ..As I waited for the elevator and I read the instructions on the left hand side wall…
“Elevator keys to be used by authorized personnel only…”
Did you ever know elevators had keys? Even I didn’t…Now that it has been documented and pasted for public reference those keys should exists…

          I put my stuff in the elevator’s floor and hit my floor number..wait wait…and it stopped…Great…I pick my packets and ..EEEEEEEEEEKSSSSSSSS I’m hanging between two floors…The elevator is stuck between my floor and floor below….I hit the alarm and stop buttons…They blink at me remorselessly..There is no electricity I realize…

I keep my packets down..Do an “appadi podu” dance feat for 10 seconds…
(But then I remembered all stories about people dying in lifts and lifts that crashed when power came…Brrrr Brrrr.)

I revel..I’m stuck in a lift…for the first time…I call up my mom and my friends and let them know about my “elevated” situation...My mom suggests that I rock the grill and scream for help..I tried…I cried HELP!!!!!!!!!!!  In all filmy ways and tunes…
(I wanted to try BACHAAAAAOOOOO KOI HAI BACHAAAAAOOOOO...then I felt it was a little too dramatic)

Then I whistled and my mom scolds me over the phone...”Girls are not supposed to whistle…”
(I wanted to ask  her “Oh Gyaan Devata, are boys allowed to whistle???”)

But 2 secs after my shrilly whistle went out my neighbors daughter came looking for the source…

“ stuck here..Can you tell the security guy that I’m here…”

I tell my mom about the little rescuer girl…Then the Don of our flat (An aunty who runs everything there, a very helpful being) whom we lovingly call Ground Floor aunty and security guy comes…

They smile at me or are they suppressing a laughter…Hmmm I flash a happy smile and wave from down under….

There in the security’s hand is a long thin cylindrical metal rod .I strain my head to watch my rescuers in action
(“Elevator keys to be used by authorized personnel only…” the words flash before me like a warning…)

He puts it into a key hole in the wall and turns it left and right with little success…After ten minutes of directions from the lady outside the lift and the lady inside the lift he quit …”Aagalla madam..”
(It’s not working Madam)

GF aunty opens the outside door to demonstrate the lever in action to him and I open the inner doors to the lift…They both look at me wondering what this little monkey is upto…I throw my packets onto my floor..I pray to Aamir khan of Ghajini for strong arm muscles and hoist myself out of the lift…Phew I’m out…I smiled at my rescuers who are still struck by the monkey like antics of the girl next door…

I learned two things
  •        Elevators do have keys
  •        Buy only what you can take home by stairs

I only had two regrets

  •        I wasn't stuck with a handsome guy with a background music “hum tum ek dibbe mein bandh ho..”
  •       My rescue team didn't include a Tom Cruise look alike that would’ve stretched his arm to lift me out and said “Main hoon Na”

P:S: My roomies comment :”I thought you go to gym regularly..Then why take the lift???”


I've not edited this piece much. I wanted it to be just the way it was when it was written. It does take me to that era and to the girl I was.
Boy, I did use a lot of full stops and unnecessary emoticons. Nevertheless I think I like her for her spunky spirit!