Elevators - the death machine !!
edited: Monday, December 27, 2004
By xainab dadabhoy
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2004
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its a snapshot of a girl, coming to terms with her biggest fear - elevators
Being an ardent fan of fiction books and movies, the high tech, action packed dramatic sequences are embedded in our minds for ever......thats why, whenever we face a difficult situation, we assume that James Bond or Mr. Right will pop up just at the right moment and save us from perpetual disaster and justice will reign - the propensity to exaggerate just tends to increase with each waking moment...
But when real life scenarios hit you, adventures seem more like a romantic term for trouble. Dont believe me ??? Well.....this happens to be one of those moments when I opted out of the staircase route and chose to take the lifts down from the 3rd floor to level 0.
Let me tell you that from my very childhood, I have taken an inherent dislike to elevators and I, wherever possible, try to avoid them and opt for the staircase - Peace of mind, coupled along with a little exercise doesnt seem like a bad package....But God knows which state of reverie I was in and I just decided to eliminate this fear once and for all.....Being all candid here, i must tell my readers that I did have a queasy lil butterfly, fluttering in my stomach, similar in terms to a dying man, seeing his death in front of him....Not a good analogy to think of, when you'are about to step on an elevator, which I prefer to call, the death machine....
The lift door split wide open...I stepped inside...Now, I think back to recall that i had inserted my left foot first...i carefully pressed the ground floor button, instructing the lift to take me to level 0.
Rightly as someone said that a misty morning and silence to follow epitomizes the brewing of a storm....the initial rubble of the walls and the rubber sheath of the lift grumbling against the door made me sweat slightly....My memory was a bit vivid back then but the first words I recall, that I muttered was a curse to the person whoever he was - when he thought of creating an elevator....The only chance of a little walk and exercise to burn those extra mounting calories just went down the drain with this insidious machine..
As i crossed the second floor, the rumbling gained momentum and the speed of the lift decreased alongside whom, my fear increased....I saw people standing on the second floor, waiting in anticipation for the lift and i tried telling them that I am stranded but words paid me no heed....and then the wait was over....The lift made a plunge downwards and ceased....Time stood still...I vaguely recall that my watch even stopped ticking or maybe, this was just paranoia....
I thought this was it; this was the end....the elevator would dive downwards, take me along with it and the pain would be excruciating but would hardly last for a minute, followed by eternal silence...We were told that in the last few moments of life, where the angel of Death is waiting to pounce on our souls, we need to offer a few prayers to ensure a peaceful life hereafter....Much to my surprise, i couldnt go beyond the second kalma and I cursed my religious guide, commonly referred to as maulvi saheb for not thrashing me enough to recite and memorise those 6 kalmas or as an afterthought, i thought maybe I didnt coax him by offering him enough sweetmeats....Never mind, i thought....lets switch to another quranic verse, I anticipated in panic. While my contemplation continued, as to switching to another verse or continue reciting the first 2 kalmas, i heard a voice, quite shrilling in tone, speak through the mike..." Koi hai...Is there someone in the lift ?" I felt like thrashing that voice....What did he mean by that ? Of course, there is somebody in the lift...You think I am scared for nothing. The voice broke my thought, "Please identify yourself !"....The only words that came out was " Yes, its me...." The voice repeated....."Please identify yourself !". I gave my name and important credentials and they told that that the lift had apparently malfunctioned....They further instructed me not to panic and retain composure...Help is on its way....
I screamed Help is on its WAY....You mean its not there as yet.....I am so glad that voice didnt have a face and the face wasnt in front of me or somebody would have had a thrashing....Such trangression was unforgivable.....I meekly asked him..." How long before I could get out of this mess?" A Million Dollars for someone who correctly guessed his response...He said " Bibi, pate nahe kitni dher laghaay gi...I cant quantify time for you..."
Aaaarghh.....I let out a bloodcurdling scream but surprisingly, it came out without a sound....Guess, thats what fear does to you....I waited in hope, anticipation, fear and apprehension...God knows which emotion was stronger than the other but finally, they managed to open the door and I stepped out.....What a relief....
I was a little dissapointed, not to see someone step forward and put a garland of flowers around my neck...Arent you supposed to greet someone who has just managed to step out of a near-catastrophe, but those morons were more worried about the lift malfunction...Never mind, I thought....At least I am safe and sound....I took a respite, silently thanked God and went ahead with a resolution for 2005, trying to shrug everything off......
Guess what my 2005 resolution is : TO make damn sure I learn and memorize those six kalmas before I put my foot in the elevator ever again......