“Of all the people in this world THIS had to happen to me!”
She was completely bewildered. She said, “Excuse me?”
I replied, “Oh not to you…”
After a few seconds she said,”Oh you have direct conversations with the almighty? You are Bruce!”
I was in one of my worst moods today and this little woman was taking my case. I was furious. “Listen…You are not funny. And I don’t even know you.”
She said, “I think we are trapped.”
I mean the greatest truth had been revealed today. This great woman had no face but a voice. Her voice though was very strong and crystal clear. She could have been a news caster on one of the good news channel. It was impressive but the words that came across weren’t. I hit the chord of sarcasm, “Arrey…not at all. We are stuck in this small coffin like lift. There is no light, no fan, no signal, and no emergency line. But come on… you can’t be serious about the trapping bit of things.
She was quiet for a few seconds. I was rejoicing already that I had successfully shooed her away. I was counting this time…And then she said, “Are you a bit of a lunatic?”
Thanks to the darkness which had filled the distance between us, she couldn’t see the anger in me. It’s always better being called a lunatic in the dark. I was plain irritated with this stranger. I had so much of anxiety filled up in me already. It was not her. It was just me.
“At least you got one right. But today…I had a very important call with a client. And right now I am stuck here…with no power, no battery on my laptop and no signal. I am cut off from the world and I feel very scared right now. So please let me be.”
“You must calm yourself. Your frustration does make sense... especially since you are a luny. But maybe this disconnection would do you some good today. You know I kind of understand your type now. Trust me, this break might be healthy.”
Trust her? Who was this woman anyways? I couldn’t believe it. Some one I couldn’t even see was giving me lessons on life. I decided to stop talking, maybe it was rude but then I had bigger things on my mind. I said…”Hmmm…”I was hoping she wouldn’t say anything now.
Luckily she stopped talking.
I started thinking about how my day had gone. The meetings had gone perfectly. The presentation was deeply appreciated. My boss was completely in awe. The deal that he wanted was in my lap now. The new office, the new car and the new house wasn’t far away.
All of a sudden I realized I wasn’t going to get any of it. I was stuck in this coffin. I was going to be stuck for long. There would be no call and there would be no sign off. Our competitor is going to make his pitch and it was all over.
My plan had fallen flat! The dream would remain a dream! I couldn’t have felt more disappointed and that feeling made me kick the door of the lift.
There was a huge bang. After that I started shouting “Help! Help...”
All my attempts proved futile. The wise crack was quiet.
When I was done…I asked her to do the same.
She started laughing. Then she finally said, “You must be really stupid. I hope you don’t do any work which is associated with using the brains…”
“God..! You are the funniest person I have ever met in my life. Does that make you happy?”
She stopped laughing and with a reassuring tone she said, “Come on…just sit down. There is no point panicking. I agree we are in a bad situation but getting frustrated like this wouldn’t help us. Calm down and just relax. I am sure there is some fault and it’ll all be fine in a while.”
I had started to accept this as reality. I was trapped and this was going to last a while. I said, “You must have read that book…”
“The art of Positive thinking.”
She did laugh sarcastically now and said, “I must admit that you are quite funny yourself Mr.…. Eh?”
With a little bit of frustration she said, “You are supposed to say your name now…”
What had I been thinking? I was the dim wit now! “Oh! Sorry…Hi I am Ajay.”
“I am Kalpana. It’s safer to not shake hands in the dark.
I was smiling now. A big broad smile…Thankfully she didn’t see it. But that was a good one…I thought to myself.
“Stop smiling now. Aren’t you tired of standing? Why don’t you sit down?”
“I was hoping for the doors of hell to open! But yeah I am tired. My legs hurt. I kind of feel sleepy as well. It’s so god damn dark and hot. Luckily there are no mosquitoes.”
The minute I said that I heard one ZZzzz in my ear.
Lifted my hand up in the air and said “Great! I could have asked for more…” and while saying that I sat down in one corner. This girl/lady would have been on the other.
“So what do you do?” I couldn’t believe I was making conversation with her. There was so much more to do and this is what I was doing. Why was time passing me by? It was always the other way round. She was saying something and I was already lost in this thought.
“Pay attention. You are very rude. To cut it short, I am a psychiatrist.”
“Oh! No wonder…. It’s all making sense now Doctor Sahibaa…”
“Whatever. I am studying psychiatry so technically I am not yet a doctor.”
“Very well. So where? Anyways leave it…not like I am going to visit you there.
So do you stay in one of these apartments? “
“No… I don’t. I am supposed to be visiting a friend. She must be waiting for me. Or not. I don’t know.”
“Wrong day to plan on a visit?”
“Maybe fate brought me here…”
“You wouldn’t be very successful if you keep saying things like that.”
“So you don’t believe in fate?”
“I believe in me.”
She completely ignored this brilliant line. This could have killed someone. But the doctor thought I stole it from somewhere. So then I started saying something that was not as brilliant as that, “To be fair...I do blame this day on fate. This was my day! I was going to realize my dreams today…but now I am sitting here and cribbing to a complete stranger. Hey by the way… please don’t charge me for this.”
“Ok funny man. I won’t. I am bored too…I will cure you for free.”
“You mean to say I need help?”
“I mean to say…I am bored and I can listen to your unexciting life story.”