Pin drop silence except for my heavy breathing. . Pitch dark. . Palms sweaty. . Adrenaline kicking in. . Slowly I find it difficult to breath. . My heartbeat, faster than helicopter wings. . Walls closing in. .
I’m gonna die. . I’m stuck in the elevator. .
One hour ago: Just as any other ordinary day, I wake up at 9, make myself a cup of coffee and bread toast. Loitered about from kitchen to bedroom to living room. Kept my phone for charging, in for a quick shower. By 10, I reach the ground floor of my office building, waits for the elevator to come down. It slides open, I get in and whoosh. . the power failed!
I hear a giggle. There was some other lady with me. And who apparently is giggling when I’m almost out of breath in here. I fumbled for the phone in my bag and as expected it showed no range! The alarm button in the elevator did not work. Remember Quantization Revision of Murphy’s Law? Everything goes wrong all at once. 🙂
“Hope you are not panicking” she says.
HELL YES, Im panicking! “Should I panic??” I ask her.
“Nothing to worry, I got stuck in the lift last time and the power came in minutes.”
I ask her again ” How many minutes?”
“Ah , I don’t remember, think about 15-20 minutes”
She din realise that she just pushed the panic button. I had the feeling of a bird trapped in a glass box. It tries to fly.. and zap.. hits the glass and falls down. Tries again, bangs itself and tumbles down, except that I was in a tin box. . Every second seemed like hours. . I tried to open the tightly shut doors, it dint budge. .
I tried to calm myself down by 1) Inhaling deeply 2) Counting till 100 3) Reassuring myself that everything is ok and in the process, my brain morphed into a super computer. It was handling all the calming down efforts as well as the not calming down thoughts! Damn! Why did not I take the stairs? I cant die today, I have my code review!!! I did not call my mom today morning! I cant miss my family! My clothes are hanging outside! I have not paid the rent!! I need to buy a new phone!!
She tried to strike up a conversation by asking the wrong question at the wrong time “So how are you feeling??” I tried not to be rude and suppressed my urge to reply On cloud 9 !!! I said “Ok”. ”So how long have you been here? I mean not in the lift.. ” She giggles again. “Few months” I reply. She is testing my patience. She seemed to be least interested in getting out. “No wonder, I’ve never seen you here”. She giggles again and says “It feels so funny inside right”. . and began humming “hum tum ek kamareme bandh ho” . . Gosh. . God must’ve been in a humorous mood today.
With every second passing by, the nauseating feeling increased. I had no clue how long I had been in there. I made a vague attempt of banging the doors which also failed miserably.
I think I began to run out of energy mostly trying to chase away thoughts. How would I be remembered as if I die in here? And I see a thin strip of light streaming in. . God, think I’m fainting. . Or I jus reached heaven. .
Blink. . Blink. . I saw one of the security personal of the building, he says ” Madam, hope you did not get scared. Its jus 2 mins. We have our emergency power back up which starts right after two mins” I gave him a weak smile, stumbled out and went straight into my office.
Just two mins?? Only 120 seconds? It seemed like a lifetime in there. Then I remember the other lady who was with me, I went out to see if she was around. But she had already left. I was curious to see her face. But I had not asked her name or which office she worked at. As I was reflecting on what just happened, I realised, that stressed 120 seconds forced me to think how I would be remembered as. . And how well the other lady handled this situation. Probably I should think about it. .
Days later, I was in the washroom, in one of the cubicles and I hear someone singing “hum tum ek kamareme bandh ho. .” I rushed out to catch a glimpse of her but again she had already left. . 🙂
I left the washroom humming ”hum tum ek kamareme bandh ho. .” 🙂