21-Aug-2006

Mujko bhi lift kara de

The first time I used the ‘Open’ button in my office lift and watched the doors close mindless of my command, I knew the lift at my office was not really State-of-the-art. In fact whenever you wanted the lift to remain open longer than its scheduled time you had to manually push back the two doors. The lift did not offer a smooth ride either. You could pretty much tell by the bumps on the way which floor you were on.

For a short while thanks to some general short circuiting, when you pressed ‘4’ you went to the fifth floor and vice versa. It took us a while to figure this out but being good adapters, we started pressing ‘4’ instead of ‘5’ to go to our office on the 5th floor. 5th floor houses very few people, so the secret was known only to a select group and other passengers in the lift who knew we worked on the fifth floor thought the whole team had decided to stay healthy by getting off on the 4th floor and walking a floor.

Incidentally, we have two such lifts. One fine morning the Facilities Management head decided that enough was enough and it was time to upgrade the lifts. So one of the lifts was shut down and the other one started making stops only in the basement, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floors. This did not affect my life too much except I had to walk down occasionally to the 1st floor from the 2nd floor. The thought of a new lift however gave us all courage and strength and we bore the difficulty without too much of a fuss.

Two days ago the floor indicators inside and outside the lift stopped working. So now when I waited for the lift I had no way of knowing when the lift would arrive. Once I got into the lift I had no way of knowing if the lift was going up or down. Luckily, thanks to all the training we got in being able to judge the bumps on the way, we could instinctively make out which floor we were on.

Today, I came and stood by the lift on the fifth floor to find a small queue standing there. People were reading, some were cleaning their nails (and had cleaned quite a few) and some were staring wistfully at the horizon. I questioned the security guard about the foyer on the 5th floor becoming the new hangout in the office. He pointed out that the buttons outside the lifts had been gouged out as a part of the modernization. So there was no way one could summon the lift. Whenever someone using the lift pressed ‘5’ the lift would come up to the fifth floor. The bunch of people had collected over a period of time given the few visitors fifth floor got. Suddenly the lift appeared and everyone lunged into the lift. The poor chap getting out looked like someone trying to get off at Andheri on a Virar fast train (In case you do not know what it is, the sensation is akin to being run over by a herd of elephants).

I know I have been very patient with the lift renovation for nearly two months now. Though now I think perhaps I should just walk up and down the stairs till such time the lift is nursed back to good health.

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