August 5, 2012 by Mithil
This hilarious incident happened to me when I was in Mumbai last weekend. I had gone there to answer a written test for a job whose results were not so different from the trend I was following since last year. I didn’t get through but that never deterred my commitment to keep trying. After the test was I was en route to meet my friends, who were lazing around the other side of Mumbai city. I reached the destination after changing 3 local train station and travelling for more than 2 hrs, thanking my stars for not loosing the address when my cell battery was breathing some of it’s final minutes. I would have been helpless and stranded in the middle of apathetic streets of Mumbai if I hadn’t noted down the address on the underside of my arm. By the time I reached the apartment I was filled and spilling with pride of my achievement as if had crossed a continent.
Subsequently that night after getting well settled into 1 bed flat positioned 13 floor above in a C shaped building, I could see the shimmering lights of the urban city from the wide windows of the living room. The unreal shapes of the structure were being carved in front of the golden horizon and their elegant crown fondling with the misleading clouds of monsoon. I have heard Mumbai is the city of dreamers and doers, a place where millions backpack themselves into the city with little money and oodles of ambition. Travelling half the day in the locals had brought me closer to the above fact. It was not my first time but the sense one gets standing in the streets or the station, the hussle and bussle of the people, the traffic, the colourful and contra distinct faces peering through the trains is unique. It’s was like a life size collage in motion, gingerly swimming across the uncertain predicaments. Ohh .. pardon me I was supposed to get to the point about the hilarious incident, funny how I can sentence people to infinite degree of boredom with no particular fault of their.
So we(3) were just chilling in the living room of the apartment, watching some douche guy give random communal hate speeches on YouTube, it’s gets really funny after 10 minutes of attentive listening and coarse cursing. Languorously we agreed to disagree for dinner outside and our resources and reservation about our competency in handling kitchen made us inept for cooking any regular dinner. That left us with picking up cell and ordering food from restaurant. We also included ice-cream in the order along with regular starters, thanks to F2 for mentioning that. Around 15minutes later we heard the door being knocked and rushed to receive the meal. He was standing there with a smile looking at us as if we were junkies. While F2 checked if the order was properly delivered, the delivery guy started to return after being paid for the food and his services. Just then in a moment of realisation F2 blurted ‘where is the ice-cream? he didn’t get the ice cream’. The delivery guy had taken a left turn and we couldn’t see him in the hallway. I was standing near the door so I rushed out first followed by F1 and then F2. One would ask why together, well even I don’t know the answer. As we all rushed outside bellowing at the guy, the door behind us clattered onto the frame with a thud. The delivery guy came asking but I couldn’t respond properly as I was stunned and the magnitude of what just happened was about to seek in. In a callous manner I told him to get the ice-cream while try to come with terms that I with my two friends, all in chaddis without a penny in our pockets were locked out.
It wasn’t that F1 volunteered to step up and take the initiative to go down and talk to the security officer, ok it was his apartment(rented) but then we had only one proper T-shirt that could be utilized. So off he went while me and F2 laughed our hearts out for about 10 min at our situation. But then it got serious as it was already 2130 and there was fair probability that we would be forced to sleep outside. After about 15 minutes while we were admiring the people in their cosy apartments of the same building through the window and speculating about the autopsy report if we were to jump from the window, we heard footsteps approaching the apartment. It was stranger, who was sent by F1 to see if he can unlock the door. He was around 15 years and was in casual wear with a toolbox in his hand. By this time F1 had returned bearing ice-cream and good news of duplicate key with his flat owner but it was a good 30 minutes travel and we didn’t have suitable clothing.The repair boy looked promising at first but his methods made us question his motives. He had this hard plastic thing which he was inserting between the gaps where the lock was and simultaneously yanking the door hard enough. While we grumbled at his way of doing things, we tried to be positive about it. Our optimism was being tested by every passing minute the boy used. Communicating with him was equally redundant, sometimes he would look back in the middle of his yanking and give a broad smile lighting up his stained teeth, sometimes he would get calls from someone and the ringtone was very annoying to listen. The most vexing thing was that he wasn’t letting us know about the status, whether there was any chance of getting in. He would just nod and say something we were unable to figure out (Bhojpuri). Our chances of being stranded outside were now surging at alarming rate but the sob kept smiling, for reasons we will never find out.
Dismal in our actions to get in, we told F1 to see if he can contact the owner while we hold onto to the miniscule hope riding on the repair boy. After F1 left the ‘crime scene’, me and F2 decided to make the repair boy stop smiling. No we didn’t thrash him, we just told him our laughable condition and asked if he knew anyone … anyone at all who can get us inside. The boy took a hard look at us while we made sad faces, then told us the information we prayed we knew earlier. He apparently had a big brother who ran a key shop just down the street. He informed us that his bro will charge us Rs 300 which we heartily obliged and told him to contact his brother as soon as possible. While he spoke in bhojpuri on his phone F1 returned this time with a number of the owner. We reluctantly borrowed the boys cell and contacted the owner. That didn’t help us much as the owner was asking us to pick up the key from his place. So it all came down to one person – the brother, the guy who could let us get inside, have delicious meal, watch a movie and succumb to peaceful sleep or the guy who like a those doctor after their unsuccessful operation come out with that clichéd line ‘I am sorry’.
He arrived after a good 45 min, donning a simpleton attire and again like his smaller brother with a toolbox. We kept our fingers crossed as the two brothers started mumbling something. The moment he opened his box he got a call, he answered it saying he will be there in 5 minutes. Me and my friends looked at each other in amazement and were revealing our white teeth at this new ray of hope. Unlike his brother this guy seemed more legit and skilful, he wasn’t yanking nor was he smiling at us. This maybe made us look like we were being conned, like this was all a setup and the two bros are putting up a skit to extract money from us. Frankly we didn’t care if they were some con artist, this whole thing about getting stranded outside was our fault, we just wanted to get inside and life would carry on as usual even if it meant to shell out unreasonable amount of money.
At last the Gods responded and the God-like brother got us a new duplicate key. He was there for a mere 2 minutes and that’s all he took to get us on the other side of the door. The brothers retired after seeking the money we had promised and we were back to our lazy times inside the apartment.
Images – Google