The elevator hates me

The elevator hates me

*I solemnly swear that all instances quoted in the piece below are absolutely true. No really, it’s all true.*

N was down with loose motions and I was just back from the medical store. I stood in the lower basement waiting with my thoughts on my girl hoping she’d have been fine in my absence and wishing the elevator would hurry along.

When the elevator didn’t arrive for a while, I realised one was stuck on floor 6 while the other was on floor 11. I pushed the button again, not that it was required or made any difference, but finally, the one on 6 moved, I relaxed. It reached the ground floor and stopped. ‘Really?’ thought I, ‘today of all days?’ I willed it to come down.

It didn’t.

After a long lazy pause the one on the 11th floor began to creak its way down. It reached the ground floor and then .. yeah, it stopped too. I was almost stamping my feet in frustration and heading towards the stairs when it moved again and finally reached me.

That’s just one instant when the elevator has acted weirdly with me.
It hates me!

There I said.

This sounds like the rambling of a batty old woman but it’s true. I know it because this isn’t the first time something crazy like this has happened.

The first germ of suspicion was planted in my mind way back during my working days in Mumbai when on an official trip to the Stock Exchange one day the elevator went part way and came to a stand still. That, on a 20-something floor.

It stood there, a smirk on its face, (or so it seemed to me), enjoying my mounting panic. Mercifully a colleague was with me and we sounded the alarm. After much hoohaa the doors were prised open and we found ourselves stuck between two floors – too high to climb up, too low to jump down. It really seems easy in films. In real life, however, you either need to be the really sporty kind or have a spiderman boyfriend to bail you out. Since I am/had neither, a tall stool was positioned so we could step down to freedom.

Then recently, as I stepped into the elevator I saw a lady rushing towards it. Even before she motioned to me to keep it waiting for her I was reaching out for the ‘keep door open’ button. I threw her a reassuring smile to say that I was holding it for her. However, the elevator had other plans. Slowly, inexorably it started to shut. No matter how hard I jabbed at the button the doors continued on. I tried to wedge my foot but the otherwise all too sensitive sensors pretended not to sense it at all. Knowing my history with elevators, I had a feeling it would squash my foot with a wicked happy happiness and so I pulled back, and just in time too. Then, right before my horrified eyes (and the lady’s very very annoyed eyes) the lift shut with a gentle malicious click.

I imagined what it would have seemed to the lady – That I smiled at her and then shut the elevator in her face. What kind of a mean person would do that?

She now refuses to acknowledge me when she bumps into me and my hopes of making friends in this new place have died a silent death.

That’s not all. Each time I’m in a hurry I’ll be sure to find both elevators stuck on the floor furthest from me. And when I try to summon them, I can almost hear them arguing.

‘You go’

‘No you go’

‘I went last time’

‘So what you were just a floor away’

‘I don’t care. It’s your turn.’

… and so on. Quite like H and N when I call them for a chore.

If I hesitate for a moment, or stop to pick up my bag or pause to smile at someone, it tries to squish me. Once it carried away my stole, carried it right away in its evil jaws, even as I barely managed to save myself.

I’ve now taken to dashing in and diving out without giving it a chance to mess with me. Of course that means I sometimes knock over unsuspecting people. And then no matter how much I apologise and try to explain this strange vengeance, I come out looking stupid. All the while I can see the elevator laughing its mean laugh and if I as much as turn to give it a nasty look in return, I further damage my credibility.

What? Did I hear you say the elevator is an inanimate object and cannot have feelings? Hah! You, dear sir, have no idea!

I’m not crazy, okay?

25 Replies to “The elevator hates me”

  1. I hear you… loud and clear. have been through so many such instances, to the extent that there was a time I climbed up 9 floors. Yes panting loudly and cursing it all. But elevators do have their own Egos you see, they seldom care about us. 🙂

  2. Haha…I love the narration of this despite your plight! I don’t have to really take lifts all that much so it’s still occasionally a novelty when I do. I have however been stuck in a lift by myself when I was younger much to my mum’s worry.
    Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently put up this amazing post…July 2019 ReflectionsMy Profile

    1. That’s good. For us it’s a part of our lives. We go up down multiple times a day. The children are curiously cool about being stuck too. They simply push the alarm and wait for help. I still feel a rising panic, though I’m better at managing it now.

  3. Ha,ha,ha…total rofl read Tulika!! Can you believe it, I was practically rubbing my hands in glee as I read this! Why? Because dear friend, I have a similar daily battle I wage with all the electronic gizmos at home. All of them, up in arms against poor ol’ me!
    That argument between the two lifts…too good!
    Kala Ravi recently put up this amazing post…The Seat by the WindowMy Profile

    1. You’re right. Most gizmos don’t see eye-to-eye with me too. Once during college I remember taking my walkman (you remember those?) to the repair guy because it wasn’t working and all I’d done was put in the batteries wrong. And I did that twice, in a row. He must have thought me quite mad.

  4. Not at all dear OM. All elevators have been programmed to cause a disservice to the people who use them. Besides, this is only another example of Murphy’s Law, which like other laws of physics invariably run true to form. I live on the 23rd floor and have to deal with a recalcitrant elevator at least twenty times a day. Holding the lift door open is a nightmare as it bangs shut without warning. And as for going up when you want to go down …….that happens at least once a day.
    I just now accept things for the way they are and go with the flow…
    Unishta recently put up this amazing post…What’s the big deal about Shravan?My Profile

    1. Yup, going with the flow is good. I have always lived on the 9th/10th floors. Now finally we’re on the 3rd which is so much better. On the odd day I can skip the elevator and so am not completely at its mercy. Though I have even climbed up 9 floors sometimes.

  5. Oh I believe you crazy woman and a fist bump from another Crazy soul who believes the elevator has it for her. I chant a protective mantra everytime I do get in one or else it will freeze on me – it has happened, I swear on every thing holy and weird.

    You must pray to the elevator gods (yes there is one) and maybe even appease it once in a while by sacrificing your pride to the stupid fear of it. It glories in that. And yes I know all about its evil grin and gabbar singh laughter.

    Cant tell you how relieved I am that I am on the 1 st floor now and trust me even on days when I have heaviest of grocery bags in both hands, I climb the stairs.

    Hugs from a fellow sufferer!!!! 😉

  6. Hehe the elevators are conspiring against you. And you got stuck in one too. Not everybody gets to experience that. I have a whole different thing with elevator. I hate to be in a jam-packed elevator when I have a blocked nose and it makes farting noises everytime I breathe. I have to hold my breath for 20 floors
    Rajlakshmi recently put up this amazing post…From the hospital bed!My Profile

  7. hehe…no Tulika, you are not crazy. I believe you. I know it happens. It happens with electricity for me. Every time I want to heat milk for M in the microwave the electricity goes out and when I have just placed a pan with the milk on the gas, it comes back. Every single time!

  8. Hahaha… Elevator must be from Lucknow too accustomed to saying “Pehle aap jaayiye, Nahin pehle aap jaayiye.” Your incident of getting stuck in the elevator at the Mumbai Stock Exchange scared me to bits and so did that bit about you fasaaoing your foot between the elevator shutters in a bid to keep it from closing and its sensors did not work. Shit! I was scared to hell imagining this.
    Pandit Anamika has a ‘upaay’ for you – Do the jaap ‘Om elevator mitraay namah’ 5 times in the morning and 5 times in the evening and see your elevator kusht disapppearing 😀 😀

  9. Ah, I hear you sistah!

    As much as I hate elevators, they hate me back equally too! I’m claustrophobic and getting into a lift takes every ounce of courage from me. If it gets stuck or shakes in between, I shit bricks! Nothing in the world is more scary than that, ah perhaps a mid-air turbulence comes close, but that story is for another day.

    Elevators hate me. Reasons duly mentioned below.

    1. The day I’m the most late to work, it stops at every floor before making it to mine.
    2. Out of the six elevators, none of it stop on my floor when I have a crazy urge to pee.
    3. The only time I get the lift at my apartment is when it is filled with noisy kids or sweaty adults. Not the elevators fault I know, but still!
    4. I once walked straight in to the mirror of a lift! Yes, right into it!
    5. Let them hate me, I hate them more. Bwahahahhaa 😀
    Soumya recently put up this amazing post…Action Replay + Gratitude List: July 2019My Profile

    1. You walked into a mirror? That must have hurt. Oh and I completely forgot about the stopping on ever floor bit. That’s painful.
      I’d love to hear the mid air turbulence story. Getting stuck in a lift definitely comes close.

  10. hehe I could not help but laugh. Seriously, the elevator does seem to dislike you. 🙂 Luckily, living in Bangalore I hardly have to contend with elevators. But yes, back in Bombay, I remember how annoying the elevators sometimes could be. My house in Ahmedabad was on 2nd floor luckily and all in the family would never take elevators. Who would wait for it to come at its own pace?

    1. It’s a relief to not be at the mercy of elevators. My parents live in a bungalow so we had nothing to worry there, but for the past few decades in Mumbai and Pune I have had to make my peace with them.

  11. Hahahah….this was another hilarious post from you, Tuli!!! Loved it and was laughing like crazy all the way!
    But, I hear you, girl. I stay on the 11th floor, and there are times when I am in a hurry to either go downstairs or reach home, that the lift decides to play tricks. And, even when we know that pressing the button, again and again, will bear no fruits, I keep doing it in the vain hope that the damn lift will budge! And, it doesn’t.
    It comes to us only when it feels like it. The other day, I had to go down to fetch my nephew from the bus stop and the lift came to my floor and took me up to the 12th floor and then it just wouldn’t budge! I was coaxing and cursing the damn thing, but nothing happened. In fact, I also felt like jumping in the lift to give it a nudge, you know. Finally, I decided to go down by the stairs lest I miss the school bus. I had to climb down 12 floors and by the time I reached the ground floor, I was feeling dizzy,
    These are not machines, Tuli….these are MEAN MACHINES!! Shh….let me not scream any louder coz I have to travel in it in an hour. Sunn legi toh beech raastey hi band pad jayegi..badla lene! 😀

    See, I am feeling so good now after reading your post. Thanks a ton! <3
    And, I hope you don't mind the "Tuli" 😛

    !
    Shilpa Gupte recently put up this amazing post…Art post for July’19My Profile

    1. Ha ha ha.. Shilpa I don’t mind the nickname at all. That’s what my school and college friends call me.
      I do hope your lift isn’t padhi-likhi so it can’t get to your comment. Or else toh you’re gone.

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