The one attached to my apartment. Doesn’t work. At least the way it should. Though I guess it’s not its fault. Its one of those old ones you know, the one with the double grilled black doors, each on the inside and outside on every floor. It’s probably served its useful life already.
But there isn’t another elevator in the building with five floors and twenty-five apartments. One would think that the architect who designed this went on to do an MBA or something. It seems that its gonna cost Rs. 5 lakhs to get a new one installed, which means Rs. 20000 from every household. It is at such a time when you find out that people living in the first 3 floors actually never use the bloody thing, at least that’s what they claim nowadays.
So it looks like I am stuck with the bloody thing till it decides to either die a quiet death or kill someone one of these days. I have started calling it the ‘Gabbar ki Goli’. I’m almost tempted to say "Sardar, maine aapka namak khaya hai" every time I am in it. It really makes a tired effort and lets out a loud groan when launching itself from the ground floor. You hold the walls of the bloody thing as it shakes like the airplane in the movie "Air Force One"and let out a sigh of relief when you are airborne. The mirrors on the walls of the bloody thing am sure have seen many a sweat pouring down a nervous neck.
Just the other day, when I had safely reached the fifth floor, where I stay, I found to my consternation that the outer door was stuck and refused to open to my desperate heaves and pulls. I kicked the bloody thing, closed the inner grill door and went down to the fourth floor to try my luck there. Sorry. Same old heaving, pulling and cussing, but to no avail. I was feeling faint with the exertion when I found a wooden stick inside the elevator and was tempted to beat myself on the head with it. I pulled myself together in the nick of time. With luck, got out on the third floor and ran to the safety of my home.
I was told later that the wooden stick is kept to loosen the ball bearings, which get stuck on the fourth and fifth floors. One has to really reach between both the grilled doors with the stick deep within the contraption when stuck inside the bloody thing and loosen it up before it lets you out. A little scary you know and no, it’s not fun, you dirty minds.
I have perfected the technique by now, and am able to come out just by using my bare hands. But that still leaves the problem of getting in, unresolved since you can’t loosen the balls from without. As of now, I climb down two floors and call the bloody thing up, then get impatient while the bloody thing wakes up from its slumber on the ground floor and proceed to take the stairs while its making its way up.
Any better ideas?