Wednesday, June 13, 2007

and i live to tell the tale

it was a blissful morning. a good wholesome onion paratha breakfast in our tummies. the husband actually agreed to wear matching socks, and dressed in well chosen clothes, rather than the 'pull whatever from the cupboard' ensemble.

so it was a blissful morning. having decided not to dump the film through the DV deck today i had fewer urgent 'to do' things at hand. yes, it started out well today.

happy music buzzing in my head, i was tending the plants in my apology of a balcony. its a bombay balcony- so what should technically be called a wide ledge is lovingly called a balcony by me. it has railings so te illusion is complete.

to come back to the main story. i was lovingly tying the creeper to the railing, dreaming of a railing covered with pretty leaves and flowers- i was in that kind of a dreamy mood. sanah played all around me, excited about this new thread element being introduced. i did not realise it, the excitement was shortlived. unnoticed, she went back into the room, to play with- the door! yes, me caught up in fluffy 'good housekeeping' ideas did not notice my 22 month old playing with the sliding self locking door to the "balcony"- idiotic ledge dammit! and while i chatted on with her i heard it- the click. i gulped, no, it can not be the click i was thinking of. i turned back, sanah inside, waving to me, and three sliding doors, neatly placed side by side. no, cant be, i thought. the builder used bad material- like all good bombay builders, the damn doors never click in one go, a manic banging of the sliding doors a couple of times leads to THE CLICK. more often than not accompanied by my cursing. not this time, a 22 month old had clicked it well and truly in place. the self lock worked just this once!!!

holy shit. it sunk in, i was locked out. my baby was in, all alone.

ok the first thing to do was not to panic. i began chattering to sanah. she realised that someting was amiss. she tried to open the door on her own. i encouraged her. but the builder has used bad material- the lock is flimsy and doesnt open too easily. i shouted out loud to all my neighbours, filmy style i called - hey, i need help. why wasnt i more social- i did not know the first name of anyone! mrs rao, mrs sharma- my voice getting more shrill i had to stop and go back to chatting with sanah. telling her, mummy is locked now we have to wait. i wondered if i should scramble over the railing and get onto the little one foot ledge outside my kitchen window- that was open and unlike bby houses it did not have those prison like grills we are famous for. but i do stay on the sixth floor. and the ledge is one foot wide. hmmm. i am pretty cool in a crisis. i am not that terrified of heights. there was a pipe i could have held onto. hmm...

mrs rao finally heard me. in veeru style, no i did not say maasiji, i said, i am locked out, my very little daughter is in, i am getting onto the ledge. no , no, she said, i feel scared. hey lady, i am the one getting onto the ledge. cooly i said, oh well then you will have to get a locksmith, somehow, fast. for effect again i said, or forget it, i will just get onto the ledge. this time she took charge, no, dont be silly, my son will get a locksmith.

then we waited. my daughter and i. remember the 'encounter in jayanagar ' i posted last month? sanah meets the monkey. this time i was the monkey. we touched hands. sang songs. chatted. i did not want her to get out of my sight. and i did not want her to start freaking out or crying. i swear i would have climbed the ledge- it was just five to six steps to the window from the balcony. ( when my lovely creepers and flowers grow on the railing i will look like a real balcony!!! and this is bombay dammit!)

i dont know how long it was. fifteen minutes- twenty minutes. not more. rao junior came bounding in. set me free. and smiled for the first time. he had got a fright. he had rushed and got the locksmith who opened up the lock.

many thanks later i shut the door. sanah and me alone. she was brave and calm. but did register the tension, i think. i asked if she was frightened. she nodded. i havent used the word before so maybe she just nodded. maybe she does know what the word means.

next stop- yes ami i will do what you have been asking me to do- i will go to that hideously expensive mothercare and get those door stoppers you were talking about. its shamefully expensive that shop - ami, you sure i cant find something in my local hardware shop? or maybe i will fashion a stopper out of something at home. any ideas?

afterthought- thank god i was dressed decently. imagine doing a veeru-masiji act dressed inappropiately.

see now this was my first real blogworthy story!

post script: the husband reads my post and says the raos are not raos but mores. no wonder they took forever to respond. and the sharma- the entire family of very many people- had had a late nigh and were sleeping. that explains why i shouted on and on and no one responded.


Space Bar said...

*gasp* that is terrible! thank god everythng turned out fine...but how on earth did rao jr bound in? was the front door open? (good thing that door wasn't locked, then!)

SUR NOTES said...

locksmith zindabad. i asked them to get the locksmith as fast as they could.

~nm said...

Glad all ended well and didn't take that much time! But it reminds me of a similar incident when my son locked himself in. It was those sliding latches. He closed it but he couldn't open it despite us telling him how to. I went to teh window to talk to him but he somehow figured something was wrong and started to cry. I was as it is nervous and got worried. Since the latch had nuts and bolts on the side facing us, I quickly went and got a set of pliers and gave it to DH to undo the bolt. It took probably 2-3 minutes to take out all nuts and bolts but it seemed like decades to me! Me and betu hugged each for the lognest while then!

NainaAshley said...

That was scary!. I can't imagine being in your position. Sanah did very well. I'm glad it ended well.

BTW reached your blog through Mad Momma. Liked what I read so far. Will come back for more. Can I blogroll you?

Sraikh said...

Ohh That would have been scary.
Glad Sanah didnt freak out.

Kodi's Mom said...

that whole episode sounds scary! am glad li'l Sanah was brave through the whole thing..and that you kept your cool :) I knew I would have panicked right away!

Mukul said...

whoa whoa!!! scary as hell and comic at the same time! give a key to your good neighbours!

karmickids said...

What a terrible story, surabhi, reminds me of the time the brat managed to lock himself in one of the bedrooms which had fancy french windows and no grills. Called construction workers from a neighbouring site to cut down the door (we had an awesome super duper multiple lock which couldnt be tackled by any ordinary locksmith and the key was in the same bedroom, can you imagine the idiocity). Now we have door stoppers and a towel thrown over every door for added precaution, never mind the aesthetics....luckily he sat calmly in a corner and demolished some toys rather than go to the window...
PS: Be very social when you have small children in the house. You never know when you may need help....

SUR NOTES said...

yes, duplicate keys will be made and given to various neighbours.

various contraptions will be duly attached to the damn doors.

and no more good housekeeping activities! :)

and yes, am glad it ended well!!!

Sunita said...

That was scary ... but when I read this ..I just couldn't stop smiling
"raos were not raos but mores"

Banno said...

Hey, that must have been terrifying for a while, though it's hilarious to read now. A locked herself into a room once in Nainital, and yes, we had to unhinge the door to get to her!! It was scary because I could not even see into the room.

But yes, with little kids around, you need to be friends with the neighbors. I did learn that at the FTII hostel, and then later in Mumbai. Or we could never have managed.

surgeon said...

my god!!!! am so glad everything is okay

i got locked in the bathroom once- in the middle of the afternoon. no one in the house. I went to sleep and four hours later my dad broke in the door to let me out.

but yes... please duplicate keys are required. or of course, if you feel like fearless nadia keep a rope or safety line handy on the ledge hehehehe

SUR NOTES said...

so everyone has got locked in/out at somepoint or the other. absurd things dont happen to me and sanah alone. chalo, thats a relief!

and yes surgeon, i do have fearless nadia fantasies. atleast let me get the hat and the mask if not the rope on the ledge.

d said...

a friend's kid once got locked in a room of the house. he was alone at home with a maid. the poor maid called a neighbouring maid to stand in the dining room balcony, and she climbed from the dining balcony to the bedroom balcony (4th floor, no ledge, adjoining balconies) and went in to the room. found the door could'nt be opened, so she carried the baby, handed him across the balcony to the waiting neighbouring maid, and then climbed back herself!

the friend came home and sacked the maid later for attempting foolish things and not simply calling her up at her office.

i do not know what i would have done in the situation.

SUR NOTES said...

d: eeks! anyone trying stunts with the baby in hand is horrific. but the poor maid she must be terrified too - and brave- and your friend ir right- pretty foolish too. i got a rap from most for even contemplating the ledge scramble!

the mad momma said...

LOL!! I think this post got enough sympathy... and now that i know it ended well.. .I can roll on the floor and laugh at the sight... but it was brave of sanah not to get worked up.... oh alright.. it was brave of you too!

SUR NOTES said...

hey tmm, i got the sympathy only on my blog.

my mom couldnt supress her giggles over the phone. ami, the one i mentioned in the post, cant stop abusing me for not going to mothercare or wherever- we had discussed the possibility of this very thing happening barely two weeks back. and the husband, he did gulp initially, but then said how foolish you called the mores, rao!

Just like that said...

Hopped over from MM.

Phew! Am glad you did not have to resort to stepping on that one-foot ledge on the 6th floor.

LOL at your mother laughing at you, and ROTFL at you shouting for the Raos, who were actually Mores!!!

dipali said...

Why wan't I reading your blog, then ,Sur? Phew. Now this was a really real crisis.
I'm so glad it was resolved relatively soon. And that you were fully dressed, not like someone we both know, who got locked out of her flat as a new bride, wearing very skimpy nightwear, as she had just stepped out for the milk packets after her spouse had left for work.
I've got locked into a ladies loo in a hotel, and had to endure what seemed like endless hammering while they broke the lock. I luckily had a friend with me who rushed to get help.
Methinks an ideal world would have np locks, Chinese or otherwise:)