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.