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I was inside the lift in my old apartment. Light was dysfunctional . It was blinking continuously.The maintenance paid by the residents never goes in the right direction and the lifts are not spacious like the office lifts . They are cramped, shabby and dark and only 4 can fit with lot of difficulty.
When the automatic door was about to get closed, a lady in mid 30s entered with thoughtful/confused/dazed look on her face and gazed at me with those mingled expressions. She seemed to be a Trelawney to me. The door got closed. She fumbled for buttons pressed 3 different buttons-- 3,4,5 . I ignored and pressed 2. She immediately turned to me.
Trelawney: “What do you do if someone teases you in lift?”
Me: “Pardon!?" (stars on my head of course)
Trelawney: “I mean there is even no light in this lift! What to do if some one misbehaves? What if some one touches you or grabs you from behind?”
I shuddered at the thought. I instantly pictured a scene from some horror movie where a man in black stabs the lady with a knife as soon as the lift opens.
Me : “No. (in my mind it was a "Noooooooo.") At least in this apartment nothing of that sort will happen. Wait. Did it happen to you any time?”
Lady: “No . The whole 5th floor is full of spoiled brats. They keep playing Xbox, put the music player on full volume , get drunk , and obviously travel in the lift. What if one of the sturdy guys does it? I just got scared by the thought, that’s it.”
Oh god! Sturdy guy does what?This lady is scaring me now with her what-ifs !?!Obviously lift stopped at 2nd floor but I was still talking to her.
Me: “No ! I don’t think any of them will do it and any way in the time you use lift I feel they won’t be using it. They come back very late in night I heard!”. Some how her dreamy troubled look made me utter these words. I was surprised by myself.
Trelawney, finally managed a weak smile and still looking dreamily at me uttered a meek thanks and the doors got closed. I smiled to myself and walked towards our flat!
I was checking the watch and hurriedly completing the last round of my morning walk. I got up late and had to catch the bus in the next 30 min. I was walking in the apartment compound like I daily do. At the park, near the swing I was about to take a turn where a very old man with head full of grey hair carrying a basket which had 4 heritage milk packets and news paper stopped me all of a sudden .
I could almost hear the "screeeeeeeeeech" sound when we apply sudden break to the Pulsar vrooming in jet speed and I stopped just a feet away from the old man! Adidas has a strong cushion and I didn't topple over him. I unplugged my I-pod to listen to why he stopped me!?
Old man : “Don’t mind.I daily see you walking this side!”
I had a so-what kind of look on my face.
Old man : “ I actually wanted to ask you some thing!”
I thought he may ask some kind of favor like you see in those 60s' or 70s' melodramatic movies to read a letter for him , or buy something for him or some other similar help.
I nodded as if to go on and not to make me wait. I was already getting irritable but counting the number of grey hairs on his head I controlled my impatience.
Old Man: “Actually do you know in which direction earth revolves?”
What the eff? Of all things in the world you stopped me to ask this! I don’t know about earth's revolution but I felt a galaxy around my head.
Me(suppressing the anger): "I didn't get you!"
Old man: “Listen beta! Earth revolves around the sun in counter clockwise direction and you are walking in counter clock wise direction. Ideally you have to walk in clock wise direction. It is scientifically good and I can prove that to you.”
Well, I am really not good at physics or electromagnetic effects and I was in no mood to recollect what I was taught in school or college. I gave a puzzled look at him and said,“ Ya ! Actually fine. Thanks for the suggestion. But I have to go now. I am getting late for office.”
Old man: “ No no! Listen .You do not understand the importance of it. You youngsters usually don’t try knowing the reasons. Whatever you do is going to dogs. No use even if you walk.
What the heck :( :( . This old man has lot of free time.
I was dancing tip toe unable to decide whether to go or not. I was thinking to myself will it be rude if I just make a move.
OM: “Even if you sleep in this direction it’s not good for health or prosperity and bad omens will haunt you.”
Ya this bit of info I felt is true as by that time I felt one omen is for sure haunting me!
Old man/ Omen : “Do you go to temple?”
Me : “NO!”
OM: “If you go you will know the reason even better actually.”
I was trying hard to not bang my head .
Me: “Sorry but I really don’t have time for all this. I will miss my bus. So c ya”
OM: “Ya ya ma! Sorry! You are like my daughter so just letting you know."( I have lot-of-free time and no one to prey, so eating your head).
OM: "Please walk in clock wise direction ma!".
Me: “OK,” and I left with out turning my head . When I was about to take one more turn I gave a side glance and saw that OM was preying on one more lady who was looking at him as if he escaped from mental hospital.
I respect old people! I don’t want to be rude at them. So I stood for 5 long minutes and listened to what he had to say. But do they understand that preaching too many things to youngsters and giving free advice to strangers is not fair?
PS: I remembered Kareena's "Kyu ki chiller nai hai mere paas scene" from Jab we met!Scene-3
This was in my office while eating the Prism biryani. Prism is not a biryani cuisine. Prism caterers were pretty famous in the office I used to work earlier.
After a long time I went humming to food court , took the 50/- token and without even looking at the surroundings I straight away headed to the PRISM biryani counter. The taste is not exotic but when nothing is exciting around food is the best possible thing to be excited about.
I told him, “Bhayya thoda spicy chahiye.”
Vendor: “ OK.”
As there was no crowd he took his own sweet time to decorate the plate with some good pieces and stretched his hand to give away the hot steaming plate of biryani to me which I happily took from him.
It was sharp 12 so food court was almost empty. I occupied the nearby table and after enjoying the sight of biryani(yes I do enjoy the sight of biryani too) I called my friend who was on the way.
I was about to put a morsel of steaming rice and chicken in my mouth when a person came and stood in front of me.
X: “Sorry to interrupt madam! How do you feel about the food?”
I thought to myself: "Now who is this alien who has come as a haddi between me and my biryani !”
Thinking so I gave back a confused look at him.
X: “I am actually PRISM’s manager and I am taking feedback from every one.”
I looked around and sighed as no one had a damn biryani plate with them.
I gave a vague smile at him and nodded.
X: “Can you please give the feedback about the quality of biryani, how they are serving and other details? We want to know the level of customer satisfaction."
Me: “Ya. It is good !” (I was only concentrating on shooing him away as I didn't want biryani to cool down.)
X: “ No mam! Please tell us if you have any complaints. We are here to serve you better.”
It seemed like he was waiting from a week to blurt these lines and he couldn't hunt any till now to use them.
Me: "Well. At times even after giving my specifications I don’t get good pieces and biryani is not hot some times" ** I looked longingly at my biryani which was cooling down:-(**
X:” Oh ! What happens na mam, when there are too many people, at times it gets tough.” He explained leisurely.
Me: “Ya. I understand." Saying so I again tried to eat.
X: “But next time if you feel that you didn't get good pieces feel free to return the plate and take another mam.”
Now how will I know that with out digging in to my biryani ?!
Me: “hmm OK!” and I started eating...
X: “ Please tell me if any other complaints mam!”
Me: “ You serve only biryani . Yours is not a 5 star hotel that I keep on complaining about your service that water is not chilled enough, AC is not on or waiters are not polite. Can you buzz off so that I can have my biryani?”
Well I thought of saying this. But ended up saying , “NOTHING AT ALL!”
X:” Please note down whatever you told in the complaint book mam. We have a meeting actually daily evening by 5 and as am the MANAGER (he stressed on it) , I will let all know that they note down the specifications of the customers.”
Oh boy that’s the limit ! Now I was irritated! Even in the midst of irritation I remembered the Cleaning manager of ANGREZ.
I started eating totally ignoring him.
X: “Sorry to interrupt you while eating mam . Really sorry. Your good name mam?!”
Any thing to kick him out of the arena .
Me : “Afshan.”
X: “Oh! Nice name Mam. Where are you from?”
I have put the spoon down and asked, “ Why !? Do we have to write even that in the book?” with sarcasm mingled with glare!
X: “No! Simply mam. Please write the feedback.” Saying so he left.
After biryani I didn't bother about the feedback.
Next day I went with different girls to the same food court and I had my box that day. Another girl took something from the same prism. Roti and chicken I guess and we started eating.
To my horror X was standing just opposite to me and shouting: “ MAM ! MAM!!”
I called my friend whose back was facing him(the one having food court ka khaana): “ Hey. I guess he is calling you.”
She turned around. He pointed me and told: “ I am calling that madam!”
X: “You didn't write feed back in the book mam.”
Rest of the girls were suppressing giggles. I was feeling funny and mad too.
Me: “ I forgot . Will do it.”
X: “ Please do it . I checked it yesterday mam." He replied with a super Chipmunk grin!
What the F!
I gave the feedback without fail in some notebook downstairs .My friends told that he was observing if we were writing or not and she advised to add in feedback “PRISM manager tortures a lot by asking continuously for feedback” but I chucked the thought as I didn't want him to haunt me again!
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