Pandharinath had come to the city for the first time, to meet his son. The janitor informed him, that he had to take the elevator to the fifth floor, where his son stayed in Flat no. 507. He stood in the queue, trying hard to memorize the numbers. The door opened, and he entered a tiny room, with a lady holding a baby. She said,
“Press the button, Baba! I will go to the 9th floor.”
He pressed a button, and the door opened again.
“Oh, no, Baba! Not that one. Press the number of your floor and 9.”
Fifth, 507, 9…. What was he supposed to do?
The lady had meanwhile, pressed 9, and the room moved. He first felt a downward push, and then, a smooth, gliding movement upwards. What was happening?
“Are you new to this place, Baba? Whom are you visiting?”
“My son, Mangesh, lives in room no. 507, the guard said. His wife should be at home to open the door..”
“Oh, you didn’t tell me that. We have reached the ninth floor. Now, press 5, and it will take you to the fifth floor.”
The door opened, and out stepped the lady. The baby was smiling at him, perhaps at his foolishness. He hadn’t seen such a specimen on his evening pram rides before.
The door closed again, magically, without anybody giving it a push. He remembered what the lady had said, and pressed 5. A downward push, and he felt, as if he was moving towards the netherworld- Patal Lok. Magic happened again, and the door opened. He stepped out swiftly, before that room started moving again.
He had pulled out his glasses, and was looking for the number 507. Deva … tell Mangesh’s wife to open the door for me, just as the other one opened. The city was a wonderful place….
Written for IBMC#09 The Be A Baby Challenge by Prakash Hegde