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The other day I stepped into the lift, elevator if you please for those who use the term, on my way down for my after dinner stroll. Even as the doors closed shut, I froze where I stood. There was someone already in it, an intruder not meant to be there. Should I stay put or get out? I only had to go down three floors. I decided, I didn’t need the tension. Never mind my knee, I’d get out right away and walk down the stairs.

Quickly, I pressed the button for opening the elevator door. Too late. In the nano second I had wasted freezing before deciding on the next course of action, the elevator had already begun its downward journey. As any self-respecting elevator would tell you if it had the means to do so, the rules of their ‘association’ firmly state that they not entertain any request from stupid humans for opening of doors once descent (or ascent) has commenced.

‘Should I call the L&M?’ I wondered. Right now he was probably watching the shouting match that goes by the name of debate on news hour on the telly. Or may be he was in his study with the headphones on, happily watching a movie while I was stuck with an intruder in the lift whose beady eyes I could feel on me sending shivers down my spine. But what could he do anyway?

There was nothing for it but for me to keep a wary eye out and make sure I wasn’t attacked or pounced upon during the few seconds it took for the elevator to reach the ground floor. I moved as close as I could to the door and held my breath, trying not to alarm the other occupant and hoping for the best. As soon as the elevator reached the ground level and the doors opened, I jumped out nimbly.

I glanced back as the doors slowly slid shut on the lone lizard on the lift’s inside wall who was still watching me with its beady eyes. I heaved a sigh of relief. That had been a narrow escape. I vowed to use the stairs on my way back.

© Shail Mohan 2022