Those of you, who have those body-locks on the front door, you know, the ones which locks automatically when shut, would know the sting of being locked out without a key. (Unless you are one of those extra careful ones)… I have been locked out of my house, even my car- so many times that now I keep spare keys at different locations with different people. But for everything in life, there is always a first time; and that first time is etched in the canvas of memories forever.
I was outside the apartment and Abhi came running calling my name. I turned around, my eyes questioning my friend. She opened her mouth to say something. But her words never left her mouth. There was a loud BANG making me jump and Abhi scream. A sudden gust of wind had blown our front door shut… locking us out… at 11pm… bare footed… wearing pajamas! I ran the few steps to the door and tried to push it… like it would budge! Abhi looked at me, waiting for a miracle. No phone, no money, no house keys… no bike keys… and the icing to this disaster cake was our dreaded exam the next day. We were both in panic mode now! I could hear Abhi’s mind racing beside me, trying to think but coming up with no solution like me. Finding a locksmith at this hour was impossible.
Like I have said before, I always am best buddies with guys. They see me as a brother-from-another-mother instead of a girl. I had made guy friends in that society too. They really were my buds. I could hear their voices downstairs- probably winding up after the day’s celebration. A silent communication passed between my friend and me. We ran to the lift and went straight down to our friends.
Since I haven’t taken the consent of these two guys I am going to refer to, and I have kind of lost touch with them over the years, let’s just address them by their initials- P and J. P and J looked at us from head to toe… bare-toe… P raised an eyebrow at me- questioning… trying to keep the panic out of my voice, I told them what happened. They were equally at loss like us. What could be done at this hour of the night! The four of us went up back to the 5th floor. P, J and I tried to break the lock by hitting the door… only to end up with bruised shoulders… J suggested we try to pick the lock with a card and pins… let me tell you, it’s all bullshit what they show in movies! Picking a lock isn’t an amateur’s job! It was nearing 11:30pm now. Our only hope was a locksmith. But where do we find one so late at night?!
Now P was a very resourceful guy. 3-4 phone calls later to friends and their friends, he managed to get a locksmith’s number. Before we called the guy the four of us calculated how much money we had between us. (They couldn’t ask their parents obviously. The Sanskari elders wouldn’t be happy to know that their boys were with two girls who living alone, at midnight! Let’s face it, in India young boys and girls can’t be just friends!) The nearest ATM was 5kms away. Luckily between Abhi and me, we had around 500 rupees which we could access only after the door opened and the guys had around 300ish. P called the locksmith- once- twice-thrice… finally they guy responded on to the fourth call- not really happy. P sweet talked him into coming and offered to pick him up and drop him off along with thrice the amount he usually charged. J tossed his bike keys to P and P went to pick up our only hope while Abhi, J and I sat on the stairs waiting. P finally came back around midnight with the locksmith. 20 minutes of jiggling of the lock, filing of an unshaped key and listening intently, the miracle-man opened our door and handed me a duplicate key he made and pocketed 600 bucks. Abhi and I thanked P and J for their help and received two pairs of eye-roll. J headed home while P went to drop our savior off on my bike.
Abhi and I were too hyped to sleep and anyways I had to wait for my bike keys- I needed them in the morning to go to the train station. We picked up our books but we were so riled up that hardly anything registered. A small knock on the door around 1pm announced P’s return. He handed me my bike key at the door and bid us night. Abhi and I tried to study for few more minutes- in vain, gave up and went to sleep.
The exam next day wasn’t that bad, we both managed to score decent marks and the guys didn’t get into trouble at home. It was usual for them to hang out in the society parking lot late during festivals. So… all was well… and Abhi and I got a shared memory of ‘remember when we got locked out’ to be fondly remembered for years to come!
(Dedicated to my ‘girlfriend’ Abhishikta)