AWAKENINGS

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

November 19, 2008 — Locked in the Bathroom

Locked in the Bathroom

How many Indian men does it take to try to unlock a jammed door?  Precisely seven including three female onlookers, plus Mum and my film-maker friend, John.

At six minutes ‘til two o’clock, I jumped on the loo so I could scramble down the elevator to physical therapy in the basement on time.  While Delhiites push Indian Standard Time to Indian Stretchable Time, I try to be prompt for Chavi.  When I am not on time, the excuse of settling into the Indian way flies really well.  Generally, when five minutes stretch into a half hour or sometimes an hour, I am reminded to be patient in this ever present moment.  Things are beyond my control.  In India, a moment and a plan is liable to change with the snap of two fingers.

I didn’t lock my bathroom door.  It doesn’t lock, yet it decided to seize up on its own.  At three minutes to two o’clock I turned the handle, pulled, pulled again, jiggled the door knob and with a smile to the Gods, I realized I was locked in my own bathroom. 

“Hey Mum, I’m locked in the bathroom.  Can you try to open the door from your side?”

Jiggle, jiggle.  Tug. Push. Jiggle.  Mum replied, “Mand, I think you’re locked in.  I’ll call for help?”

“Can you tell Chavi I’ll be late for PT?”

I sat in the bathroom with a slight panic and a giggle at the ridiculousness of the situation.  I think to myself, Only in India.  Within minutes I hear not one, not two, but several Hindi voices on the other side of the door.  More door jiggles and push pulls.  Still nothing.  The lock doesn’t budge.  Bang, bang, bang.  I jump back in my wheelchair and roll four feet backwards towards the shower.  My God, their going to bash this door in.

I call out, “What are they doing?”

My friend John replies, “Their chipping the door away with a hammer and chisel.”

I plead, “Wait, stop!  Naheen.  John, can you find my tool kit and slide the screwdriver underneath the door? Let me first try from my side.” 

The Indians kept at it.  Bang.  Bang.  Bang.  The best solution to unlocking a jammed door in India is to bash the hell out of it and blow the house down.  Bang. Bang. Bang.  How absurd!  I thought.  I laughed loudly.   

“Here Amanda, take the screw driver.”

“Thanks John.  Tell them to stop.  I’ll try to unscrew the handle from my side.”  In fear if ruining a perfectly good door, I worked quickly.

“Ek minit”.   I called out in Hinglish.  “I’m working bahut jaldi (very quickly).  Roko (Stop) banging.”

I thought the door was going to close in on me.  The big bad wolf was huffing and puffing and blowing really hard.  A few minutes later I had the handle free from the door.  A few more jiggles and the lock came free too. The door opened. 

“Yeah, I’m free.”  I hollered with elation as my nose fell into the armpits of seven Indian men.  I rolled underneath the mob.  One man kept banging. 

“Hey, stop.  Roko!  Save the door.  Don’t do more damage” I begged.  Speak to the hand ‘cause the face won’t listen.  One particular man exerted himself as the authoritative figure, and proceeded to hammer the door knob parts back into place.  I don’t even think a screwdriver was used.  I learned another Indian lesson:  when in doubt, use a hammer.  Don’t use it with finesse and accuracy, just take a big swing and bash really hard.  It’ll get the job done, no worries.

With wood chips on the floor and an empty bladder I was free and twenty-five minutes late.  Indian Stretchable Time…so all was well.

Moments later I rolled into the therapy room and the place erupted. 

“Amanda, what happened?” Asked Chavi with a big grin on her face.  “You were locked in the bathroom?” 

Nothing is sacred at Nu Tech Mediworld.  News travels rapidly.  As The Aspen Daily News states, If you don’t want it printed, don’t let it happen.   

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