Saturday, 29 March 2014

Project Krypton : The Hero in You!

So even though I was dawdling around and doing nothing substantial, it was hard to convince myself to blog in between the exams. However, this incident, this enigmatic turn of events, was just worthy enough of being shared. One, it makes me realize that my wish to lead a life that would be anything but dreary and morose has perhaps come true and two, life surely is the best playwright. Here's to the vagabonds who cherish it every single day.

So I caught this best bus from the Electric House depot at Colaba in the evening, an empty one as usual as you gotten into it at the depot itself, and grabbed the last seat whose incessant craving I had come to appreciate. For some reason, whether you travel alone or with compatriots, the last one gives you that not so perfunctory travelling sense. So, I proceeded with putting earpieces into my phone and was just about to put them on when the conductor came approaching for the ticket. I kept the phone on the seat and just as I was about to pull it back, an undulatory motion struck the bus as we hit a breaker and off went the phone, disconnecting the ties from the headphone and went into an endless limbo that extended between the seat and the backrest. I was almost certain that I just had to get up, slide my hands across the surface beneath the seat and there I'd get my phone. All in one shot. But wait a minute. What !!!

For a reason not so easily ostensible, the entire access to the space beneath the last seat was sealed with burly metals and studded with mighty screws. I was simply not prepared to witness that. No other seat in the bus had that and this one, of all the seats I had come to price, had this bulwark beneath the seat. But I knew there has to be a way out. Maybe there's an access panel that one could get to by removing the backrest or tilting it up, The upper panel mainly comprised of seats loosely fit into a strong metal framework but that was it. No other openings but for a short passage through which it was rather impossible tog et your hands through. I had to abate my own thinking process now. People kept boarding and alighting the bus and my ordeal at the end had come to become a faux pas. It was about time I asked for help. 

So this gentleman sitting in front of me, from his inquisitiveness and copious eyes he agglutinated on me while I was fiddling with the seats, seemed to be the right person to call in. He jumped in with a smile. He also roped in a conductor who was full of berserk cravenness about the prospects of some of his camerederie having to spent a day for me to get my phone. But despite the lack of reassurance which I desperately needed in there, his presence and concern helped me. Meanwhile, this man tried getting to the phone. We rung it to track down the light but damn, maybe it fell upside down. And then came a bit of a surprise. A man suddenly sprung into the battlefield after he took his time to spot the anomaly at the back. The conductor took no time to recognize him. A best guy who works on bodies as an engineer. Yes, he was the one we were looking for in that bus.

Serendipity had it, I had to take up the last seat in an empty bus for which the conductor continuously harangued and vituperated me despite his ardent support, I had to keep the phone on the seat just moments before we hit the breaker, and now we had a bus engineer who probably climbed on just because we all boarded right from the depot. As luck had it, we were all on a mission now. The man who made ten attempts while scathing his hands against the cranky metal just like me, the conductor who again and again importuned me to do a to and fro journey back to the depot to consult someone there to open the seats, and this engineer who looked estranged but had an ingress full of flair. He had leaner hands so he too was ready to get the hands dirty. Meanwhile the first guy and I had a convalescence of our forelimbs. The increasingly skeptic audiences were either sensing a contravention or a bunch of nincompoops vying for a hidden treasure. But people genuinely wanted to help, that was right there in their eyes. It's just that hope was dwindling now. The driver remained untrammeled of course. Lucky for us he didn't get his hands of the wheel to look at the back. 

With time, a total of 28 attempts were made by the three of us combined to reach to the phone whose whereabouts beneath were not known. The conductor came up with a poignantly cantankerous idea of maybe the lower panel being open through which the phone fell down the moment I dropped it. I almost swallowed my heart and went back to the hunt. The best engineer was more determined than I thought. He now started leveraging on his contacts at the depot, the foreman who can put together buses to see if he can get something. He unfortunately couldn't. There was no way the panel could be accessed without unscrewing the tardy screws at the depot. I had just begin to imagine the improbability of the situation. I mean how often does a guy drop a phone in a seat that was not designed keeping dropping phones in mind. I mean you got the very basics wrong. And then I seriously laughed at my self created delirium to bring this upon myself. I was genuinely surprised that these men were not chiding me anymore. They could commiserate with me. The best guy was still determined but it was not going to happen right then anymore. 

He called up his contacts at the depot to seal a deal. I was to report there the next morning, I was to convince the foreman that I did drop the phone and the foreman would open it up in front of me.I was to stay away from the cell for a day and with a place like India, you never knew if the phone would be there. But the man's voice gave me an aplomb. However this heaving T&C of me proving my phone was there was tough. The battery would die out by the next day so even a GSM tracker with the intelligence couldn't testify the phone's presence without ripping it off. I had started conjuring backup plans by now. I had recovered the data so it was just a matter of a call to block the sim and off goes my phone forever, perhaps in the hands of a human of was intelligible enough not to drop it in the last seat. People began to reoccupy their seats, apparently as dejected at my abject state as me. I was surprisingly going to pull of my other phone to listen to some music like I would have done with my erstwhile one. But alas, the fear of social ignominy that would have come for me not being worried enough of my phone prevented that. So that there, was nearly the end of the story. 

10 minutes had gone by and I was still lost in the reverie. The conductor in the meanwhile came up with a new alternative. He asked me that in the transit time between the this trip and the next one, we could use some torch or something to get to the phone. He grotesquely suggested the quixotic possibility of breaking in from beneath. Yeah, now the man was jumping the bandwagon it seemed. I was prepared to relinquish the phone in a rather vile goodbye. I just sensed the opportunity of maybe touching it for the one last time because pulling it from that abyssymal black hole was obviously beyond human capacity. So I pulled off that one seat panel and once again plunged my hand in. This suddenly piqued the curiosity of a new gentleman sitting in front of me. He was rather laconic. "Lost your phone?". "Yeah" I said. He immediately took out his cellphone, touched the cryptic code like a CIA exterminator and switched on the torch app. He thought maybe we didn't try a torch before. Surprisingly, one man who was with us minutes ago was actually carrying that conventional torch that proved to be of no avail. However, this man brought a crochet sense of determination. 

This man used a proper approach, angling the torch at different positions, peeping diagonally and asked me to remove all seats along the panel. I was certain I dropped my phone on the left side and this guy asks me to remove all the panel seats. At least we were trying something new so I did that. His prowess in lighting hid areas through the brandishing torch was awesome. And suddenly, it struck as an epiphany. There was this elevated section I noticed in the middle just a notch or two above the main deep pit we couldn't reach till now. I knew the phone couldn't be there because it slipped right through and didn't go left or right. This one was towards the center. But what if the phone was at that section and that's why torch couldn't detect its presence at the bottom. The odds were obviously stacked against us but there was no harm in trying. 

Having no courage to bump into failure after another blatant renewed hope, I asked this man if he could check in that elevated pocket. I kind of closed my eyes due to my cravenness. The conductor controlled his heavy breathing. He always made a good spectator. And then this man came up with thos chimerical words. "Mil Gaya" (Got It) and pulled out the phone as if he elicited the magical portion from a treasure trove. Everyone including me, the conductor and that best guy were scintillated to see the phone. A lot of guys had never witnessed an operation as astute as that one. The best engineer who grew increasingly apprehensive about me having dropped the phone somewhere else and digging at this possibility for the sake of self assurance, finally smiled at his plaintiff. In the meanwhile, this insouciant guy reoccupied his seat. He simply walked through all the praise he got. Instead of my thanks and a histrionic out of moment salute, he gave me a bleak smile. He considered it a duty, everyone else considered it a heroic. The man was indifferent to any praise and felt chagrined and vexed by the jovial looks people gave him. In a matter of minutes, the bus came to his stop, he left and started walking away to a slovenly looking Chaul. As we all saw him become a silhouette, I thought what about the heroes who don't manifest on screens. What about the heroes who buttress your case every day? What about the ignoramus in me, what about the hero in you?