‘Of Elevators and People.


Oh, where should I start from? So much to say. I wish I had some grand, exciting theory to talk about, which would stimulate brain cells, but no, here I am talking about (Say it!)… Yes, Elevators and PEEEPUL. Every elevator ride, just as every auto rickshaw ride is an experience, although thankfully the former (if lucky) only lasts a few minutes.

Here are some of the issues , you may face or things you may observe in the elevator:

1- Queuing Up

Every day at work, I need to go up six (6) floors in my office building to reach my workstation. The first step to get inside the elevator is to stand in the ever long queue, which may become so long that we’ll start queuing at the entrance of the building some day. I am one of those women who believe in equality in such a way that I feel men should not be discriminated against as well. So, i am not one of those ladies who disregard the men queuing up and confidently walk right at the start of the queue, waiting for the elevator to open and strut right in. Come on, that is unfair. I choose to queue up like the men and patiently wait for my turn.

Although a few days back, an old man told me very respectfully, “Agar aap aagay jaa ker khari naheen hoteen, tou ye aap ki hamaqat hei.” i.e. if you don’t walk right at the start of the queue, disregarding the queue like other women, then it is my folly. Thankfully, i am not the only female who chooses to stand in queue, so oh well, get used to women who don’t behave like they need help all the time (just sometimes. ;))

Anyways, the elevator experience gets more enriching. Wait until you get inside it.

2- The Stare Psychology

Once inside, some poor depraved soul, may start staring intently at my face. And, the only reason I notice him, is because females have a very strong six sense. They know when someone is looking at them, without the need of looking at the person. The staring man doesn’t blink and he doesn’t feel embarrassed when he realises that you know he is staring at you. He just stares, stares and stares, until either you get off the elevator or he does. His staring has absolutely nothing to do with whether you are pretty, unpretty, stylishly dressed, modestly dressed, in a burqa, enveiled , wearing a skirt or in pants. This is the way he gets kicks. This is your average depraved, sick male (not generalizing.). This is his vengeance towards the pretty much sad life he has. I am usually tempted to make it sadder, by poking his eyes with my fingers or spraying some pepper spray so deep in his eyes that he forever keeps his gaze low. I think his family’s prayers are the only thing saving him, because as far as I’m concerned, I’m this close to snapping.

| “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest.” (An-Nur: 30-31)- The Holy Quran |

3-Body Odour, Burps and the like

Repulsive. Nothing more, nothing less. Please do not burp audibly in the elevator. It’s sick. I have stopped myself from wailing; “euuuuuuuuuuuuuu”, many times. Don’t eat so much that your tummy explodes and asks for mercy. I know it was lunch time and i know, you feel hungry, but why oh why, make puddles of cholesterol and chutneys of spices in your stomach and then torture, everybody in the elevator with sounds and smells, we can all do without.

|On the authority of Al-Miqdaam ibn Maadiy-Karib who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: “No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.”- Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah – Hadith sahih. |

Then there are those people who forget to take a shower. Not many. But some. Do not try camouflaging the odour with perfume, you are making it worse. You are activating my sinus. You are a walking virus. Just shower! I would like to give a disclaimer to the peons because maybe, just maybe, they have water issues at home, but the rest,  you have NO excuse.

|”….For God loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (The Noble Quran, 2:222)”|

|Narrated Abu Musa: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one,is I like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.’ (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Sales and Trade, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 314) |

4- The Elevator Singers

Oh yes, they exist. There is a certain lady, who looks educated, well to do and seems to belong to a respectable family, but she has this insane habit of humming when in the lift.  She will take her blackberry out, skim through the emails and hum while at it. And all this happens, when the elevator is overcrowded inside. I still have not been able to figure out, why she does that. Is this a mere habit? Hmm… Strange.

Then, there is that man, who starts humming a song, out of tune, when it’s just you, him and the elevator operator inside. Does he do that to get a woman’s attention? He needs some counseling. The last time it happened, i almost blurted out: “Can you sing louder so the dogs can hear you? They have been searching for their lost puppy since a long time. I think you’re the one. You howl just right.”

5- The Ringtones

I have heard qawallis, political parties’ jingles, the adhaan, the late Benazir’s voice, birds chirping, trance music, ghazals, sad songs and romantic tunes. You name it.

6- The Talkers

Some folks like to talk in the elevator. They will talk about the political issues, remark on the sounds coming from the elevator’s pulleys and gossip a bit. There are also those who like to throw a wisecrack, inevitably making most of us  smile or try to stifle our laughter. For folks, whose cell phones do work in elevators, they don’t wait until they get off, but chat until they reach the destination. So we all hear about their issues, their meetings, their babies, blah, blah and blah.

So you see, dear friends, an elevator ride is an experience. Still want to take the stairs? I’m with you. Who needs drama? ;)

Do you have an elevator experience you would like to share?

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11 thoughts on “‘Of Elevators and People.

  1. :) nice post..
    If OBserving, starrig and discussin is the spice of life then yes…
    Elevator ride is a great experience to have daily. I use to take elevator from past four years to rech my offie and i take it like observing people ,interacving with familiar people whom im not scared of replying difernt.:):).. asper there same old obvious questions that were asked daily.e.g. how are you ? hows work going? bla bla bla. then comes diferent people outgoings at the time of evening when everbody wants to rush to elevator and i am like ok u go first then i will go then its like .. house full for the turn , next turn mam ( the lift Man with a sarcastic smile)…and then onwards i started prefering Stares.:) and now im in a practice of taking stares for evenings and Elevator for morning. only.(smart of me ..hehehe),,, for me me truly speaking taking elevator is more like behaviour of all type of same people but with different backgrounds and differnt perceptions daily.
    b.regds

  2. Pingback: Buuuurrrppp! « mAn's POV

  3. I totally agree with what you wrote. I used to travel up to the 7th floor in one of two elevators with a building of about 9 floors each travelling only to odd or even numbers. Ofcourse the one going to odd numbers always had a longer time and weirder ppl in queue. I usually opted to go for the other elevator and climb up or down on the stairs for one floor. I never understood why people always chose to take the elevator to the first or mezzanine floor (unless they were handicapped of course).
    The other thing i always found annoying was the attitude of most females who took it for granted that they had a right to cut in front of not only the males but also the females… I too always chose to stand in queue like the men. I always felt bad that men have to wait much longer than females to enter the elevator. Ah, why can’t offices be on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd floors or move faster? That was we could take the stairs and get much needed exercise as well.

  4. I was stuck in an elevator for over an hour once, but it was by myself. I was working as a housekeeper in a hotel when the city had a blackout and everything shut down- electricity. So there I was with my cleaning cart and anxiety imagining the worst and waiting for help to come. It was quite an experience really…one that needs not be repeated. However, it was an opportunity for self reflection in the face of anxiety. I did prevail- but think of those that don’t! They never get out of the ‘elevator’ (metaphor) and are enclosed by ever shrinking four walls with nothing but their fears…I was there once.

  5. * Yesterday was Better:

    Take your time. It’s better not to promise. Promises are made to be broken. ;)

    * Beautiful as it might seems…

    I hope you meant that you prefer stairs and not stares. I can’t be sure. Either way good for you. ;)

    * Sana:

    Haha! It almost sounds like it’s the same building we are talking about. I suppose human behavior is very similar everywhere.

  6. * Erin

    Thank you for visiting my blog. That sounds horrible. I am a bit of a claustrophobic so i don’t know what i would have done in your place. Hopefully, kept hold of my senses.

    I am infinitely glad that you tore down the ‘four walls’ and breathed life.

    much love.

  7. about the elevators and of course the people of especially the city you live in or rather to stretch the horizon, the country you live in is what you have uncompromisingly explained, so humorously its just superb :). and also with regard to the moral dilemmas and bothersome situations the Quranic verses and ahadith you have mentioned are too precise and plausible! so, here goes my ‘WOW’! :D

    jazakillah Sam :)

  8. Hahaha..this added to the list “things not to do in an elevator”. its one thing to have someone burping in my ear and another to watch someone pick his nose and then proceed to wipe the bugger on the elevator panels(like no ones seeing them!!). the elevator etiquette should be printed as a wallpaper in the elevators. **wiping tears off while laughing**

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