Everyday as I drive to office, I dread that one minute, the time to be spent in the lift. The lift in my office has reflecting surfaces on all four sides and on top.
Usually I am never alone in the lift. It’s a joy being the only person in that lift. You can look at yourself from all angles. Make faces. Plus there is that comfort of your own space. But such days are rare.
You keep waiting for lift to come down to the parking floor and by that time there are at least 5-6 fellow travelers who wait with you. You greet the ones whom you know. The doors of the lift open and everyone gets in. Nothing new about it. The process is similar almost everywhere.
But, we have reflecting walls in the lifts. Normal human beings, who greeted each other, now are in a very uncomfortable state. You can’t look anywhere. Six people entered the lift, but they find themselves surrounded by thirty virtual ones in various dimensions. Not only that, those thirty reflect each other and multiply exponentially. If you look straight, you would always find yourself staring at one of those many men/women. Quickly you turn your eyes and there it is, the same person from different angle. If the group that entered, has a mix of genders, things become even more embarrassing. Once, one of my reflections caught eyes of another’s reflection and both of them blushed and said “hi” to each other.
So, as a coping mechanism, a person tries to look at the digital display which shows the floor number the lift is currently on. But if you just see only that person in a video, he would look like an extremely nervous person, too anxious to get to his floor and only half trusting the lift to take him there.
Hence, follows the great guilt show. Everyone stares at the floor. Shameful, heads hung low, looking at their buttons/mobile/shoes/paunch. Once again, if you see this video, you would know that each one of them is sorry; sorry for their past deeds and sorry for bringing in so many intruders in that weird combination of real and virtual spaces. They feel, they shouldn’t have been there.
And whenever the lift door opens, it’s a feeling of liberation. Like a curse is broken. Even if it’s not your floor, you can still look outside the lift or look at those who enter and exit on the pretext of making space to stand. Then you notice the same phenomenon with the new entrants. They look all around for a fraction of second, get scared, and then look at the digital display and then finally join the guilt parade.
One day I entered quite defiantly in the lift resolving that I would not allow the circumstance to make a fool of me. So I stood upright that day. And as I looked at all those heads, I had to bit my lips real hard to stop myself from laughing. It was funny. And I asked myself :Why the guilt ?
Since then, I’ve learnt to hold my own and not be shameful for reasons beyond control. Repetition has taken the humor out of the situation. Instead, a spiritual feeling transcends every time I see all of us, and our reflections which seem to be having a life of their own. The way every one behaves, trying to be non-intrusive, thereby expecting the same from others, it leaves you feeling that deep down inside we are all one. Thoughts and experiences are different, but Mother Nature has nurtured us all on the same principles of evolution: mental, physical and emotional. We are all just another manifestation of the unique miracle called life.
I am sure,with time, a new perspective would replace this one and I would update this post when that happens :).