I knew for certain that I had to gear up for the revenge of the cosmos. I had outsmarted it with the train seat, and held on to my own during the stormy ride for a tie. I just didn't know what the next challenge might be.
After a dinner of wonderfully tasty bananas--yes, that is all this healthnut had for dinner in order to compensate for a tad unhealthy lunch with old college-mates--I decided to unwind by playing a couple of rounds of bridge online. Awful tables I was at and I quit soon after.
I turned the television on, hoping that something might be there to amuse and involve me. It is amazing how there can be a gazillion channels and, yet, nothing to watch.
Even as I kept changing channels hoping against hope that I will land on an interesting show, everything went dark. The TV and the lights. Even the diffused light from outside through the window curtains. The AC was dead.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit ..." is all I think kept uttering.
Ever since old age crept up on me, which was about a decade ago (!) I always carry with me a small flashlight or a camping-style head-lamp when I travel outside the US. This time too, the head-lamp was one of the first things I tossed into the suitcase when getting ready for the India trip. But, the "shit, shit, shit, shit ..." was because I forgot to take that with me to Bangalore, and it was back in Chennai.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit ..."
It was pitch dark. I didn't have my cellphone near me either. That would have helped, not merely to place a phone call, but because it is one of those old, old cellphones that has a tiny flashlight built into it. It is my father's, and he simply refuses to use any newer phone.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit ..."
I groped my way to the door. Even when I had checked in, I had made a mental note of the emergency exit down from the fifth floor. I reached the door and was about to turn the handle when a thought struck me. What if in anticipation a thug or two was waiting outside the door to thump me on the head?
I paused for a second. But, the slight panic from the claustrophobia was worse than any potential thumping on the head.
I decided I would not slowly open the door, but surprise the heck out of whoever it was outside by quickly opening it. That is what I did.
A minimal light was in the corridor. Phew! I suppose the emergency lighting system had kicked in.
And just as I relaxed at the door and took a couple of deep breaths, the lights and the TV came back on.
"Is it the real thing, or the generator?" I asked myself.
And everything went dark again.
I didn't even have time to panic. The lights came back yet again. I assumed that this was the real thing.
I double-locked the door. Shut the TV off. Shut the lights off. Felt at ease with the diffused light from the outside through the curtains.
Sriram 2: Cosmos 0. One was a draw.
That which does not kill me makes me stronger, indeed.
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