Locked Out (again)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Has it ever happened with you that by mistake you shut the auto-lock door while going out but the moment you slammed the door shut, you are like ‘Holy Shit! Left the keys inside’? And then realize that you even forgot your phone inside. *Another curse*. And that you were staying alone in the apartment as your roommates are out of town till next week? *Another curse*. And that too at such an unfortunate time that even your landlord wouldn’t be available till next day to bail you out? *Another curse*. And then you can’t help a smile thinking that it had happened again.

Almost 4 years back, I had gone through the experience of feeling homeless for 3-4 hours in a foreign land(Switzerland) having locked out the door accidentally but forgetting to take the house keys. After that incident, I developed the habit of double checking that I have the key to ensure that I don’t end up in a similar situation again. However, taking precautions may not always prevent the accident but it may only delay the accident to happen.

Unfortunately a few days back I went through the almost same ordeal. It happened when I stepped out of the apartment in the night around 9 pm to check the mailbox downstairs. I checked my pockets (by habit) to see if I had keys and I did have a key (but it was just the mailbox key!) and then I shut the door thinking I had the house keys. And when I reached the mailbox, I realized what the hell I have done. I started thinking about ways how I could get in the house.

  • Contact leasing office to get duplicate keys, but its closed and will be open only next morning 9 am.
  • Break in to the house through balcony but it was too dangerous and I could have ended up spending night in jail if I was seen doing a break-in. And secondly, the balcony door was closed.
  • Contact a friend to whom I had given the duplicate keys to house but who is living 15 miles away. I neither had the phone to contact him nor a vehicle to reach there, nor did I have the wallet to pay for taxi.
  • Contact my neighbor and take his help to contact my friend who had the keys.
  • Go to a friend’s house which was nearby and spend the night at his house and come back to leasing office next morning to get duplicate keys.

After having thought of all these possible options, I felt that there was no need to panic. So, I thought let me meet my neighbors (who didn’t even know that I was their neighbor) , try explaining to them my crisis situation and seek their help to contact my friends. The neighbor was a Spanish guy who was quite friendly and welcomed me inside his home. I requested him to contact the leasing office and check if there is any chance of someone doing a night shift who could help in such emergency situations. He called up the leasing office but as expected no one was there to pick up. Luckily, two of my friends turned up at my door and they were knocking my door and calling my phone (which was inside the home). I wasn’t aware that someone was at my door as I was inside my neighbor’s home. Then, they said something to each other and I was able to recognize a familiar tone and I opened up my neighbor’s door to see those familiar faces. I can’t tell how delighted and relieved I felt to see them. I thanked my neighbor for his assistance and then went with friends to meet the friend whom I had given keys earlier this morning.

Phew! And I felt great relief to come back to the warmth of home after missing it for about an hour 🙂

(PS: I was watching this movie ‘The Hidden Face’ (SPOILER ALERT!) today where a lady ends up locking her inside a secret room and is helplessly trapped there for a month as she forgot the keys to unlock the door of secret room. I wish I had seen that movie before and realized the importance of keys!)

Picture Perfect

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It was raining outside. The cool but strong breeze ruffled up the newspaper lying on my bed. As an effect of suffering from the obsessive compulsive personality disorder of keeping things in order, I had to get out of the snug blanket to stack those papers away in the cupboards. Then, I turned towards the balcony to close the sliding window from where the breeze was coming in. I took a look outside the window to find that it was still drizzling steadily. Then, I looked up towards the sky and witnessed a captivating scene. At that midnight stroke, the sky looked like painted with a red canvas with greyish looking clouds floating across it and rain drops, shining under the effect of a tower light located above my floor, merrily choosing a haphazard way, courtesy of the strong breeze, on their downward journey.

I kept watching Nature’s play for quite a while until an impulsive thought flashed that I should reach out for my camera and try to capture this captivating scene. I tried taking a picture of the sky but it was too far. I tried taking a picture of the rain drops falling down, but in the captured frame, they didn’t seem to rejoice like they seem to do when in motion. I tried taking a picture of the tower light which was making the drops visible, but in the frame it hardly looked inspiring. I tried changing the camera modes but no mode seemed to be good enough to capture the moment’s mood. Then, I realized that it’s not worth trying hard since some moments are meant to be cherished and experienced but not to be captured.

I started thinking about what is it that was missing in that picture that it didn’t look perfect like that scene. And I realized it’s easy to capture the image but difficult to capture the perspective of the person who took it. Even when one shares an image, that same image may evoke different feelings for different viewers and yet none of them may be exactly the same as one’s own feeling, since one can’t share one’s perspective along with the image. Camera’s lens isn’t the lens through which we see the world, rather mind is the lens through which we see it. Some lenses are more crooked than others and fail to look at things beyond themselves, while, some others may be too straight to focus on things at hand. As lenses do not come in same shape and size, so doesn’t the perception of perfection.

I have often heard that a picture is worth a thousand words but I feel that sometimes a thousand words are needed to make up a picture’s worth.

The Devotion of Suspect X : Book Review

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Devotion of Suspect X is a thriller novel originally written in Japanese by Keigo Higashino which unfolds over 374 pages an incredible murder mystery. A normal murder mystery proceeds in the direction of revealing the murderer towards the end. However, this novel proceeds in the reverse direction where we know who the murderer is in the first chapter of the novel itself and then we see how that murderer is protected from being convicted of that crime by following the instructions given by a genius mathematician. As the story unfolds, the reader thinks that he is getting insight into the plan devised by that genius to protect the murderer, but at the end, the reader is totally deceived when the actual plan of that genius mathematician is revealed by another genius, who happens to be a friend of that mathematician.

The story begins by describing a normal day in the quiet and simple life of a maths school teacher, Ishigami, his passion for mathematics and his silent one-sided love for her neighbor, Yasuko, a single mother staying with her daughter, Misato.  However, one day, things change when Yasuko is visited by her abusive ex-husband at her apartment. She and her daughter have a confrontation with him in which trying to save themselves, they end up strangling him. Ishigami, being next door, comes to know about what she has done and offers to help her dispose of the dead body and promises to protect them from being convicted if they precisely follow his instructions.

Once the detectives start investigating the murder case, they start suspecting Yasuko, cross-questioning her and following her secretly in hope to unveil evidences against her. But none of these helps them in discovering solid evidence against her. Ishigami, had already considered all these possibilities and all the possible equations and seems to have devised a water-tight plan to protect her. However, his plan starts falling away, as he hadn’t considered devising his plan for an unknown variable, his college friend, Yukawa, who was a genius physicist and is very good at making subtle observations. I don’t wish to spoil the suspense by revealing more about the plot.

The novel is fast-paced and has a flowing narrative which keeps the reader interested all the time to read a few more pages and so on, until he ends up reading it completely.  I have never read before a 350+ pages novel in a single day. The ending of this novel is a killer twist and one will appreciate the plan devised by the mathematician who deceived not only the detectives but also the reader. And how elegantly, the plan was based on a simple yet elegant thought that sometimes to conceal a truth, you must tell a truth.

Apart from the brilliant murder mystery, one finds some true observations made about human nature made by the mathematician to deceive humans and made by the physicist to catch the deception. If one is interested in murder mysteries, this is one book which is definitely worth their time. A fascinating tale of crime and wit.

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