DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance to any character dead or living is completely incidental.(Can someone always get away from controversies/troubles by including this disclaimer?)
I was doing my internship at a place which is being considered by most of the Indians as Heaven — Switzerland. But I was getting bored of seeing similar kind of natural scenic beauty everywhere I went in this country. So, I asked Him for an interesting experience. But little did i know that “dena waala jab deta hai, toh deta hai chappar phaad ke” i.e. when God is in a mood to give you something, He will blow off the roof of your house first. Well, this literally proved true on that Saturday morning when I lost the roof over my head for around 6 hours in a sequence of perfectly timed events.So, be careful about what you wish for, as they may be granted sometimes.
Andhera,AV,Goli and Bhengra had arrived last night at my place and we had planned to leave for Titlis(another natural scenic beauty location) by the train at 5.45 am. That day my room-mate Amit was leaving for India, so he had to catch a train at 6.15 am. Sandip, my other room-mate was leaving for Italy same morning at 6.20 am. So,my apartment would have been deserted for the day after 6.20 am. The others got up in time and were ready to leave for the train station. I was running a bit late on the schedule. I hurriedly ran through the daily chores, changed my lowers, grabbed woollen cap and gloves, wished Amit a safe journey home and rushed downstairs. As soon as i walked out of my building, i realised that i didn’t have my room keys. The main door had a self-locking mechanism.It was locked now.I tried to call my room-mates via the intercom available downstairs but none of them picked up. It was around 5.40 am and the train was scheduled to leave at 5.45 am. I thought it’s time to go, I can have the duplicate keys later from the landlord.So, i ran down the street and managed to catch the train in time along with others.
But as i said earlier, that day was really bizarre. It was only when the train wheels were set into the motion, I realized that I don’t have the Eurail pass. Without the Eurail pass, the whole trip would cost me around 100 Euros. So, I decided to get down at next station and head back to my room and wake up my landlord and get the duplicate keys. The next station at which train stopped was Palazeuix.It was 6.00 am then and the train from there back to Lausanne was at 6.03 am. But unfortunately, this train was a local passenger train and it stopped 3 times at other smaller stations before reaching Lausanne. It was 6.30 am when I arrived at Lausanne. I knew that my room-mates were surely gone by this time. I was desperately hoping that my landlord, who owns a restaurant bar, was still there in the apartment.
I was back at my apartment at 6.40 am and ringed the bell corresponding to my landlord’s apartment but there was no response even though i kept it ringing for 5 minutes. I gave up and sat down there, hoping for some divine intervention. After sometime, I saw the shop before my apartment opening up. I asked the lady in the shop if she knew when does that bar shop of my landlord opens up. She answered that it opens around 9 am. So, I had no other option but to wait there for the restaurant bar to open. Since there were two hours left before the bar opened, I went back to the station and explained to my friends that it will take me a few more hours to retrieve my key. So, I asked them to leave by the next train which was at 7.45 am and call me a few hours later so that I can convey to them whether I am still stuck outside the room or I am on my way to Titlis.
I went back to the apartment and waited for the bar shop to open. At around 8.30 am, I heard some footsteps. A cleaner who worked at the bar was opening the bar shop and was about to begin his job. I asked him if he could call my landlord. He didn’t understand English and i didn’t understand French(In hindsight, I felt that I should have learnt a few French words ). I kept telling him my landlord’s name several times and he responded by writing ’15 july’ on a piece of paper and uttered ‘Espain’. Oh my God! My landlord is enjoying a vacation in Spain, one of my room-mate has gone to India and the other won’t come back before Monday night. I was truly stressed out thinking of possible options as to how can I retrieve my key.
As I had nowhere to go, I was sitting at the stairs contemplating a way out of this situation. It was 9.30 am by that time. Now, it was too late for me to go to Titlis as it took almost 4 hours from my place to reach there and without the Eurail pass, it was too expensive. I went to the bar again and asked the French worker the cell no. of my landlord using sign language. He understood me somehow and wrote down a number on a piece of paper. I dialled the number and my cell-phone shut down due to low battery. Nothing was going in my favour that day. God was making sure that i am having an exciting time. I went to a public pay-phone and called at the number but I could hear only the voice a French women who was speaking greek to me. I could feel the homeless feeling then. I looked around and found a church across the street. I walked down there with the goal of asking Him for directions. I went there only to find that the doors were closed. It seemed that all the doors were closed for me that day. I went back to my favorite place — the stairs at the ground floor of my apartment.
I didn’t knew when i fell asleep sitting at my favorite place. I only needed a begging can to look perfectly like a homeless. I woke up only when i heard the footsteps of another human arriving towards me. He was another worker from Bar arrived and (thank God)he spoke English. He said that he has got the keys of the main door only. He said that the only person who could possibly have duplicate keys to my room would arrive at 10.30 am.It meant that my stay at my favorite place was extended by an hour now. I was feeling very hungry by that time, so I headed towards Mc’Donalds. Fortunately, I didn’t forget my wallet that morning. Otherwise, the situation would have been grave (or in other words, I could have gone to a grave). I satisfied my hunger and thirst with chips from a supermarket and vanilla milkshake from Mc’Donalds. Since, i had no means of entertainment available to me at that time, I looked at the other stuff present in my wallet. I found my monthly Metro pass. In order to kill time, I spent some time using the metro doing a to-and-fro journey.I reached the bar again at 10.45 am. The person i was waiting for hasn’t still arrived. I waited for him for another 30 mins sleeping at the stairs. Then I went back to the bar again and asked the English speaking worker if that person arrived. It was 11.15 am, but he hasn’t arrived yet . Probably, he was also on a vacation.
Seeing my troubled looks, the English speaking worker concedes that the key he has with him is not only the key to main door but also the key to one of the rooms in the building. After all the events occurring that day, I certainly didn’t expect that i would be lucky this time. But there was no harm in trying my fortune, so I asked him to please do so. He opened the main door and then I led him to my room on the top floor. He put his keys inside and whoa! The room opened ! It was as if I had discovered a treasure. I can’t describe how happy and how relieved I was at that moment. But the day hasn’t ended. So,I left on my journey to Lucerne( a nearby location), this time ensuring I have the keys and Eurail pass with me. But my misfortune continued that afternoon also. (More on that later after I …)