Sunday, 16 December 2012

Opening a locked door

My aunt, that is, my father's sister, who stays with us, is getting long in her years. Just about a week ago, she accidentally locked herself out of her bedroom. Without realising that she had pressed the lock, she closed the door and could not let herself in after that. She called out to my wife and I. What were we to do? We aren't locksmiths and so, we do not have the tools of their trade.

Like a wise guy, I suggested banging my shoulder onto the door, hoping that the force could somehow dislodge the mechanism. Not so wise. After several failed attempts, I gave up. My shoulders were sore. So much for the cops and robbers shows we see on television. Nothing like that ever works in real life.

Telephone calls to friends and relatives proved fruitless as well. Nobody knew how to open a locked door. So I told my aunt, you may have to sleep on the sofa tonight. She gave me a kind of look. Sure-lah, I told her, "Why didn't you give me a duplicate key to keep? Why keep everything to yourself? It's not as if you have anything valuable worth stealing. Now you see what happened? Not only are you locked out, most probably I will have to get you a new door knob next week." Actually, I was being wickedly harsh. Maybe not nice to scare a dear old woman but sometimes, got to make sure the message sinks in too.

Anyway, one last resort before she actually had to sleep on the sofa in the living room. I unbent a wire clip and slipped it into the knob. Just a last resort. I wasn't very confident that it would ever work, knowing that a lock such as this would have unseen tumblers inside.

I pushed in the wire and jiggled it left, right, left, right, forward, backward, every which way I could think of and all the time, applying slight pressure on the door and turning the door knob too when suddenly, the door opened. I can still remember my relief, my joy. But I can't quite remember whether I felt any mechanism giving way inside the door knob. Fuck, I couldn't give any more damn when the knob turned and the door opened. Success, finally. But don't ask me to do it again. Most probably, it will not work again...

No comments: