Memoirs of a browbeaten door – Sharmi Sen

From the very first day that I was fixed in between the forbidden corridors on the seventh floor of hostel 5 (to the relief of a few and annoyance of very many) I knew my life would not be easy. The inhabitants, on either side of where I stood, seemed mighty strange. They were not the kind of people I was used to. A few would shriek and shout in some strange language, some would stay fearfully quiet, some would hurl a string of abuses at each other for no rhyme or reason, some would sing terribly in the middle of the night – in short, they were quite an unruly lot!

I always had this uncanny feeling that they had chosen the wrong door to do the wrong job. I waited and waited for something to happen. And finally one day something did. I was snoozing off in the middle of a lazy winter afternoon when I was so rudely interrupted – “BANG”!! Once, twice, thrice… first from the top with clenched fists and then came the more severe blows from the bottom! Alas! It was then that I realized what a pain being a door could be. People come up and kick you for no reason and you’ll have to put up with it! Why?? Because you’re just a big chunk of wood! No one would ever consider the fact that one might actually get hurt, or one might NOT want to be brutally punched and kicked every time someone’s maths paper turns out to be a disaster or

when someone realizes that he really sucks at playing the guitar or when someone has a lousy break up.. My only saving grace was that the attack seemed to be one sided. And I thanked the lord for whoever lived on the “other side”, because they seemed to be above and beyond all this immature banging of doors.

To my utter dismay the first attack from the “Other side” was launched right in front of my face on the eve of that fated day-(being a big chunk of wood you would not expect me to actually remember the date!) And again to my immense shock the first blow proved to be fatal! For the people living on the other side seemed to know my exact soft spot (that would entail the defects which I acquired while being manufactured) and very strategically someone placed one good kick with the required impulse (yes, I know what impulse is!! Being a door in IISER one might expect me to know that) and I became undone! My bottom, em.. that would be my lower panel came magnificently out of its steel frame and on to the floor. Right after the event – with the parties concerned having successfully evaded – the people living on the opposite side came to assess the damage done. Some of them were pretty disappointed with the fact that the first fatal blow came from the“other side”. Pretty soon the news travelled across the other corridors as well and the seventh floor partition breaking became a phenomenon that would become not so rare in the coming months. The people from the “other side” in the mean time went underground.

Now people had taken it up as a sport – to bang the door and kick it as many times as possible during the day irrespective of whether there were any of the few reasons cited above which would cause them to behave like a bunch of barbarians. Earlier I was used as a surface to vent out frustrations but now I was used to express moments of ecstasy and joy as well. Birthday parties, table tennis matches, India’s victory in the world cup, end of semester celebrations – you name the occasion. You might think that I would be somewhat happy to be upgraded to be beaten on a more cheerful note but if you were a big chunk of wood you would have understood my pain.

Day in and day out the other doors in my neighborhood would watch me in my plight. They said that I was being brave; that I would be celebrated as the hero of all doors ever to stand in a Hostel 5 corridor. I would just smile and brood in my misery – knowing that my end was drawing very near and wishing for the same. Finally it did happen – this time my top panel was flung open from its frame and thrown over to the “other side”. I could even plot you the trajectory of the fall!

So I lay there watching the greater half of me lying lifelessly on the ground some 2-3 feet away. And to add insult to injury they poured water on me, buckets and buckets of it. I watched myself being ill treated thus. That was a rough night for me. It would have been more appropriate if the water had been poured from the top so that I could liken it to tears of sorrow but to my great displeasure those blasted kids poured water from the bottom (I’m sure I wouldn’t have to explain what that could be likened to!). After all that, I braced myself to face the worst – maybe next time they would set me on fire! That would be a quick and easy way to go. Miraculously that hasn’t happened yet. All of a sudden the corridors became quiet again, no more kicking and watering the door. I was finally left in peace. With my self esteem shattered and my spirit broken I was reduced to nothing more than a big chunk of wood, something that I might have been originally designed to be. But I know that being an inopportune door I will not be let go of so easily. Thus, I patiently await my final outcome in the hallway of that ill-fated seventh floor.


2 comments on “Memoirs of a browbeaten door – Sharmi Sen

  1. A finely written article that ended in a too abrupt way!

  2. beautifully written…loved it!!!!

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