Lift Conversations?!

Well, the title in itself is an oxymoron. Invariably, there are no talks or conversations while in the Lift. Innumerable number of trips in the Lift have left me with a conclusion that there invariably is some treasure hidden somewhere in the Lift which people are looking for.
I was 10 years old when I first got into a lift which was in one of the offices my uncle once took me to. Lifts back then fascinated me. The whole idea that I need not exert any effort to move up 5 floors coupled with the curiosity for lifts back then was extremely wonderful. Lifts were not as common back then as they are nowadays and the rarity made it a thing to boast about with your friends.
Time passed and I encountered physics. With physics, the inevitable happened. Newton’s laws and Acceralation due to gravity was awed. The effects of these on Lifts was even more fascinating – interesting problems emerged, and with almost every problem on lifts I used to imagine myself in the lift trying to solve that problem – did my weight increase or decrease,
is the lift moving with constant acceralation or constant velocity and the associated solutions. It was great fun solving them as well as served as an enthu factor for getting into lifts again and again.
As time progressed, lifts became more common (and with it, my vocabulary of calling it an Elevator :)). I then began to notice strange things happening. People in the lift almost never talked to each other unless they were closest of close friends. Whether it was claustrophobia or something else, I do not have an idea. People absolutely normal outside the elevator behaved strangely in the lift – staring at walls, looking at the celing, observing their shoes and rarely observing people around in the lift. A strange sense of silence prevails before the hustle-bustle of the floor begins again. I seriously couldn’t (and still don’t) understand as to what people look at. Are they trying to find some hidden treasure on the ceiling or between the walls? Are they trying to observe the formations of dust on their shoe and deduce ‘The Dust Theory’? Are they looking at their watches continously and trying to calculate whether time slows down due to relative motion of the lift against the speed of light? I mean What???
And then there are categories in Elevators. Fast and Slow elevators – the slower the lift, the more tortous it is. Slower lifts are a bane on organisations (my previous organisation had one :)) and their people. People get frustrated waiting for these lifts at each of the floors only to be tortured much more in the ‘Field of Silence’ inside. As luck would have it, I was in the lift with the CIO of that particular organisation one day. Strange situation – I didnt know whether to smile, to talk, murmur – so what did I do? I stared at my watch for an awful loonnng time, spoke a hello, how are you? and looked hard at the ceiling for a virtual crack in it. He got off the next floor and I heaved a huge sigh of relief!! So much, for the slowness of the lift.
And then there are elevators with capacity of 8 persons or 16 persons – invariably during lunch time, you would find more people in the lift than on any given floor 🙂 And god save you, if there is a power cut and no backup available for the lift. Or even worse, the lift gets jammed (experienced it twice). Given the modern world of steel covering and alloy covering, voices inside the lift do not reach outside – all that would be left would be prayers to God, if he can get a peep into a stuffed lift that is!!
Having said all the above, with skyscrapers shooting up in almost all parts of every city, lifts are a necessity rather than a luxury. Lifts have undergone a massive makeover – from typical iron-grills to metal doors and fancy gadgets. However, in my 14 years of experience in these lifts, people have never changed. They never talked inside lifts always looking for the seemingly invisible particles that would make their day. I hope one day, they do find it and prove that they were not wasting time inside these lifts in the ‘Field of Silence’.

1 comment so far

  1. HBK on

    Very Interesting observation. There is one very notable exception to this rule though. It is when lift illiterate grand parents are in the lift with lift literate grand children. They can never stop telling the kids to be careful. Personal experience. He He

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