In my early working days in Bombay (now Mumbai), five of us shared the same flat – including the toilet. We had to catch a bus to reach Thane station, take the train to Vikhroli and leg it down to work place – in between had to take care of our breakfast as well. We all liked each others company, well except for the morning toilet waits and the fights followed them.
One of my friends from Chennai came to Mumbai with a single goal – that he should go back to Chennai at the earliest. Some time back when he was struggling for his job, he met a numerologist. And he suggested a name change (add R and A to make it to 4 – your lucky number story). The numerologist also suggested that since my friend’s name would have been written lakhs & lakhs of times in the original ‘wrong’ way, the good effects would not be felt immediately. To right this wrong and to see good effects soon, he should write his ‘new’ name one lakh times and deposit it into a temple’s hundi. The sooner he did it the better for him! My friend without any job at that time, decided to go at the one lakh at one go! And he sat for 5 continuous days – to finish it up and deposited in the hundi! And guess what, the next Monday he received the appointment letter from our company! And can’t he count one plus one as two? He forgot all his 90+ scores he got in his exams all through his curriculum; he forgot his efforts to clear the entrance tests and the wonderful interview he had given the previous week; All that he believed was the change in his name & the repetitions!
From that day he got into the good habit of writing impositions! If he wanted that something should happen he would buy a note, start repeating the same word some 1008 times and then deposit it into a hundi! Since his latest wish was to go back to Chennai at the earliest, he started writing ‘K wants to go to Chennai’. Unlike before he was not jobless now and so he found it difficult to set aside time for this. One fine day, he got a fabulous idea! The ten to fifteen minutes he spent on the toilet pot was the time he had been wasting – and atleast he could finish some 108 repetitions in that time! Then started our problems!
He was allocated to an assignment that would atleast run for the next one year and myself & another were allocated to an assignment that would end the very next month and we would go back to Chennai! He became furious on hearing this and decided that the normal 1008 repetition was not good enough for this problem and he would go at 10008! He started spending more time on the pot! Slowly he became a nuisance. He would wake up early and lock himself in the toilet. We the poor souls outside were given the life time experience on the art of ‘controlling’ our natural thrust in the mornings! And you need to live it through those hours to understand the torturous nature of it! We tried all measures – hit the door, threatened to break his shades – nothing worked. He started spending more and more time in the toilet!
One day, I was in great urgency and our man was inside. I consistently knocked the door! My situation was becoming unbearable – from frustration, I was just pleading! He took his own time - As he came out I took him to the height measuring scale – I told sarcastically ‘Bugger! You have grown two inches taller since you went inside this morning’. ‘Thank you for your wonderful finding my friend. This one inch is what has been a problem between me and my girlfriend. Now she would be happy!’ – came the reply. We had no other choice but to adjust to his routine with little sacrifice to sleep!
And my assignment got over; I came back to Chennai and had to go with a different customer for the next six months. After another four months, again I was sent to Mumbai. I searched for my old friends. Three of them replied they were no longer in Mumbai! I called up K – ‘Buddy where are you?’ ‘Right there in the same flat, with three other guys! We are short of one more guy – want to join?’ came the reply. I packed up my bags and went! I saw a drastic improvement – K had pasted charts and reusable whiteboards all around his room! And he was still writing – ‘K wants to go back to Chennai’ methodically!
And it has been six years now. K is married (to the same girl friend), has a kid and settled down in Mumbai! And his wife complains that he takes too much time in the toilet!