Late saturday night i returned from a dinner party at 2.45 am only to find myself unable to enter my own home.
My housekey was not working- the main door would simply not open. I banged the doors rang the doorbell and called the telephone lines and intercom for over an hour, hoping my maids or dogs would hear the loud noises and wake up and let me in
Then after an hour of all this when i still couldnt get in-even with the help of the building watchmen-i panicked. Because surely my dogs who even bark at rustling leaves in the night should have reacted by now-but there was pin drop silence. Has something terrible happened? Was my home and the people inside safe?
Panic stricken trying to keep the terror out of my voice i dialed 100 -the police helpline -and asked for assistance. This was around 4 am. I was greeted by a calm voice at the other end of the line, that told me not to worry and that they would be with me asap
In 10 minutes flat two able bodied strong policemen landed at my doorstep and tried to break open the door. It wouldnt budge. It had been locked from the inside. They called the fire brigade for assistance. Before the fire bridade arrived they said they would give it one last shot and hurled themselves against the door. WIth a loud thud and a creak the safety latch and the bolt broke and my main door opened.
The policemen rushed in .They first checked that everything inside was safe and they was no sign of vandalism or theft and only then did i go in.
We found my maids with the double door shut, with my two dogs in the servants room fast fast asleep. They were in such deep sleep that i had to physically shake them to wake them up… They woke up and groggily muttered “sorry didi. We locked the main door from inside by mistake. Galti ho gayi”
Since the servants room door had been shut too my dogs hadnt heard anything either and so had not reacted to all the fracas. They wagged their tail and greeted me happily with slurpy kisses
I collapsed in releif. Thank god it was all safe…In the last one hour i had gone from worry to painc to terror -imagining the worst.
The two policemen asked me to check that my baby was safe, -(luckily she was spending the weekend with her dad and so wasnt home that night) told me not to worry and that I should call them should i need any assistance, scolded my maids for being so irresposible, told the firebrigade that there was no need to come and that the matter had been sorted and left. Refusing to accept any token of gratitude from me.
It took over an hour after they left for my thudding heartbeat to return to normal
I wish i had noted down the names of the two policemen -so i could thank them personally but at that point it didnt strike me.
So i say Mumbai Police ko Salaam- thank you.
Thank you for how tirelessly and fearlessly you work round the clock to keep our city safe.
And sorry that you are the most misunderstood and maligned lot