Nine... A number that has haunted me for more than a month. Would wake up with a stare at it. Take a shower, get ready and face the indolently eying number. Stagger while using it. Bump into it daily. On numerous incidents. Each one having a negative effect on my mood. Just adding to my already tangled life. Twisting it further. Something usual has happened today too. Today i.e. on 9th of this month. 9th. And hence this post.

Yeah i know. The prologue does seem a bit dramatized. But last part is indeed true. The normal routine things for last one-one n a half month have made me bump into '9', unusually, a lot. And it has succeeded in screwing up my mood on most of the occasions.

First up. The most common and tiresome experience of my life. I have been staying on the ninth floor of a "still-under-construction" n beta version of a 15 floored guesthouse. Thats not all. Its each and every part was under development and testing at the same time. And we, the guests, were bloody testers.

Lets start with a moment to reach there. You say use lifts. Simple right? Not so soon. The 3000 capacity guest house just had a single lift working for major part of my stay. Best being 2. You say "whats the big deal"? Ok, this lift can be any one of the 10 lifts scattered at various different locations on the ground floor. You say "uhh now thats complex". I say wait. Not all are on the ground floor. 2 are on first. Further take this. Each lift can take you only till/to a particular floor after or below which you have to scroll using stairs. Does that sound scary? Listen to this. The lifts were also in the "under-development-and-testing-part" list as most other parts and so had a most ill programmed chip fitted into her. Usual symptoms:

  1. She used to wend  the 1st-> 0th floor path via 10th floor. That too without any entrant.
  2. She used to suddenly halt its march on the most deserted floor, without sucking anyone in or puking anyone out.
  3. She used to make you guess the time she would take to shut her doors for you. It ranged from sweet 10-20 secs after you are mounted or a quarter of a second by which you escaped getting crushed between her doors. (Yes she had no sensors to detect if you were in between her claws-like doors.)
  4. She used to making a most ear-deafening moan if you make her wait for a little longer. (A typical girlish behavior. You are not allowed any mistake to be made on your part.)

By god's grace i did reach the coveted 9th floor most of the times. The fact that it normally took me around 10 mins on average matters least considering what lied ahead. The floor was divided, in true sense, in 3 parts using wooden walls. So care had to be taken that you end up in your part. Else you had to crawl through the stair case. The corridors were mostly cementy because of its under contruction tags with most confusing directions (refer snap). Air conditioners in the room worked on random basis and when they did they made my teeths tremble with cold. The taps randomly decided the temperature of the water that come out. (I have got my bum burned once. No further explanations.) The mirror was situated at the darkest corner of the room with the most clearly visible part being my toe nail.

I have spent 44 days in this complete mystery house. There were other encounters with nine like never returned 9 rupees as change at the food terminals, 9 cubicals that i hopped along or the  9AM alarm that brought with it the invitation to begin the journey on mystery land of nine. The tales of these will follow up sometime later.

Finally there was just one saving grace i had with me which provided me the sole reason to go through this tortourous journey. People close to me know whom am speaking about. But i am observing a striking pattern there too. Each 9th of a month brings with it some problems. I can't explain but it does. I hope this hauting effect of 9 stops pressing me to my limits. I hope it stops testing my patience. Signs are not too good. Post is published in the 9th hour of the second half of the day. Ninth hour. Nine.