It is not an unusual scene for my neighbors, Iyer uncle and Chandra aunty, to see me standing in front of my apartment door and digging inside my hand bag to find my key. Our apartments are perpendicular to each other and this retired couple have their daily dose of fun seeing me ferreting my hand bag to get the key so that I can open the door and rush to the loo.They would simply gaze at me without any sympathy or empathy but I have a feeling that they do suppress their giggles. After five minutes of my effort, they know that I’m not going to give up as I actually don’t have any other choices. So they would patiently sit in their sofa and watch me giving me all the encouragement and moral support I need for my mission.
In the beginning, it was such an embarrassment for me to look at them when they were having fun at the cost of my imbecility. After five minutes of tiring effort, I would kneel down on the floor and then empty my hand bag. I would glance at them pretending to adjust my hair. At times, uncle catches my secret glance and gives me a reassuring smile without the knowledge of aunty.Finally, at the end of seven-eight minutes, I would have found my key. Uncle would wink at me and aunty would give me a long and deep sigh pretending to be tired of my treasure hunt game. This act continued for more than a month which eventually diminished my feeling of humiliation.
When I told this story to my colleague, she gave me an idea of buying a small purse just to keep the house key. So I bought a small purse and kept the key inside it. That night, though I expected a miracle, nothing surprising happened. I ended up finding the purse among the junk inside my big handbag. After the failure of this novel idea, I started keeping my key inside the wallet but it didn’t give me any comfort because I take around my wallet everywhere in office and if I lose my key, then I would end up sleeping in office. So I was left with no much choices other than my mundane activity of searching inside my hand bag.
Then one day, I met Iyer uncle and aunty in the lift and she gave me a wonderful idea. She told me to buy a hand bag which has a pouch stitched inside it so that I can keep the key inside the pouch. This idea went on to become a successful hit that I ended up thankfully smiling at them every night before opening the door.
I have the habit of using hand bags which goes with the color of my clothes. So before getting out of my house, I make sure to take out my key from the hand bag I used the day before. My apartment has a push in door knob, so I don’t need a key to lock my door. One day, me being Bhavia, I forgot to keep the key in my handbag for the day. I realized it only after reaching the apartment door that night. I ended up giving proofs to the apartment association secretary and the security head before they granted the permission to break the door knob.
That’s it!!! I wanted an alternative for the mess I was creating with my BIG bag and the house key. It was then the idea bulb lit inside my Iyer uncle’s bald head.
Today I give my house key to Iyer uncle in the morning and leave to office. As I am a lategoer to office, I sit with him to discuss about the recent happenings in Chennai and share a cup of morning coffee (they drink coffee and I drink milk) with uncle and aunty. Lately, aunty told me that they are happier in their life now as the dark falls, they actually have someone to wait for. I was emotional and we shared a touching moment which she considered as the most recent happiest moment in her life.
Now for the people who think that carrying a big bag is nonsense, I have a list of items to present it to you. I made this list after discussing with like-minded, big-handbag-carrying ladies. If you could suggest a better way to carry those, we would be grateful to you.
Wallet, book to read while commuting, that day’s newspaper, a pack of tissue,comb,hair clips and scrunchies,make-up kit(the size of the kit varies according to people’s need),phone,umbrella,sunglasses,scraf,medicines for emergencies such as fever,cold,tummy upset etc,a bottle of water, at times packets of snacks and lunch box too and the list goes on…As the handbag is big some people even keep the groceries, vegetables and other shopped items in it and I call it as The BIG BAG Theory.
PS: My Iyer uncle is a sweetheart and he loves me dearly. So just because you know that he possesses my house key during my office hours, don’t make the blunder of asking him for the key. He would throw you out. Beware!! 😀