He pressed ‘Up’ and prepared for the long wait ahead. After all the elevator would not just rush to his floor, and present itself for only his service. Fiddling with his mobile, he waited. The elevator seemed to be taking forever. Turning towards the staircase, he mentally calculated that the six floors from basement to his office would be 26×6 = 156 stairs. Groaning, he opened the door of the staircase only to hear the ping of the elevator doors opening.
“About time“, he thought while pressing the number ‘5’. The doors clanged shut with an abnormally loud sound. “Must be because the elevator is empty, the echo working its wonders“, his Physics knowledge always crept to the fore at the most opportune or inopportune of times. As usual he noted everything being shown in the electronic display board just over the elevator doors – ‘9:41 a.m. Capacity: 20 persons or 1440 kg’ and as usual he calculated the average weight of each person to be 72 kgs. He had done this calculation almost everyday for the past one year, and still he did it everyday.
The ‘-1’ being displayed metamorphosed into ‘0’, he waited for the elevator to stop, and he had got used to stopping on almost every floor. “There had to be some drawback of working on the top floor.” Surprisingly the ‘0’ turned into ‘1’ and some more pixel morphing had the ‘1’ change to ‘2’. “Ahh, this seems to be my day. Hope I reach the top in this run only“, he thought as the ‘2’ transformed into ‘3’. The ‘3’ blinked and ‘4’ appeared instead, he murmured a silent prayer to pass the fourth floor – he hated people who called for elevators even if they had to go to only the next floor. His prayers were answered, the ‘4’ blinked and he glimpsed the ‘5’ appearing when darkness engulfed him.
“Damn the power cut. Few seconds more and I could have been out.” And the next instant he was weightless, the Physics mind took over and he remembered the equations written on the black-board; modified acceleration = (g – a) in case of a free fall. “So this is how it feels to be in space“, logic took the lead, but there was never a doubt that panic would be the winner – “Help!” Logic put up a brave front, “These things are fitted with emergency brakes“, but panic had the podium finish as he blacked out.
The world was abnormally bright. “Ohh, the light in the elevator is white. I never noticed“, coming to his senses he looked around. A slight bump on his head seemed to be the only vestige of his recent misadventure. As usual he looked up to the electronic display board – ‘9:44 a.m. Capacity: 1 person’ “Another clue, my dear Watson“, he intoned, “A faulty electronic display board.” The elevator resumed its upward journey swiftly. The Physics returned, “And now it is (g + a), and so I am feeling heavy. But the elevator seems to be a bit faster, I hope there are no major problems because of that power cut”
A ping again, and the doors opened. An elderly person was sitting at a desk with a laptop. “Strange! I have never seen this guy in office and why is he sitting here in the elevator lobby? We have the infrastructure, then why is he here?” Before he could ponder more, the elderly man briskly said, “You must be the elevator-accident-physics-guy. Right? Welcome! My name is Chitragupta, also known as Saint Peter. Now move aside, I am expecting more arrivals soon“.