My Doorbell Needs a Therapist


It seems to be having some issues

Created by Anu Anniah using Canva

My previous doorbell served us well for several years. We had picked one of those that have about six different tunes to choose from. We chose the shortest one. We didn’t really appreciate the bell bursting into song each time someone came home.

But one day recently, the bell breathed its last. It was pretty sad because we hadn’t realized that it was no more. We woke up to this fact when the cook had to knock on the door incessantly to gain our attention. She knew we were home and she couldn’t imagine why we wouldn’t open the door.

We found her at the door looking upset at having been ignored for so long. We had to ring the bell in front of her to assure her that we had not ring-zoned her — you know, where someone rings the bell and we ignore them.

The bell had indeed passed on. The husband went out and got another one quickly. We didn’t want anyone else to feel ring-zoned by us. We are not like that. We love it when people come to visit us.


The new bell was lovingly unwrapped and installed. It was again a no-fuss 6-tune version of the old one. But it was new and young and keen to impress. So when we tried each tune to figure out which one to select, the bell rang with great gusto. You could almost imagine a young bell standing there at attention and singing loudly with neck raised upwards to be sure to be chosen.

It was all too much. We quickly chose the simplest and shortest tune, tested it, and went back to our lives.

Life continued as usual for a bit.

A few days ago, someone rang the bell. Instead of the tune we had chosen, Bell belted out a popular Bollywood number. All of us shuddered and cringed. We thought it would never stop. Mercifully, it stopped and we let the person at the door inside. We wondered what had happened and then quickly forgot all about the ‘episode.’

Again a couple of days ago, Bell went berserk, and how! We were treated to a tune that felt like it was super urgent to open the door. It was almost like the ringing of those old fire engines that you see tearing down the road. And that’s not all. The ringing stopped and Bell shouted at us to ‘Please open the door.’

Since the world is now primarily online, each of us have our own spaces where we work within the house. I think we all fell off our respective chairs at that command to open the door. We’ve never been commanded like this by a bell! All 3 of us rushed to open the door. We simply could not disregard the command. Maybe Bell knew something about who was at the door. Cops? Mafia? Dead body? Who knew. Turned out the person who rang the bell was a harmless neighbor. So much drama.

The next day brought more theatrics again. This time Bell outdid itself. All tunes and other such perfunctory things were dispensed with. I could imagine Bell lying in wait for someone to ring the bell. As soon as that happened, there was a plaintive cry.

Please open the door. Please open the door. Please open the door.

This went on non-stop and the voice got shriller and filled with intense panic each time. We had to hurriedly disconnect the battery to stop it. We were afraid neighbors would call the building security. They might assume someone was being held inside our house against their will. That’s what I’d imagine if I heard something like this from another house.

That’s when we decided that our bell has some deep-seated issues. Maybe in its previous birth, the owners never opened the door when the bell rang. Maybe it has some such traumatized past life. Maybe the bell did its job well but was always ignored.

We are now looking for a bell therapist.

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