Thursday, March 13, 2014

An absolutely electric experience

Nicked from somewhere on the internet
Induction cookers are super-cool. Well, not literally, but still.

They do not need Aadhaar Cards; they look extremely suave; they come with LED displays; they have nice-looking orange concentric circles on the crystal top; you do not need to sell your kidneys to obtain a cylinder; and, most importantly, it does not come with the tic-tic of a gas-lighter, the second-worst sound in the world.

But it’s time we need to move on from Ravi Shastri’s voice.

So I acquired an induction cooker for something around 1,700 Indian rupees. The brand is called Soyer, but let us anot discuss that. Let us not even discuss the fact that it came with a free flat-bottomed wok (is there a single word for this?).

So back we returned — the large white box with the cooker, the small brown box with the wok, and me. It was a procession this city should have been proud to witness, had we not been huddled together in the back-seat of an innocuous auto-rickshaw and overlooked by the ongoing population.

But there I was: armed with a smallish knife, I ripped apart the helpless strips of cellotape that acted as barriers between me and my would-be induction cooker. There it was, pristine, sensuous, glistening, and stimulating.

The first evening I used it for heating. I still did not have a microwave oven, and I was only too happy by its performance. It worked like magic — that induction cooker of mine with the black crystal top and the concentric orange circles. Had it been softer I may even have made love to it.

I tried to make coffee on one of the frantic mornings. It did not work. Neither did my brain, which relies on coffee to the same extent as my eyes do on a daily dose of Ayesha Ta the innocent beauties of nature.

That night I tried to make coffee once I returned. It worked.

It did not work the next morning. No coffee for me.

It worked that night, again.

The next morning, almost predictably, it did not work.

I Googled with induction cooker sleeping habits. I Googled with induction cooker not working at day. I even Googled with induction cooker solar power. I read, and almost memorised, the manual.

I checked the fuses. Nothing.

It was then that I had my eureka moment: I rushed to my bedroom, grabbed the Good-Knight Advanced (which is definitely the greatest mosquito-repellent ever created) liquidator, and rushed back to the plug-point.

Fine, I walked. I did not rush. But that is not the point.

The liquidator did not work either.

Which meant that I had a plug-point that functioned only at night. I considered checking whether the building works on solar power, but realised there was a contradiction and decided against it.

The only resort was to fall back on an electrician. Whenever in doubt, avail the services of a professional, they said.

And he came, armed with a black rexine bag that contained the some of the greatest marvels in the history of mankind (a drill machine, to start with).

He brought out the electric tester. I waited with bated breath.

He inserted the tester in the plug-point and turned the switch on.

Nothing happened.

What followed was one of the most enlightening strings of conversation in my 36-year old life. Since I did not get the technical terms (and I assume they are important) I will replace them with the names of cricketers (which is something I am rather good at remembering).

“Are you sure this works at night?”
“Absolutely.”
“But that sounds so unreal.”
“Absolutely.”
“Are you sure the WG Grace and the Don Bradman are properly connected?”
“Er…”
“Well, they are. Let me check the Victor Trumper now. Where is it?”
“Er…”
“Fine. What about the Syd Barnes and the Clarrie Grimmett?”
“Er…”

[Do note my active participation in the conversation. I answered every single question.]

Flick. Flick. Flick. Flick.

The switches were flicked on. The bright tube-light and the dim non-tube-light sprung into action. Our hero asks for a stool. It is provided promptly. A WhatsApp ting is ignored.

He rips apart the hemisphere porcelain thing whose name I obviously do not know. He inserts his Jack Hobbs, followed by his Bill O’Reilly. Then he asks me to turn the plug-point on.

Still nothing.

Then we discuss again.

“Can it be a Herbert Sutcliffe or a Harold Larwood?”
“Maybe. You never know.”

Then he thought and thought. I checked the WhatsApp message and thought.

We both thought: he, the innocent, expert electrician; I, the prompt, deft commenter. Our brows furrowed deep in thought.

And then it struck him. Years of experience, of course: his face lit up.

It struck me as well. Class VIII physics, of course: my face lit up.

“Series!” We exclaimed!

Faint memories of Messrs Dutta, Pal, and Choudhury flashed in front of my eyes. Messrs Resnick and Halliday also tried to gatecrash, but I managed to keep them out.

Series! Parallel!

“Which (censored) (censored) has planned this layout? Who has used series connection for this?” the more professional of the two electricians exclaimed.

“You need to keep the tube-light on for that plug-point to work,” he said triumphantly before collecting his fees and leaving.

Since then I have been cooking in broad tube-light and broad daylight. The coffee has been invigorating, the Maggi refreshing, the toast-and-scrambled eggs delicious, and the chicken filling. Life is different.

So much for electric bills and awareness towards environment.

54 comments:

  1. Hahhahhaah. This is awesome! I laughed out loud on the subway and startled my neighbour. :D

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  2. Truly and thoroughly enjoyable. Just :D :D :D.

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  3. Ki bhoyanok. I had to stop my brother from checking some poem he will have to deal with during tomorrow's exam and make him read this post. Hattali, hattali.

    -Jhinka

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    Replies
    1. Poor soul — now his examination will be ruined.

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  4. wow! this is surely an enlightening post! ami jantam e na emon problem o hoye, n tar ei solution! brilliant! :)

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    Replies
    1. Truth, as we know, is often stranger than fiction.

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    2. isn't it "stronger" than fiction?

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    3. It is, but the generally accepted word is *stranger*. I have heard of stranger things, though.

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  5. The names of the cricketers! Priceless!
    Veryyyyy nicely written. :D
    And stop lying about your age. :P

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you. As for my age, I do know I look 22, but I am really 36. Believe me.

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    2. Ummm... no. I meant you give the vibes of a 12 year old. Even 22 is too mature for you.

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    3. Thank you. Thank you. I hope I get the same compliments from you a couple of decades down the lane.

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  6. Replies
    1. I thought this was amazingly dull on my part. I acted like a tube-light, in fact.

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  7. DPC finally kono kaaj-e elo :)

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  8. Looking forward to the day when your short story collection will come out. Just make sure this one post is included, please. Since yesterday, I probably have read it five times already.

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  9. Hmm... Never would have pegged you as the type to settle down with mid-level stuff. I'd have thought that your culinary implement would be either Soy (a healthy option, possibly) or the Soyest - but certainly not Soyer. Hmm... We live and learn. :)

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    Replies
    1. I have never thought of it that way. But now that you have mentioned it, well...

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  10. Too Good. :) Replacing technical terms with cricketers' names was a mind-blowing idea. :) :)

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  11. I almost woke Ri up last night because of my laughter. :D
    This is one brilliant post. :D :D

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    Replies
    1. I am somehow getting the feeling that I am ruining evenings for children of various ages with my "works". Apologies.

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  12. All hail the Good Old DPC. Once I was involved in a flight simulator project, and those three gentleman saved my a** many a times.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely. All hail them. BTW, I had the privilege of knowing P in person.

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    2. Bolen ki moshai? Konorokom-e oi boi tar sob chapter -er sheshe je "Harder Problem" gulo thakto segulor solution jene neoa jai?

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    3. Eta bhebe dekhini. Cheshta korte pari.

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  13. How come all these weird things happen to you only? too good.... "Had it been softer I may even have made love to it" - ROFL

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    Replies
    1. I have no idea why these things keep happening to only me. :(

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  14. Stopping at only two censored words indicates a lot of patience. Or maybe you don't know where to get the person who set this up, to give him a piece of mind.

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  15. It is such a simple incident but the way you wrote it, made me think how incredible the incident is! Such power in your writing. _/\_

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    Replies
    1. Nope. It is the incident that has made the piece remarkable, trust me.

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  16. this is awesome! one thing i am thinking of - can you translate it in bengali, and keep it as good? again this is so good!

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    Replies
    1. You are too demanding, Indiradi! I will try.

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  17. Very well written. Is this Kolkata or Bengaluru? Can't be Delhi. As soon as a Delhi electrician would spot the fault, he would turn to you and say "connection me kharabi hai, paanch sau rupaya lagega" for a 25-rupee job. But a Delhi electrician would never walk away leaving a problem, however small, behind.

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  18. So now finally people know howmuch our physics study cost us. It cost you 2 coffee-less mornings and it cost me 14 years!

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    Replies
    1. You've got it all wrong! It cost me 14 years PLUS two coffee-less mornings!

      Delete

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