From Hell With Love

Did you ever have a near-death experience?

It was post 1AM on the system tray. I was busy with the research for some unknown person’s problem. He had just contacted me for some help. My room was dark. In fact, the whole house was dark except the night-lamp in the hall and a small white LED of my laptop striving hard to lighen the keyboard. There was slight feeling of something’s presence around me. Something invisible but present.

The feeling was getting stronger and stronger to a point when it distracted me from the work. I moved to open the door and enter the hall. And there they were! My 6th sense was able to see millions, billions, decillions and centillions of them. The cooking gas molecules.

Scientifically saying, there is nothing called a cooking gas molecule. It’s a mixture of molecules of Methane, Propane, Butane and others. These molecules had entered my room thru the small opening under the door. The smell was initially that of a rotten dead rat and gradually increasing to that of millions of dead rats in the room.

Cooking gas smell of dead rats. My school science book said something like: it was the dead rats burried under ground, which, under effect of pressure and tempurature, got transformed into petroleum, natural gas and the like. So may be one rat per molecule of cooking gas. So so many rats must have died! While the kid-rats might have become Methane (CH4), their mom and dad would have become Propane (CH3CH2CH3) and Butane (CH3CH2CH2CH3), I guess.

The hall was filled with these rat-souls. Plenty of them. In a matter of seconds, I realized there was a emergency situation of gas leakage in the kitchen. Not like there being a pin-hole in the rubber tube and you smell some gas even after closing the knob. It was a high-velocity, high-noise stream of gas coming from somewhere in the dark of the kitchen.

The first thought was to switch-on lights, at least in the kitchen. But don’t do that. It’s like inviting sudden death. However, it can save you a match-stick.

Electric switches do arc (spark) when switched ON or OFF. And the arcing is much more when you swith OFF something. The spring-action and click-sound are designed to minimize this sparking (arcing). Idea is to make the opening and closing of circuit as fast as possible. So the spring stores potential energy while you apply force on the switch and releases it at a go. That’s the click-sound. But in this house, electric sparks happen all the time. The wall socket for ironing used to give a continuous buzz sound out of sparking till it overheated one day and burnt and melted itself. In such a situation, I didn’t dare to turn off the main-switch.

Kitchen was so heavily filled with gas that it was too foolish to enter. And I could hear the bursting outflow from the cylinder. All the gas was not yet out. I was just figuring out where exactly the cylinder was and what I should do, in case I enter the kitchen for 30-40 seconds. (sorry, that’s the max for me without breathing)

The cylinder was, till the last time I saw, near the window; Next to the big container of drinking water. The window was so accessible from the terrace of neighbours’ that I sometimes wondered what might happen if someone from the otherside puts some poison in our drinking water. May be Potassium Cyanide. (water will reduce the poisonous effect slightly but). But I never imagined someone opening our gas cylinder from outside.

I reluctantly knocked on the door of the other room. That guy was terribly sick and had slept after intravenous infusion of 2 bottles of saline in the evening. My Intention was two-fold. Ask him regarding the technical know-how and also to save his life. But he didn’t wake up. Hopefully he had windows open with fan at full speed. I saw him alive in the morning.

It’s good to know cooking. Atleast you will know how the gas stove is connected. I knew about the connection using a rubber pipe. But this was a burner directly mounted on the cylinder.

I did a try. Reached to the cylinder. Felt the jet of gas on my hand and rotated the burner clockwise to tighten. Fool, it made the jet more fierce! And my 30 seconds were over. I had to run outside to balcony for some pure, fresh air, the city air that seemed highly polluted ever before.



On the second attempt, I had a towel on my nose and mouth. It would store some more air incase I need an emergency inhale. But this time I reached to the knob of the burner; rotated it; nothing happened.

I just tried to remember how these burners are fixed on the cylinders. I could have looked into the internet. But lack of oxygen deprives you from clear thinking. However, common sense says, the gas cylinders are safe by default when nothing is connected to them. If I remove whatever is on it, by any means, it may work.

So I enterd for the final 45 seconds; with a deep-inhale on the balcony. Rushed into the kithcen and went on applying all sorts of force on the burner. The speed of gas stream was fluctuating, which, I realized, was during the moments the burner was rotated. Now I went on rotating the burner anti-clockwise in a hope that it may get detached. And it did! All noise stopped. Whatever, it was time for an inhale. I rushed out, with the burner in hand.

Now the action plan was to clean the air. All doors and windows were opened. All fans were put on full speed. Most important was to free the gas filled in the kitchen. Kitchen was still a risk to enter. However, I rushed in to the window. For the first time in my stay in this house, I saw the window closed. Tightly.

With the kitchen window open too, it took 30 minutes approx. to get the air back to normal; except in my room.

The rat-souls were still there. I had my mattress on the floor and they too seemed liking the floor rather than a cot or something. In fact, they were heavier than air.

The night was passed somehow. I could hear the souls talking continuously, and shouting and laughing. This was the first time they experienced something called freedom. Into the free air.

9 Responses to “From Hell With Love”

  • Pulak Says:

    Amazing work doc….. u cud’nt think clearly but even at this hour u cud reach for the camera and snap pictures, hehe.
    Acutely hilarious, at least some rats (molecules) got freed of the slavery. But did u get to know who opened the gas knob…?

  • Pulak Says:

    This post stinks of technology!!! truly techdeepak….

  • Deepak Says:

    The photo was taken in the after-hours. While waiting for the souls to leave my room.

    There was no open-knob. Though I didn’t get time to inspect, it seems there was a permanent physical damage somewhere before the knob-control comes into picture.

    I sent SMS to the other guy, “Careful, heavy gas leakge in kitchen” and slept.

  • Saum Says:

    ok..Doc go on National TV(DD) and show ’em what you oughtaa do when you have a gas leakage..dont forget the SMS part..

  • Magie Says:

    Really u have gone………understood!!!!!!
    there is no head and tail for ur story 🙂

    you will find nice rat if u keep on writing such thing

  • Deepak Says:

    @Maggi noodles,

    Rats do love maggi. Beware.

  • Phool Says:


    And so does D.

    @ D,

    Hey D…plan ur schedule well in advance in case u r firm in cutting d tail..Cool!

  • maggi Says:

    As I know Dee wont like maggie he likes special dish made up of Aaam or An – aconda fry 🙂

  • Phool Says:


    Hey but I saw him relishing on a cup of maggie with high interest at hyd in recent past…

    Though I am a total stranger to D, he is under my observation here at hyd to ensure he has lots nd lots of maggie in near future…So chill madi…

    Hey wait a sec bfore u chill…D loves hot maggie, wht say D?

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