An extra drink can be the savior!

In the late nineties, I was in Delhi along with a few colleagues to attend a training programme. It was the peak of winter there – but the life was good, thanks to the excellent Officers’ Mess infrastructure and the cosy rooms. Most of us were in the habit of keeping the storage electric water heater in the bathroom on throughout, as it used to take a little longer to heat up the water from the sub zero level. Every evening, we used to gather at the bar – a usual meeting place before moving for dinner – as most preferred a quick shot of brandy with hot water to beat the severe cold, and to have some casual chit-chat while the good old melodies of Kishore Kumar played in the background. On one such evening, we went through the same routine. My friend Santy – a Keralite, was not in a mood to have dinner early and decided to have a few extra drinks, while the rest of us retired to our cosy rooms after a quick bite. A little later, I was half asleep when I heard some panic calls outside. I rushed outside and found Santy’s room in shambles. The room was completely wet as if some fire engine had sprayed water all over. Tiny pieces of thermo wool that appeared like snowflakes were clinging all over the places. His bath room door was missing, but I could spot it lying at the far corner of the bed room – in pieces! We could still feel the heat inside, apparently from the hot water that got sprayed. We had a quick look inside the bath room, and found the Electric storage water heater, now lying as a heap of debris just near the door. The water heater had burst – apparently from the high pressure built up. I never ever imagined, just a bucket full of water could play this much of havoc – enough to cause fatal injuries with steaming hot water jets or just with the impact of the objects thrown around by the brute force! Santy was lucky – that he chose to have a few extra drinks that day and reached the room a little later than usual!

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