When I was young, I had this strange habit of getting into situations that would cause an electric shock! Fortunately all of them were mild, otherwise I would not have lived to tell this tale! I remember only a few incidents and hence I will recollect them here.
Once, my parents went out somewhere and left me in the home alone. For a kid, that’s the best time to do things that he would not be allowed to do normally! I had a rubber-cork ball with me. This one was harder than rubber balls and hence I was not allowed to play with it inside the house.
That day, I was feeling very cricket-y and I started playing with that rubber-cork ball. I started imagining myself as different bowlers from Indian and international cricket teams and I was bowling at imaginary batsmen (walls) in my room. After having bowled for Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar, it was the turn of Javagal Srinath.
If you remember, Javagal Srinath was the quickest bowler among them and hence I wanted to keep up to his standards. I bowled one fast ball (at the wall) and after having bounced three times (in opposite walls), it hit and broke an electric switch board. There were two switches in it and one of them was now hanging (supported by a wire).
I was afraid that my parents will scold me if they saw this and hence I thought I could reassemble the box and stick a cello-tape to fix it back in its normal position. I was not aware that I was playing with live wires! The moment I touched the hanging switch, one of my fingers accidentally touched the wire behind it and SHOCK!!
I fell down instantly and even had a small scar in my finger (which went only after a few days). Then I confessed the whole thing to my parents and fortunately did not get scoldings (maybe because of the shock!).
Once, my father asked me to fix the Good Night machine into the electric plug point. Such a simple thing to do, will anyone get a shock because of this? Since I was young, my fingers were small and while inserting the plug into the hole, I didn’t notice that one of my fingers was in-between!
While the plug was going in (maybe half-way), I guess it should have come into contact with the conductor. But on the other side was my finger touching the metallic conductor as well! SHOCK!! I threw the machine and fell down. But this time, there were no scars!
The above two incidents had some logic and were a normal(!) way of accidentally getting an electric shock. The next two are very weird.
I went to the kitchen sink and opened the tap to wash my hands. I put my hand into the running tap water and SHOCK!! The strange thing is, I don’t use the kitchen sink tap to wash my hands normally. I used it rarely and in one of those rare occasions, the shock got me. Then the electrician was called and it was fixed.
In another incident, I was carrying a steel box to be given to my grandmother who was living one block away from us. I hit the door bell and the door was opened. While handing over the box, I stepped on their mosaic flooring and guess what – SHOCK!! I felt the shock in my hands holding the steel box.
This time no one believed me. They were (perhaps) fed-up with (what they considered were) my electric shock stories! Fortunately, my companion (Mr. Shock) has not visited me for the last decade and a half. Maybe he is busy with younger targets! Even today, I take good care while handling electric appliances. Fortunately, I did not become an electrical engineer. I couldn’t have ‘survived’ in that field. Literally
Did you have any experiences with electric shocks when you were young?
Photo: Destination8Infinity. Published under this creative commons license. Its the picture showing a man not being affected by millions of volts generated by a Van De Graaf generator as the cage over him absorbs all that electricity. OOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh