Boiling Eggs

I'm surviving on junk food (courtesy Haldiram) tonight, not that I don't have an alternative. I've survived this way since long. One of the best alternatives Nature has endowed us with is the humble and unsung egg. I mean, look at the variety of things you can do with this wonder product. Even the greatest fool can boil an egg! I guess one of world's worst kept secrets is how bachelors can prolong their singlehood by simply surviving on a steady supply of boiled eggs. Had eggs never been invented in Nature's cradle, I'm sure more men would have to tie the nuptial knot a lot sooner than needed...which would have indeed been a shame!

I've had my share of flirting with the egg. I guess I learned how to boil one way back during my school days. When hunger pangs would hit a peak during adolescent years, all I had to do was raid the refrigerator for eggs and then boil & eat them, mom's services weren't required. Sweet will was never so sweet, especially when it so readily and instantly served to satiate my appetite.

My scientific temper wasn't about to leave the egg without its touch of ingenuity. Boiling an egg may be simple, but you could apply some scientific knowhow to accelerate the task. There's an air sac that lies at one end of the egg, a fact known to all school kids who've ever managed not to sleep through Bio class. Boiling the egg leads to an increase in the volume of the albumin and yoke, an event that necessitates the trapped air being gradually permeate through the shell. Force the air to stay in and you'll never get a boiled egg (I'm not too sure about this postulate)! Quickly letting the air escape leads to the egg being boiled a lot quicker. This can be accomplished by puncturing the shell right over the air sac with a pin or needle. Let the boiling begin and see the air escape through the puncture! It looked so beautiful and I would spend countless moments looking at the stream of bubbles! Care must be taken not to puncture too big a hole as this would allow the water to gush in.

This was my way of boiling eggs even when I left home for Pune. Eggs often became the mainstay of my diet and I would never tire of them. One minor accident still remains fresh in my mind. I would almost always go out in the evening to Lakdi Bridge, to a roadside bookstall that specialized in 2nd hand books and magazines. You could discover priceless material only a fortnight or month old. To top it all, they were dirt cheap. My roving pair of eyes would always manage to latch on to something interesting. Reader's Digest and National Geographic were my absolute favorites.

On one such evening I left home for yet another trip to the stall, a good 30 mins away if I walked at a brisk pace. I don't remember if I bought anything that evening, but it was during my return trip that I suddenly realized, much to my horror, that I had left home without switching off the heater, seated proudly atop which was a vessel containing...you guessed it right,eggs!!! I ran as fast as my legs would carry, hoping the worst hadn't happened. But what was the worst that could have happened? I wouldn't allow my wandering mind to wander that far!

I reached home, unlocked the door, opened it, and...saw nothing but opaque blue ahead of me! Opaque because all the water in the vessel had evaporated long ago; the eggs had boiled, over boiled and vaporized to fill the room with thick fumes. The vessel was actually incandescent! The odour was unbearable but I had to stay in to clear up the mess. How I prayed my landlord wouldn't stray his way into this disaster zone! My room was no cooler than a blast furnace!

Oh, the opacity was blue because the tubelight was still on! I quickly switched off the heater, removed the vessel and disposed off my nearly-extinct eggs. Now how could I rid the room of the thick fumes that were too stubborn to go away on their own? My brainwave didn't fail me! We had 2 table fans. I placed one at the window to force outside air into a room, while the other was placed at the exit door of the other room facing outside, to act as an exhaust. I put the fans on simultaneously and saw the exhaust furiously shooting a jet of smoke outside! Sealing all other vents to the room, I now put off the lights and waited for the rooms to be cleared of all the extraneous gaseous contents. The wait lasted more than an hour but the air circulation did the trick! Thought there were still some faint traces of what had actually happened here only a few hours ago, few could have imagined its magnitude!

My room was inhabitable again! Thankfully, no one came to know of my little misadventure though I had to volunteer telling the truth to Kaushik (my roommate) who was absent when all the drama unfolded! It was his glowing vessel after all!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Egg-straordinary!
Vivek said…
That above, was me.
anom said…
blogger blogging sites r banned ,
i think, and dis blog survives ! .
no terrorist ideas propagated ,
maybe who knows invisible secret codes
can always exist .
deepanjan said…
I feel like blasting the !@#$% government. Indian polity is screwed worse than a prostitute!

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