Behind Every Dark Cloud is a Silver Lining…

BOOM!!! The largest, loudest, most dangerous explosion erupted in our kitchen — the pressure cooker on the stove. I was standing nearby and darted away screaming. The kids and Prakash sat nearby in the living room, getting a board game ready to play – they sat shocked in silence. Within a few seconds the deafening noises and cloud of steam subsided and Sumanth’s loud, scared cry broke out. A thin layer of black-eyed-bean mush covered every visible surface in the entire kitchen — counters, floors, backsplash, stove, window, ceiling, cabinets, walls — EVERYTHING! It took a few minutes to quiet Sumanth down and assure him that we are all safe and that the mess will (somehow) get cleaned up…

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Minutes later, help arrived in droves! Gordon, our next door neighbor stopped by. Since our meal was splattered all over the kitchen, he graciously offered to make lunch for us! Within minutes, Gordon and Marilyn whipped up a yummy lunch of pancakes and fruit — hadn’t eaten pancakes that delicious in months…

The nephew of our landlord along with their maid also arrived moments after the explosion — I think the whole block heard!! He inquired about our well being and ensured us that their staff will help with the mess. Within 10 minutes, six – yes 6!! – of their maids were over scrubbing, wiping and sweeping the food waste. It took this army of helpers about an hour to get the kitchen back in order…

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Needless to say, we felt SO blessed that we escaped this horrible accident, relatively unscathed… I FORTUNATELY was far enough from the stove to only have a few small, minor burns ; the troop of maids completed our insurmountable, but unavoidable job ; even though our lunch was spoiled, a yummier one was kindly offered to us. Angels in disguise came to rescue us in our time of need… Sincere appreciation to the Rana family and staff, and Gordon and Marilyn…

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Behind our dark cloud this Saturday afternoon was a bright, shining silver lining…

Had this incident happened in North Carolina, would our neighbors have heard the explosion? Likely not, as the distances between homes is much greater and windows are generally closed. Even if they had, would they know the boom came from our house? Would they have come to inquire? I’m not so sure… We likely would have grabbed take-out for lunch and started cleaning up the mess ourselves. Several hours later, perhaps, the kitchen might look somewhat like normal, our arms would be really sore and we’d be ready for a LONG nap. A testament to “village-style” life as opposed to the “nuclear-style” life we are used to in the USA. There are pluses and minuses to both. A lot depends on one’s perspective or preference — lack of privacy OR someone’s always there to help ; everyone knows my business OR there is always someone to keep an eye on the kids ; anonymity OR life as an open book…

This minor disaster left me grateful to live in Nepal :-). What would you prefer and why?

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6 thoughts on “Behind Every Dark Cloud is a Silver Lining…

  1. So glad to know you are fine. Cooker explosion can be really dangerous.

    It is so much fun to read your blog & life in Nepal.

    Enjoy!! Taruna Sent from iPhone – please excuse any typos and auto-correct errors.

  2. I’m so glad you are okay. Do you have any idea what caused the explosion? Was there not enough water in the cooker or was the spout blocked? Scary stuff. Again, I’m glad everyone is okay.

    • Hi Jay… Not completely sure what caused the explosion, but I think something got stuck in the safety valve. One whistle came, and then 2-3 minutes later, the explosion… Plenty of water was inside. Main thing was that no one was standing too close – our saving grace…

      SO nice to reconnect with you! I’ve enjoyed seeing your pics on FB… Hope all is well with you and your family 🙂

  3. Nita, and Prakash:  That happened to me once while I lived alone in India and also received so much help in cleaning but escaped the disaster because I was about 10 feet away – same as you.   If you use PC make sure you buy the best quality (Prestige make used to be best one), also, since you’re in the mountains, it takes less heat probably to run the same pressure as in Kolkata hence you need the best of the best gear and keep changing the rubber O-ring as frequently as possible (don’t buy local makes, but genuine part).  Keep the safety vent clean all the time.  Follow the instructions on the manual thoroughly.   Thank god all of you were safe and you received so much help.  Yes,  here we are kind of alone,  of course you won’t need to call 911 for a PC burst!  But, instead, spend hours and hours to do the cleaning chore.  I like your blog and enjoy every bit.

    Stay safe!! 

    Sincerely,-DevBiswadev (Dev) RoyResearch Triangle Park, NCHome:  919-467-4622Cell:      919-599-2043Google Voice:  919-234-7895 LinkedIn:  http://lnkd.in/bCz5sgY“A basic quest for humans, regardless of culture and nationality, is to know where they are in the universe, how they came to be, and what the future holds for them”  -Edward M. Purcell, Nobel Lecture, 1952 “discipline and respect begins at home”        

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    • Thanks Dev! We just bought a new Hawkins pressure cooker and hope this one will be safe… Good advice to keep an eye on the safety valve and O rings – will do…

  4. So glad no one got hurt, Nita! James is asking if the explosion was related to high elevation… I’m glad you have a tight knit village of people who care. Take care and love to you and your family!

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