Cooking gas

No cooking gas

10:54 AM

This is something I swear I will avoid, and each and everytime I fall in this trap.
In India we all use gas stoves as it's way cheaper than footing a huge electricity bill. A gas cylinder last betwen 4 to 6 months depending on how much you use it, and normally a household owns 2 of them while subscribed to a gas distributor.
The first problem after supplying endless documents to actually register and subscribe for cooking gas is actually getting the two cylinders you are entitled to because each and every dealers in the city will claim there is a shortage and you can have only one and that the second one will be delivered later to you (tip : always check, they tend to easily forget to give you what's due to you).
Last Year DH and I had a huge fight with HP gas because of that missing gas cylinder. And I swear my voice nearly went away from all the screaming. We ended up paying extra for something that we already paid for but we brought back the cylinder home, just in time to replace the empty one with the new one and call our dealer again for an exchange. Full cylinder which of course took two weeks to be delivered.
In November 2006 my cylinder was empty again and I switched cylinder, and since we were a bit tight with money  at the time decided to postpone the booking of a new cylinder, seeing no urgency in it.
Months passed and about 3 weeks ago DH brought to my attention that we might need to book the cylinder as the one we have might come empty anytime. I swore to do it, and in the end completely forgot to do so. Not too hard thing to do, those dealer are very irritating and half of them don't speak anything but kannada and broken hindi.

A week ago DH ask me if I booked the gas and I sheepishly admited that I forgot and go back to my kitchen to cook, midway through cooking....yup no gas! The flame went out and I'm left angry irritated and DH all the same.
I tried to call the next day, all lines are busy. DH tried again on Saturday and got more luck than me and booked a cylinder. The lady on the phone promised that the cylinder would be there within the week (yeah right). All week long, I try to call to inquire about the whereabouts of my cylinder only to get no tone in the phone and a voice telling me this area a code is not valid and to check the number. Grounded home to wait for a delivery boy I can't leave risking to loose my cylinder if someone come by when I'm not there so I can't go directly to the dealer. We finally did so last saturday, to learn a couple of interesting facts :

1) The dealer is closing permanently and cut it's line on Sunday April 1st....DH called on March 31st to book a cylinder and yet no one told him who would take over our subscription.
2) When we try to inquire with the only person left in the empty office, she tells us to look at the poster they put on the wall.

Our new dealer is miles away has 5 phone numbers and only one operational. He first speaks kannada and after DH explain to him zillion time he do not speak this language proceed in a broken English (hindi was not an option for him) and get to learn that the cylinder won't come for another 4 days! DH goes back to the lonely lady inside the office and ask her what is going on and she say that they transfered the bookings to the new dealers and that it was out of their hands. Plain and simply refusing to take responsibility for something that clearly was her problem.

NICE! I thank god I have a microwave to cook! However, I'm an old fashionned cook so I can't cook full reciepes from scratch in there. I simply don't know how and feel frustrated. India not being very much into frozen meal and ready to eat stuff to pop in the microwave, my options are rather limited.
I can make tea, rice,  and chicken if I have the proper gravy mix. And that stops there. I used my electric sanddwich maker to grill chicken breast the other day, and generally survive on instant noodles and salads.
Today DH told me that he read in the paper that there is a shortage of cylinder in the city and that our wait for gas might even last longer.

Darn! I went to buy a little coil stove to plug in my kitchen. They cost nothing, make you electricity bill skyrocet but are good to take you out of sticky situation. Beside for the past week I've been stuck cooking in the microvave anyway. So the damage to my electricity bill is done. Now please pray for lesser power shortage, because if electricity goes off in the middle of my cooking I will scream so loud you might hear me across the seas.


  1. Anonymous9:23 PM

    Gas agencies are trouble. Here are some tips based on our experience.

    1. At the agency they are suppossed to display the details of the person to whom to complain to. Write (yes write. don't call). Usually its the area manager and once you complain with data (give the details of booking number, date of booking etc). they take action.
    2. Write to the ministry of petrolium directly. We did and they send a stinker to the gas agency fellow who burnt his ass and never caused any trouble again.
    3. book in advance. give around 2 weeks (they claim shortage which sometimes is true


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