We are told that curiosity killed the cat. Well I don’t know which cat but a few years ago, my little brother was well on his way to join that cat. As an eight year old, he was very cute, sweet and always enormously curious to know what his elder sisters were up to. I was in class ten at that point of time. Often, he would join me while I was studying; snuggle into my arms while I would read my textbooks. He would always be intent on reading my texts. He never managed to sustain his enthusiasm beyond two paragraphs at the most but I guess he would get a kick by reading out of a 10th standard textbook while he was himself in class 3.
On fine day, he joined me while I was reading up the Science 1 (Physics and Chemistry) texts. He started reading as usual. That paragraph enumerated the precautions to be taken while handing electronic equipment. He had learnt for the first time that handling electronic equipments with wet hands can cause a shock; that we must wear rubber slippers or gloves while using such machines and especially electric sockets, etc. he asked if all that was true. I replied in the affirmative. He wanted to know what a shock was. I told him that it can cause a seizure (I faked one to explain what it may look like), burns and a heart attack which means that our heart stops working abruptly. He nodded seriously and went off to play as usual.
Three days later, in the morning, after he had had his bath, he was madly calling out my name from the bathroom. I thought he had forgotten his towel. When I went to look, this little devil already had a towel wrapped around him. I asked him what the matter was. The conversation that followed went something like this.
Brother: I am going to tell Mom to take you out of school. There is no need for you to go to school. They teach you nonsense in class 10.
I was stunned to witness my education being questioned.
Me: Why? What happened?
Brother: Come in. (Pointing to the bathroom)
Before I could even understand what was happening, he splashed handful water on the switchboard and turned on and switched off the switch for the geyser.
Brother: You see, your textbook is wrong, the switchboard was wet, my hands were wet, I am not wearing rubber slippers, I touched the switched board and I did not suffer a shock, neither did I die. I am still alive.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief. He actually checked whether he would be killed!
I understood my mistake and patiently explained what insulators were. It then seemed to dawn upon him why he was yet alive.