Thursday, March 18, 2010

Power Cuts

Come summer the common things we hear of are the high temperatures, water scarcity and power cuts. With trees being cut down without a forethought, leading to untimely rains and unpredictable weather cycles, power cut is a thing everybody is expecting and is prepared for during summer.

Power cuts are a thing that people detest. Firstly, people are accustomed to using fans and air conditioners during summer. They have to bear the heat during power cuts. Secondly the television in almost every house is running all the time whether or not anyone's watching it. No chance of watching the tv during power cut. If there's an IPL match being telecast during the power cut, then God save the people working in the Electricity Board from all the curses that are cast on them by the people. Have scheduled power cuts, people come up with ideas of finishing all the required tasks well before the scheduled time. Make the cuts unscheduled, the parents start complaining of how kids are unable to study for exams.

Majority of the people today are prepared for the power cuts having Inverters/UPS facility in their residence and work places. The only time they are probably in darkness is when they sleep or when the UPS stops working for an unknown reason. The city life is such that there's traffic and lights at all times, even at night. People have become so used to this kind of a lifestyle that probably they cant even imagine staying in the darkness for a couple of hours.

I on the other hand like power cuts. :) Call me insane if you want. But I find it weird that people want to have lights around them at all times. Some are such that they can't even sleep without a bed lamp :O. I like power cuts (especially if they are during the evenings) for various reasons...

* First and foremost is that, it is to save power, of which we have a scarcity.
*  I think every person should and must have an experience of being in the darkness for a while. It is beautiful... :)
* Darkness lets me be with myself, even if it is for a couple of hours or minutes. I think it is the time to contemplate and think about oneself and the others.
* I love the way the brightness of the moon becomes prominent during power cut which at other times is overshadowed by the city street lights.. :(
* It brings you closer to your family members.
* It makes you realize how bright and beautiful the life is at other times.

I have many fond memories associated with power cuts... :) Back then when I was in school, the time when our family and my uncle's family lived in two different floors of the same house, power cuts meant fun time!! :) Me and my sis would gleefully run upstairs to join our cousins, uncles and aunt. The entire time was spent playing Antakshari, Word Building, Quizzes and what not... :) The elders would team up against kids or it would be be boys versus girls. It was so much fun.. :D We would stop the game when the power is back and continue it from there the next time. Thats something that I badly miss from the time my cousins and their family shifted to a different house... :(

During one such dark evening when we were playing Antakshari, there was a knock on the door of my uncle's house. Since I was nearest to the door, I went and opened it. It was pitch dark outside. It scared the hell out of me to see no one there.. I banged the door shut and ran inside. I was just telling that there was nobody, when there was a knock again. I almost wept out of fear. My uncle, who's a civil engineer went and opened the door to find one of his workers outside. This worker I'm talking about has a very very dark complexion. I hadn't seen him coz of the darkness outside. The worker said "Avaru nanna nodi baagilu haaki bittru !!" (she saw me and shut the door!!). How my cousins and everyone else laughed at me that day, is one thing I'll never forget.. :( . One thing that I'm thankful for, till date, is that the person outside didn't smile, else I would have fainted seeing a set of white teeth in the pitch darkness... :O

I was a very fidgety kid, unable to sit in one place and study. My sis on the other hand would sit for hours and would get up only when she finished a chapter atleast. I would keep making trips to the kitchen, looking for something to eat or drink, or would go disturb her. But I loved to sit and study in the candle light during power cuts. It was just to show off to my parents, that I'm so hard working. ( Now I feel, its probably one of the reasons I wear spectacles and my sis doesn't :P )

I'm so thankful that even now we don't have a UPS system in our house. I hope we don't need one too... But the candles have been replaced by an emergency lamp. I avoid the light and go sit in the dark room during power cuts. :) It brings back to me all the good memories and makes me like it all the more.. :)

PS: The only time I get upset with a power cut is when my computer gets switched off (poof!!) and I haven't saved the file.. :P


  1. Yes, true. I just saw a quick flashback of my life after reading your post. I too went down to play Hide-n-Seek and loads of other games that are best played in dark.. Miss those times.. Although everything is true about how good a power cut is, I now hate power cuts especially when it means there's no fan.. Blore has unfortunately become toooo hot :)

  2. @Arun: I agree B'lore is a lot more hotter now.. But try sitting outside the house for a while during a power cut.. The gentle breeze is pleasant enough.. :)

  3. Basically I am not fond of power cuts, since most tasks/ chores come to a stand-still. But yes I do miss the good times we used to have as kids... recently I was remembering our antakshari sessions and the fun that we used to have. And your "Palani episode" will never be forgotten! :D

  4. Nice one archie! But I am so happy that there are (almost) no power cuts here. If there were any, we could have met in india sooner. Just that I wouldn't be able to tell a hi from the coffin :)

  5. @raqz: hahaha :D thank god!! I live here.. :)