Electricity

Long ago, a friend wrote to me “If we hadn’t invented the light bulb and electricity, we wouldn’t be so frustrated every time there is a power cut”

Today, my city sits in darkness for most part of the day. It is one of the most happening cities in the world, which ironically is awake 24 hours. Yet, the city works without power at least 6-12 hours a day this whole week.

Why? The cynics say that  now that the BBMP elections are over, who cares anymore.

The government says “problems at the power station” which is as classically vague as they can get. But whatever the real reason is, we sweat the hottest months of summer in darkness and no fans.

Every morning I wake up when my fan goes off… i manage to get back into sleep and just as I get used to the hit, the fan comes on again to taunt me for half an hour before the power disappears again. Of course, waking up then would be futile because there is no internet, no pump for the water, no microwave to heat up my coffee, no television.

I was reading this post on NY Times where the author, who lives in Conneticut, was talking about a week without power. Microwaves, laptops, television, radio, shower, the toilet, the heaters, the ac, even the mobile phones – everything is dependent on that spark in the wall. Now, sometimes cars too.

I wish I could say India was not as dependent on electricity but gone are the days when waking up was finding my way to the couch, with half open eyes, a cup of steaming hot chocolate, the newspaper read leisurely before heading off to boil myself awake.

I cannot run my laptop or internet to check for the latest news, I have to charge my cell phone if i want to browse on that at least. I cannot iron my clothes and shudder at the thought of wearing wrinkle-free synthetic clothes in this heat. (side note – with all the improvements in technology, can’t we have something non-wrinkly but cotton?)

I know there are many villages in India who live without power for 6 hours a day at least. They have adapted. But I grew up in a city which mostly had power running… at least the place where I lived in because of certain VIPs around the area.

Why is there such an extravagant power shortage? And yes, we are fast reaching the point of desperation where the advantages of nuclear power seem a lot more than the fall out. But why does Bangalore face such acute power shortage? Bad planning, yes, certainly. But with all the promises government has been making about purchasing power… why hasn’t anything been done yet?

And we haven’t even hit the hottest summer months yet. If the preview is anything to go by, this is going to be a nightmare on which Hollywood will make movies – how people were burnt to death in summer.

Song of the day: Summer sunshine – the corrs

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