Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Power cuts are funny! At least when you get used to them.

In big cities the electricity is cut off for two or three hours a day and the cut-offs follow a timetable. That’s fine! Tolerable! But where I was, in a little secluded spot far away from any kind of civilization, they lasted much longer and you never knew when they were going to take place. Supposedly, every week they changed the time. But, then, as everything in India, they didn’t take place when they were expected! So it was quite thrilling (especially with scorpions, as big as a hand, and different sorts of poisonous snakes around).

I’ve read that one-third of India's households do not even have electricity so, what’s the big deal? You don’t have power for some hours, so what?

Everybody is so used to cut-offs that they go on doing their tasks as if nothing had happened! They are prepared for them! Even mobile phones have a little bulb you can use to light up whatever it is you are doing! So we continued studying, cooking, eating,…

And when the power did come back, it was all running around switching on every single gadget: the mobile phone, the computer, the torch,…

Some privileged people in the boarding school had power generators, so they had electricity 24 hours a day. But that was not the case of my friend and me!  Remember that we were the black sheep of the family! So there we were, playing cards, reading, or simply talking in the dark. We sometimes had to sleep on the corridor floor until the power came back, since some nights without current to get the fan going (it's not that we had A.C.), it was quite difficult to get to sleep!

In summer we sweated in 89% humidity. I read that repeated power cuts during a spell of 43°C-plus heat prompted hundreds of folks to vandalize electricity substations, to beat up energy company officials and to hold them hostage! I sometimes felt like joining them!

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