July 25, 2011

A Shockless Post

Note: If you have power backup at home all the time, this may not be the best post for you to read. Having said that, no one will hate you if you go on to read it anyway :)


Some electrifying facts:
  • On the day India-Australia cricket world cup quarter-finals happened, I had to suffer a power cut of over 10 hours :'(
  • I have faced cuts of more than 2 days on the trot (a long time ago).
  • 3 weeks ago, I spent a full night with "60-65 mins OFF, 5-10 mins ON" electricity pattern (no wonder I slept the whole next day).

It's summer/monsoon time and this is the time when the power cutoffs across Delhi (NCR?) are at the maximum. The situation gets worse when the electricity goes right in the middle of the night. Now, I am an informed citizen and I know that they don't cut power just for the heck of it. Power is cutoff either because of its shortage vis-a-vis current demand or some fault/snag getting developed somewhere in the power distribution system (or some other reason I don't know?).

So, I am not going to rant about how it's the fault of the Govt. not to provide the electricity to us 24x7 (though I won't complain if they did :). But let's face it, no one enjoys power cuts (except of course if/when you are celebrating Earth Hours). We people living in cities are so much dependent on it that it becomes torture for us to just spend an hour without fan/AC, TV/Computers and other electrical appliances. 

But have you ever considered the situation in rural areas? The power in my own village remains for just 4-5 hours a day. And that too usually comes during the middle of the nights so farmers have to be alert about it, so that they can use their thrashers or tubewells just in time (this situation is 5 years old when the last time I visited the place, I sincerely hope it has improved now). But, people still live there (not just survive).

So it is what it is, and instead of sulking it's better to cope with it:
  • "No electricity" gives us an opportunity to do things we usually won't do when there is electricity (if we view the situation as an optimist). I like to take this opportunity to call people I have been postponing for weeks (if not months!). And if the conversation gets interesting, the time goes by before I notice.
  • No electricity also teaches us patience (I am quite impressed by Buddha's philosophy). So, instead of cursing that invisible 'Bijli wallah', I take it as an opportunity to patiently wait for the electricity to come again (no I actually do!). If I feel like cursing anyone, then they are usually the people who steal or waste power.
  • No electricity time is an excellent situation for me to go outside/on terrace to walk/jog/listen to music peacefully/read newspaper etc. (time factor also counts; obviously I won't go to jog when the sun as the top of head).
The fact is that the population, especially in metros, is increasing way faster than the resources can be generated, so one has to face these situations (unless you are insanely rich/influential). I have been an advocate of saving resources including electricity. If I am turning off a fan (even if not in my own home), I feel I am providing a few minutes of extra electricity to someone else. That's my way of reducing my carbon foot prints on this planet.

Of course, I don't say I am the master saver. I know there are some people doing way more than me. I wish others could also chip in a bit (more), so I suffer less power cuts at night :)

So, do you just celebrate Earth Hours or do something less sexy too?