Right across India, power cuts are an essential part of living. Getting regular power supply remains a utopia. Every time the government of the day announces an ambitious scheme to assure the hapless citizens that the 24 by 7 power days are just around the corner, there is a sense of severe skepticism and déjà vu.
I propose that we look at the positive side to the present power crisis that we face. I am not only referring to all the entrepreneurs who have shifted to manufacturing inverters of all sizes and shapes and are raking in handsome profits these days! Even ordinary laymen like you and I would also ruefully look back at this period. Let me put across some highlights of the unique experience of the “dark ages” we live in at present!
Just like the advent of the Internal Combustion engine ruined our lifestyles, making us forget to walk, electricity has also played havoc with our lives. We have lost touch with the primordial cycle of the Sun. We tend to live a life which is unhealthy. Within a family, various members live in greater isolation, sometimes depriving the younger generation of our rich cultural heritage and value systems.
In the presence of power, we sleep when we get tired watching the idiot box. We get up when we feel like. If the birds chirp too noisily in the mornings, or early sunlight starts disturbing our slumber, we merely draw the curtains tighter and doze off to catch a few winks more. Most of us have come to believe in the adage that “it is the early worm which gets caught!”
Thanks to electricity, we have lost close touch with our near and dear ones. Like elsewhere, life in a semi-urban environment is heavily dependent on the availability of power. Enter my house on any lucky evening these days – when power is available – and you will find that while the lady of the house is busy watching a cultural program on the telly, I would be fooling around with my desktop in another room. Son would pop up late from work, and get busy with his laptop in his bedroom. Daughter-in-law would be operating either a microwave or a grinder in the kitchen, whereas the granddaughter would be busy watching some inane channel on another TV in the bedroom.
Poof… goes the power. Another unscheduled power cut! Since repeated cuts have drained out the battery, our inverter is not in an obliging mood. With a sense of resignation, the whole family assembles in the outer courtyard of the house. A soothing silence pervades the house. We enjoy a gentle breeze under a clear star-lit sky. A soft moonlight is lovingly caressing all of us. My granddaughter is enjoying the cosmic scenery and starts chasing a bemused firefly in the lawn.
Slowly, as we get accustomed to the natural surroundings, conversation gets around to some key problems being faced by the family. My son’s impending transfer comes up for discussion; so does the need to minimize granddaughter’s exposure to the multitude of TV channels which profess to be meant for kids but are brazenly violent in their content.
The quality of family bonding we get by virtue of being power-less for a few hours is priceless. We end up eating an early dinner. After some more chit-chat, the family gets to sleep rather early. The result is a good night’s rest. Next morning, we wake up early, fully refreshed. I go for my constitutional, whereas son and daughter-in-law go off to a gym nearby. Since there is a feeling that power may go off any time, wife gets busy with her breakfast preparations rather early. Overall, the day starts on a positive note.
Imagine having uninterrupted supply of power – 24 by 7. Shall we not end up losing the power of being power-less? Would we be able to enjoy the same feeling of togetherness within the family then?! Surely, all the family members would need to exercise much greater self-control on their daily habits to be able to live a healthy, harmonious and well-knit life together!
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