Posts Tagged ‘Loadshedding’

I love a power cut (smugly)! No, don’t ostracize me. Ask Jhumpa Lahiri. Her first short story in Interpreter of Maladies is all about a power cut.

A power cut improves relationships. In this cyber age, a power cut would mean instant sanity. No cable, no laptop, no PC, no internet and no news. The splendid magic of the candles (please don’t forget to thank God if there are no generators) creates a sense of oneness in an otherwise segregated family. With nothing to do, no internet to surf, no TV to watch, no music to play, and nowhere to go out, particularly when the power cut is in the evening, the family have not much to do but to bundle around one candle.

Which means conversation. Which has become a forgotten undertaking. Which means one has no choice but to explore the other person’s mind. And I hope the power cut lasts long enough so that one begins voicing opinions. Which means onset of a debate, a small argument. Which gets heated and fight begins (I smile).

Which is great! I mean, how long has it really been that I have melted into my husband’s arms after a big fight? Not that I want to be particularly graphic. But it’s been a real long time. It’s always his TV first, and then me. Why him? It’s still my electronically empowered jobs first and then my child.

Which is why I love a power cut. We can make shadow figures on the walls if there’s nothing to argue about. We can innovate and bring to life all those long forgotten games like hide-and-seek and dark room. Which means a lot of running about. (When was the last time my portly hubby ran about, I ponder: I don’t remember). Which means exercise.

So the power cut gives us more than one reason to rejoice. And even then, why do we spend mindlessly in buying generators?

With the heat playing havoc, now is the right time to experience at least one evening of blissful, undisturbed and elaborate power cut.

P.S. – The Red Brigade may refer to my article whenever they feel cornered.

Kaberi Chatterjee

(This article appeared in Hindustan Times, on April 30, 2003, in response to elaborate power cuts that was turning West Bengal and Kolkata into a Bengal melting pot.)