I have never been a very prudent user of electricity and have invited the wrath of my granny on multiple occasions. She is immensely chagrined by the fact that I never turn off the light before leaving a room and whenever I am caught red-handed she delivers one of her very famous monologues which briefly summarizes our generation’s total disregard for the fast vanishing natural resources. She narrates tales about her childhood days when people used to make the most of daylight by waking up at the crack of dawn and finishing off all the house hold chores before sunset. Her stories, as inspiring as they might be, have had little effect on me and in-spite my repeated attempts to mend my ways I find myself committing the same mistake over and over again.

The people at the Electricity Board, however, have a totally different way of reminding me that electricity is a prized resource and must be used judiciously. Unlike my granny they don’t unnecessarily rant about it all the time. All they do is pull down “one of those tiny little levers” which cuts off the electricity supply in the area of their choice thereby compelling the residents to live the lives of their grand-parents and great grand-parents for a few hours. The privileged few, ones who have inverters and generators installed in their homes, are spared this trouble leaving commoners like me to rot in boredom and sweat. This vicious trick of theirs, called “power cut”, has wrecked my evenings and nights on countless occasions in the past but the series of events which occurred last Saturday deserve a special mention.

It was one of those doomed Saturday nights when all my friends had abandoned me to gulp down a couple of tequila shots. I could have joined them. I wish I had joined them. But on that particular night the Teetotaler in me suddenly manifested out of nowhere and tried to convince me to stay sober. I was quite surprised. He is a very laid back guy and doesn’t generally do that. On most of the occasions it is the Mild Alcoholic that dominates. 😉 I made an exception that night. Taking the Teetotaler’s advice , I decided to stay in my apartment all by myself, think about some wonderful things and find my inner peace. Little did I know that the members of the Electricity Board had already devised a fool-proof plan to ruin my alone time and put an end to my eternal quest of finding inner peace. 😦

After my friends left I decided to watch a movie on the television. I had barely settled down on the couch with a packet of chips in my right hand and the remote control in the left one when my entire room got plunged into darkness. Instantaneously the idiot box stopped blabbering and my laptop, whose battery had died, followed suit. So, these guys had played a prank on me once again and that too on a Saturday night! Fumes of fury began escape my ears and nose as I cursed the stupid Teetotaler in me for the millionth time. I am pretty sure he is dead by now 😉 The fumes subsided after a while and I made my way towards the kitchen to find a few candles. To my horror only two candles were left and not the big ones that stay alive for a couple of hours; those tiny, scented aroma therapy candles which might help you in spicing up your love life but are lesser than useless when used as source of light.

I am one of those delicate darlings who is afraid of darkness. I was beginning to get scared and desperately needed to talk to someone. So, I picked  up my mobile phone, which was thankfully still conscious, and dialed the toll-free number of Electricity Board. Something crazy had gotten inside my head which told me that our friends in the Electricity Board would make me feel better. A certain gentleman received my call and told me that the connection would be restored “very soon”. I tried to cheer my self up despite knowing the fact that both of us differed greatly on the definition of “very soon”.

There was nothing much I could do at that moment. I lighted those two candles and tried to read a book but after a while my eyes refused to co-operate.

The only option left was sleeping which thankfully does not require any source of illumination. I opened the windows to allow fresh air to enter my room and climbed onto the bed, waiting for twinkling fairies to fill my eyes with pleasant and romantic dreams. But sleep doesn’t come easy when a band of raucous mosquitoes are hell-bent on humming a tune, which sounds like a cross between one of Metallica’s hard rock song and Beethoven’s symphony, in your ears. I could have shooed them away but doesn’t that seem rude? They had clearly hand-picked me to show off their musical skills. And anyway, how many virtuoso musicians go through the trouble of whispering their music right into your auditory canal?

Their concert was clearly not going to end in the coming few hours striking “sleep” off my to-do list. So, I did the next best thing i.e. standing in the balcony, gazing at the star-lit sky, admiring the leaves dancing to the whispers of the wind, drinking the beauty of the shimmering reflection of moonlight in tiny puddles on the road. I won’t deny that the dormant poet in me was beginning to drag its lazy bums off the couch and getting ready for some action but perhaps it got intimidated by the magic that had been created by Mother Nature.

The ambiance was perfect for romance and things would have been totally different had the arms of a big and swarthy hunk been wrapped around my slender waist. Sadly, my sweet-heart was otherwise engaged that night and so were Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.  😉

A few hours passed before the Electricity Board took mercy on me and brought “one of those tiny little levers” back to its original position. My idiot box started giggling but I did not.

My granny might overlook my shortcoming on a few occasions but I know the members of the Electricity Board sure as hell won’t. 😦

P.S. The previous post was published by mistake. Kindly ignore it 🙂


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20 responses to “Blackout…”

  1. Bikram says :

    Yeah it showed forbidden ur last article. I guess you had fun.
    Awww sad all were busy that evening hmmmm you shud have gone with themm
    But what was brad pitt up to haaaan… Not good at all….

    I had smile reading this:-)

    You havenot experienced punjab electricity board.. Its much worse.

    • Chhavi says :

      Bikram, I did not have fun 😦 I was all alone 😦 How I wish I had gone out with them.
      I have heard a tale or two about the Punjab Electricity Board. They must be giving the people a hard time.
      I am so glad that it made you smile.

  2. Destination Infinity says :

    Is it true that someone actually picked up the phone and told you the electricity will come back after sometime? OMG, the people in your EB office actually pick up phone calls? Me going J… Always have a couple of mosquito coils with you (of course, match box too) & convert a movie to 3GP or MP4 and store it in your mobile to watch in such circumstances.

    • Chhavi says :

      Yeah… we have a special bond, DI. 😀 They always receive my calls. But sadly it doesn’t help me much. 😦
      Mosquito coil and match sticks are going right on top of my shopping list. 🙂
      I have to change my cell phone. It doesn’t offer all these luxuries. 😦

  3. Harsha K N says :

    I think only you could take a pretty boring and “regular” topic of power cut and convert it into a very nice post like this one 🙂 Good one, best read with a pack of pop corn ! And hope when next time this incidence occurs your sweet-heart would be in your vicinity 😉 and power-cut wont remind you of your granny 😛

  4. Smita says :

    God has his own ways to bring us back to the world of reality 😉

    Had I been in ur place I wud have lighted a candle and started reading a book 😀

  5. sm says :

    nice write up
    its the story of every commoner in India

    • Chhavi says :

      Well said sm. It’s not just my story. It’s the story of every common man in India. I still get a more or less regular supply of electricity. The condition in small towns and villages is much worse

  6. ajay says :

    Oh we missed out on the poet in you so close! Next time, okay? 🙂 Being alone during a blackout can be very boring. You can’t do anything and the darkness gets creepy.

  7. Leo says :

    oh for sure 😛 BESCOM has its own ways of inflicting misery.. In my area, they do it for 10 seconds just to irritate me when I’m deep into writing…

    • Chhavi says :

      He he he…. That’s bad. Very often there is a power cut in my area at 3:00 am in the morning for about one and a half hour 😦 I am forced to go to office with sleepy eyes and a non functional head 😦

  8. Sharmila says :

    we r among the “few privileged” who have inverter but one day ur inverter broke down n we had to spend several hours on rooftop counting stars … it was awful !!

    Love ur writing – u spice up the simple story !!

    • Chhavi says :

      Thank you for your kind words, Sharmila. Its good to know that the “privileged few” do get a taste of the lives of the plebeians once in a while 🙂

  9. Deboshree says :

    Blackouts are horrible. Especially when they come in the summer months. The princess here cannot do without her AC you see and how she managed when there was only a cooler is a closely guarded secret. I don’t mind the darkness and have minimal fear of ghosts – courtesy my braveheart of a nani – but reading about your blackout experiences gave me the jitters. 😀 I hope you have no repeat telecast of the same. 😀

    • Chhavi says :

      Its brave of you to face the darkness with such courage, Deboshree. It totally freaks me out.
      Even I hope that I won’t find myself in a similar situation ever again 🙂

  10. Punam J R says :

    Heyyy Chhavi, this had me in splits seriously, especially when you compared the humming of mosquitoes to beethoven!!!! Oh Gawdddd!! And your humour is mast haan!! Like, the best I have read in the blogosphere till date.. waise, akeli thi, chali aati… 🙂 i dont need to invite you na baba…
    And heyyyy delicate darling was what my English teacher would call me when I would attempt to lift more than 2 books. 🙂 he he he.. you reminded me of those days.
    Annnd u know what??? Heyy ho, I have some news for you.. i will sms u soon.

    • Chhavi says :

      Hudd… Poonam, now I’ll not be able to sleep. What do you want to tell me? 😦 Message me ASAP.
      Thanks. Good to know you liked the humour. It was 10 o’clock in the night. I did not even have the courage to step out of my room. Leaving the flat would have terrified me 😦

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