Deja vu? Don’t sweat! I’ve been meaning to share this for a long time, my computer crashed, though, (maybe NOW my professor will understand my unfinished homework) and I haven’t been able to get down to it. There are kindred souls in Chennai who feel a power failure isn’t all that bad. But MY enlightenment came during the day! It was during our summer holidays, and I woke up with the bliss that comes with the knowledge that you’re absolutely jobless for the day! And so, I got done with my morning duties and settled down cheerfully with the TV remote. I had nothing planned for the day - maybe watch some movies, listen to music, play the keyboard, charge my cell phone(0 charge - note), read a book…Yeah well, the Electricity Board had other plans, so you can imagine my dismay (and horror) at the thought of a sweaty summer morning in Chennai with NOTHING to do.
I flipped through the paper - yes, there was to be a power shutdown for maintenance. I resigned myself to my lousy situation and was staring glumly at our Music Player. Some spiders had apparently been busy spinning webs between the speakers. Oh well! I had nothing better to do anyway, so I took a piece of cloth and great care in dusting those speakers. Feeling better and in the spirit of cleaning things (now this spirit abides in me VERY rarely), I went to help my Grandma with cleaning the kitchen. Well, we got to talking about almost every topic under the sun (ALMOST) and who knew spooks and ghosts existed in the black and white era and such-an-such-aunt did the most ridiculous things in her childhood! Feeling much better and needing to communicate with someone from my generation, I picked up the phone (in the absence of my cell phone), flipped through my rather dusty phone book and indulged in some old-fashioned reminiscing about school. It felt pretty good actually! The door was open just a bit, and unnoticed, a mouse had slipped in. My grandma and maid made up for my lack of squeals, when it DID get noticed, while I just calmly went to the door and held it open for our unwelcome guest who left as quietly as he had come. By the way, spiders and mice don’t bother me – lizards, I draw the line at! I was actually amazed at how much we rely on electricity to have fun, while there are all sorts of rustic un-electrical pleasures that go unnoticed.
Did you know that it’s nice to just sit on your verandah and watch the skyline broken by the numerous coconut trees, look at dry grass and give a serious thought to global warming for the first time, help the neighbourhood kids learn shuttle-cock(honestly, how many of us know their names?) ? In the middle of one fun set, my Grandma called out that the power supply was back! A set later, I waved to those kids and promised them I’d play with them whenever I found the time. We both know that our next meeting will be orchestrated by the next power shutdown, because we never find time – we MAKE time! And yes, it’s great to have technology running around you, but once in a way, it’s alright to step out of that world. I don’t know if the electrical cables and transformers are refreshed, but I sure am!
SUNALINI ESTHER, III year, Architecture, Anna University
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