Sunday, 15 April 2012

The state of the STATE

First off, I would like to thank you for the wonderful responses on my last post. I felt humbled and honoured. Now for today's post.



For the past month and a half, the state of Tamil Nadu has been reeling under acute power shortage. Except for Chennai, all the other places have power cuts which run upto ten hours and the place where I stay is no different. This state has taken all of us to the dark ages when there was no power and life was very simple. Well, in the present we are in the dark albeit the simple life. I had imagined that I was someone who could adjust to any situation rather easily. But this time, I have succumbed to the situation. I have lost my cool and peace.

I know that this post is a rather glorified rant but I still want to go with it. I cook, dress up and even sleep without power. The nights have become dreadful with the menacing mosquitoes on one hand and the slowly dripping sweat on the other. People advice us to buy an inverter but somehow we have been resisting the purchase. Looks like we have to go for one.

Candle-light dinners have become common-place but without any romance. In fact, the candles remind me of the lack of power and hence the situation becomes worse. Home has ceased to be a place which comforts, sustains and empowers. The soothing powers of the home seem distant and I dread staying at home due to the power cuts.

I just cannot imagine as to how there is such a shortage in the state of Tamil Nadu. Whether it is a hype or something else, I cannot know. But I know one thing: I am slowly on the verge of collapse. Psychologically, one looks up at the clock every second, wondering whether the time for the scheduled power cut has arrived. Due to the power cuts, sometimes we are unable to have continuous water connection. The lack of water brings to a stop many vital needs/chores that have to be attended to.

All over the world, Earth hours are celebrated but we are lucky enough not to celebrate any. We have  Earth hours every single day. In fact, I feel, Tamil Nadu is the best example to follow when it comes to saving power.

Let me give you the details of the power cuts:
Morning: 6 to 9; Afternoon: 12 to 3; Evening: 6 to 7, 8 to 9; Night: 12 to 01 and 3 to 4.

Well, I am tired and exhausted trying to schedule my work according to the power cut schedule. Sometimes I give up but then it causes several other problems almost like a domino effect.

I am reading Robinson Crusoe in prep for my MA classes. When I read of his survival in that lonely island for so many years, my problems seem nothing. The timing cannot be more perfect :)

What do you think?

Image: Internet

43 comments:

  1. Hi Susan .. yugh - must make life very difficult - I remember the Miners' Strike back in the early 70s .. when electricity was rationed in London .. it was really quite difficult - so I hate to think what you're going through - especially with the mozzies around .. I hope things get better soon .. Hilary

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    1. 70s is a long time ago. I guess we are thirty years behind the UK. Boy! we belong to the prehistoric times!!!

      I also just hope that things get better, Hilary. Hope you're having a good day.

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  2. oh you poor girl.....and here have i been cribbing about the 3 hours of power cut (12-3pm) in chennai....guess you are now ready to survive the pre-electricity era if by some chance you are transported back by a time machine. but seriously an inverter might bring partial relief but that would be more like someone giving you a lick of icecream and refusing to share the rest... all the sweating must have have some effect on your weight too- i guess you are now slimmer (with dehydration) and probabbly cranky too with loss of sleep..hang tough - this too will pass...koodankulam is soon coming online....lets pray for that.....(p.s. atleast you dont live in a concrete jungle in a cramped dark flat, like we do...count your blessings)

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    1. Slimmer!!! I don't think so. The resident fat which has been sitting smug all these years are not as easy to melt. But I do ferevently hope that it does melt. And, I do live in a flat but thankfully it isn't cramped or dark.

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  3. Did not know it was that bad in Amma's land.
    Seriously I see a revolt in the near future.
    And if that is not happening (or not going to happen) then its more serious, because we are just saying it loud and clear that we are a clan that can take everything lying down.
    As long as the "chalta hai" attitude is there, things are not going to improve.

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    1. As amma stepped in, the power went off! Pitiable state of the State, Joe. Take everything down is not the spirit of the Tamilians, I reckon. We only take everything as opposed to take everything down.

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  4. It is so sad that we can't provide the basic amenities to our people.Power cuts are a real shame and cause so much physical and mental anguish. Inverters also run out after 8 hours, so its a hopeless situation.
    When we read about someone else in a worse condition, we feel we are much better off. Our occasional one hour power cuts seem like nothing compared to yours )

    http://sulekharawat.com/2012/04/15/milestone/

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    1. I am also swearing a lot . . . simple words but I don't much like doing it.
      I just wish things are set right sooner.

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  5. Oh, Susan, I can feel your frustration and can only imagine living day to day with this situation. Sometimes, I fear this type of thing will be happening more and more around the world as so many use what energy we have unwisely. We do everything possible in our home to conserve.
    I pray there will be relief soon for you and the state in which you reside. I'm sure so many others are feeling this stress.
    Blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks Martha for your words. I guess sustainable energy is what we should be aiming at.

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  6. I experienced some scheduled power cuts this winter when we had an unusual freeze. I was amazed at the tremendous inconvenience, and couldn't believe how much we rely on electricity. How did the ancients do it?

    My heart goes out to you. It must be hard to find peace within those limitations. Still, I wish you peace... and light.

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    1. The ancients had no electricty and therefore their needs were according to those norms. But now, we are trained in a different way and hence we know only this way. But having come all the way from being in the state of nothing, now going back there is a tad shameful.
      Thanks for your warm words, Myrna. They will cool me when there are no fans working.

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  7. I'm thinking you are amazing ..holding up as you are...i don't think I'd have it in me...I can't imagine an hour without power never mind the hours ou are without... I lost the internet for 4 hours this last week and I was in an incredible panic.....Praying for you... As always...XOXOXOXO

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    1. we get used to everything, Bongo. If you were here, I'm sure you would manage the situation well.

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  8. you situation reminded me of the 2 years I lived in Ecuador. I consider it the worst time of my life. The archaic ages in which they lived, culture and basic necessities made me want to scream every day. I was unable to get used to the cuts of electricity in the most outrageous humid conditions and the cuts of water which made people shower every other day...What??? it's 105 degrees daily! Besides, the torrential rains and the poor drainage which made the streets rivers...ok, it's your post not mine. Sorry I'm ranting. You just made me remember that awful time!

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    1. "Archaic ages" is the situation here, Myriam. Your situation in Ecuador seems terrifying. Water in the streets even happen here. While some countries enjoy everything, certain countries have to face the problems. Unfair!

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  9. I feel for you, I really do. I am a tech junkie and to imagine a time where I couldn't do what I wanted when I wanted would drive me insane. I would be angry to no ends until I finally gave in because I was dying of hunger and smelled like a sewer. lol

    But, truth is we have become a needy and spoiled world. We take all of these comforts for granted. We act as if we are not as strong as our ancestors. And maybe we aren't. But we can adapt easily. Yes, there will be stranglers who complain because this is life and that's what we do. We've worked hard to get to this point to have to be forced back into the dark ages.

    But, what happens if we wake up one day and all of these things are gone? What then? I don't like government demands, telling us what to do when to do it, but what if they know something that we don't? What if what you are going through is preparing you how to handle a world-wide outage?

    I know, easy for me to say because I'm not in your shoes. But, maybe I should be so when or if the time comes my kids and I won't throw tantrums because we can't plug in our cellphones. lol By the way, how are you enjoying the book?

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    1. If it is gone, then we know that we have no other way and hence we change ourselves but here the situation is worse: You don't know when the power will go and when it will be there. I'd rather have no power at all, then have cuts like these.
      As you have rightly mentioned, it is we who have to be blamed. When we have power, we grossly misuse the same and then that leads to a crises, we blame the government. Sad.

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  10. Susan Deborah...I feel almost (ALMOST!!!) guilty, since we have no power outages.

    I do not believe it is altruistic decision to cut power that much. It is either true shortages, or politics! Actually, politicians will not admit they are mismanaging the affairs of supplying infrastructure services.

    Sorry for you, Peep!
    Love!
    PEACE!
    Steve

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    1. Lucky Steve. As I have mentioned earlier, some countries have it all and yours for one, is like that.

      Have a great remainder of the week, Steve.

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  11. The metros eat away everything from the smaller cities and towns and the government is just hopeless. It is the same everywhere...better opt of a UPS.

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  12. Last year, I had a 2 hour power cut in Coimbatore. Even this year, I have a 2 hour power cut in Chennai. And people are cribbing about that! I think its time for us to take renewable energy sources seriously and start making our own power at home. Let me see what options are available.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. I would like a device in which we can pedal and create power but the problem is that of storage. Where would we store the same?

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  13. You know, it's not just about Tamil Nadu. Even Maharashtra does this. It's a bit like triage. The financially more important cities of the state suck up all the power and the rest of the state suffers through so called 'loadshedding'. Have you noticed how inspite of no power for eight hours a day, the electricity bill doesn't really show a one-third decrease? And somehow this is always done in the summers when the heat is way way worse.

    Also, I think it's about time when we decided to take stock of the power supply needs of our entire country and came up with the infrastructure to provide it. There are several alternative energy sources that we haven't even begun to employ yet.

    As a citizen of Mumbai I don't really experience any power-cuts on a regular basis but it was when I was posted in Khardi village as part of my rural posting, in the month of October no less, that I actually realised the pitiable state of the STATE as you put it.

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    1. The state of all the States is pitiable, I reckon. I wish we pick up some alternate ways for conserving energy.

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  14. Replies
    1. Welcome Ruchi. Thanks for your kind words. Glad to have you here.

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  15. :) well in punjab electricity does not come for DAYS and there will be no surprise if we get 24 hours cut.

    I rememebr the good old days when our village did not have electric connection then , things were so simple really. The problem is people (this i am talking of punjab) steal electricity with all sorts of ways.. If every one used it properly and in ration things will be much better .. For exmample a typical situation , need watering the fields so a motor runs to pump the water , electricity goes away , they put a direct line to the POLE .. all night the pump works ..

    I mean I no the sitaution in my village its chaotic

    Bikram's

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    1. Bikram, is that the situation in the present? I hear what you say. Whatever the reasons, we are to blame, I think. Almost every one misuses electricity and don't restrain car while managing the same.

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  16. The power in Tamil Nadu is a sorry state of affair
    for we always have had powers that never really did care
    all that we can do know is light a candle and offer a prayer
    asking the almighty to give us the power to grin and bear.
    Ah! thank God in Chennai it is slightly better.

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  17. We've lately been warned of power outages in the upcoming summer. People think it's some sort of political drill, but I have the feeling something bad is about to happen with our electrical resources. We, the citizens, just push the button, we don't really know what's going on behind curtains even if we read economic articles. Anyway, people everywhere have to think of alternative ways to make sure they could handle lack of power or food.

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    1. Even there? I had thought all the other countries were better off in power management than India. Rightly said, DUTA. Alternate measures are the best.

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  18. My God, these power cuts are driving everyone insane . I completely agree with you Susan, it's so irritating with these extended hours of power cut as well.
    Liked you sense of humour when you had mentioned about the Earth day :-) and Yea, once we get accustomed to the comforts, life becomes difficult without them.

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    1. Sense of humour, you say?!?!? It is sense of humour that comes from a state of being pained and helpless.

      And, electricity is no longer a comfort. It is a necessity.

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  19. Ugh. That sounds miserable at times and quite challenging for one's daily schedule. I try to conserve but I know we aren't doing enough when I hear things like this. Thank you for telling us about your struggle.

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    1. Very miserable and hopeless. Stories as this one enable many to fee the blessings that are bestowed upon them. I'm glad you stopped by today, Rachel.

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  20. Chennai is better with just 2 hour power cuts. This is the price we are paying for not adding additional power plants during the past 5-6 years. Hopefully the situation will improve in the next 6 months once Kudankulam is commissioned.

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    1. Welcome here Hariharan. The irony of the situation is that people in Chennai are grumbling and complaining about the two hour power cut while we are also grumbling and complaining!
      Hope things settle down soon.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your insights, Hariharan.

      Delete
  21. Ha ha! How apt to be reading Robinson Crusoe at this point!

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  22. Finally someone as pissed off as me about the power cuts. I'm from England, so I tried too. but sorry, just can not handle this. The timings you mentioned seem to be the exact same they were where I live - Coimbatore.

    What I don't understand is, recently after the power cuts were over, after power being generated by wind turbines, a newspaper article said that so much power is being generated they have no where to store the excess power. So they shut down some turbines. The very next day we go back to three hour cuts.

    What is wrong with this place? More and more cars, motorbikes, buildings, apartments, but no power.

    Now thats development eh?

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