Friday, November 10, 2006

Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole.

Last night, just as I was settling in to veg out in front of the television; cosy sheet and a bowl of home-made popcorn in hand, the electricity went off. Not such a hugely shocking event for us because it's become a daily part of life. Can't cook because the power went off just as you were putting your dinner in the oven? Can't go out 'coz all your clothes are too wrinkled and you didn't manage to iron?

Yawn. So what else is new?

I have put on makeup by candle light, and gone across town to iron clothes I had to wear for a wedding. I have worn a top to work inside out. Okay fine, that wasn't because of a power cut, it was morning, and I was just really, really sleepy.

Going off track here, but having no power in a third world developing country is much easier than having no power in a developed one, because not only are we so used to it, we expect it. Developed countries are just not as prepared. I will never forget the time I was at my grandma's in London and the electricity went off (what? it goes out in England as well??) and we couldn't have tea as the electric kettle wouldn't work, we couldn't leave home since we were on the 8th floor and didn't fancy carrying heavy luggage down the stairs because the lifts wouldn't run, and we couldn't call anyone to let them know we'd be late 'coz the phone wouldn't work. Talk about going back to the stone ages!

Anyhow, back to sitting in the sudden pitch dark in front of a dying television and the hordes of mosquitoes who attack as soon as the lights go off. (Mosquitoes love me. I am their food-source. They fly miles and miles from all over the world targeted directly to my feet like little killer torpedoes.)

One by one, members of my small family trickled out, stumbling in the dark, towards the more airy living room. We sat together in the candle light, a light breeze wafting in through the open windows, and talked. Stories from my mother's childhood, discussions about my brother's future and heart-to-heart conversations we hadn't had in a long time because everyone was so occupied with their own busy lives.

We sat like that for four hours straight, talking and bonding, remembering good times and bad, laughing over childhood incidents, and when the electricity finally resumed we all got up reluctantly to go back to our technology-dependant lives. My brother back on his xbox, my mom back to her emails and me back to the Amazing Race Asia on TV, drooling over the curly haired, dimpled Indian boy. Helllloooo Sahil, I would SO make out with you.

I think I'll sneak into the fuse box every month, and turn the electricity off for a couple of hours. When there's nothing interesting playing on TV, or I don't need to check my email.

And if my mother hasn't gotten there first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place.