Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Here in Punjab, it is not uncommon to lose power.  It may be a scheduled power cut, or unscheduled.  Personally, I like the scheduled power cuts.  At least, you can plan ahead, and know how long you will be in the dark.  The last month or so we have been getting power cuts up to 8 hours a day.  Usually, it is one or two hours at a time.  Thankfully, we have a battery back up that will run a couple lights and fans, but it will not run any high voltage appliances, like the fridge or washing machine.  Last Thursday, during our weekly prayer meeting, the lights went out for 2 hours (our meetings are long) and the battery eventually failed.  So, we listened to the end of the message by candlelight, and the light from cell phones!
India is still a Third world country, even though politicians try to convince the world that they are not.  The infrastructure is sadly lacking.  So, at 2am Monday morning, when the power went off, we were not surprised.  But...it didn't come back on...the morning water supply comes between 4am and 9am, but without power, there is no water supply.  So, Monday morning came and went, with no clothes washed.  No clothes washed on Monday!  To wash clothes anyway, I have to have light on and water on at the same time, which doesn't always happen. We have a tank that stores water, which is on the roof, but without a morning water supply, we have to be conservative in our water usage, until the next supply in the evening.
A scene from the Delhi metro station..Monday morning rush hour and no trains running.

Waiting at the train station...This is a common sight here.  There are no facilities to speak of in train stations, so if people have to wait for long periods of time, they usually curl up on the ground.  When we are stuck in a train station, we usually find a corner, and use our luggage as makeshift furniture!
We heard that the entire northern sector of India was in blackout, because of some fault in the system. The power was off for 9 hours.  The blackout affected much of North India.  It came in the paper today that this was an unprecedented occurrence, that would surely not happen again.  I am writing this in the dark with the fan off, using battery power.  The light went out again today at 2:00pm.  It is almost 5:00pm now...no light.  I just saw the news, that this is an even more widespread blackout than the first one, affecting 19 states.  ...unprecedented occurrence...hmmmm.  You can read about today's blackout (which is still going on as I write) in this article.  Blackout story

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