Wednesday, May 25, 2005

(No) Power to the People

One thing you notice pretty quickly in Bangalore are power outages. They seem to happen nearly every day in a city that has grown very, very quickly.

Which is why every major office complex or building and apartment buildings like mine have emergency generators that kick in the moment that power is cut off.

I've learned to expect the roar of the emergency generator that invariably follows a power outage at home.

At work, the computers keep going when the lights die. So, when the power goes, the office is lit by the eerie glow of computer screens.

Sometimes, the power will go out three or four times in a few minutes.

I've also noticed a form of power triage when the emergency generators take over. For example, you can turn on your lights but your air conditioners won't work until the "real" power returns.

I think this explains why products like orange juice, milk and prepared meals don't come refrigerated or frozen. They are packaged to be stored at room temperature.

I feel badly for the people who don't have emergency generators.


At 9:09 AM, Blogger Amy said...

We used to have problems like that when I was growing up in central California. My part of town grew so fast that the power company couldn't keep up, so the whole grid routinely shut down -- sometimes for a day at a time. By the time we got to high school, we *loved* this because any outage that lasted more than two hours meant school was canceled. Some great impromptu parties happened those days.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Veerapathiran said...

I'm not sure why its bad to be without generators..I dont have one in my house and I dont complain when power goes out..there is candle to give light, there is cool breeze blowing inviting you to wander outside and life starts to go slow since there is no TV to watch..I actually like it!

And to come to think of it, it's so so common in india to go without powers for long hours, it doesn't really affect us! (FYI, there are still thousands of villages in india which dont have electricity connection at all!)

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Veerapathiran -- good point. I guess that, coming from the West, I'm used to having light to read by, electricity to power my refrigerator, etc.

But I know what you mean about life without power. One of the nice things about camping is that you find yourself going to bed earlier because it's dark and getting up earlier because the sun has come up.

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Alok said...

The main problem I have faced due to not having power is that my mum and granny keep cribbing about the soaps they miss on TV... Of course, they don't have much else to entertain themselves so I cannot grudge them their daily soap!


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