Power to ‘electronic babies’


If you had visited our home last night, you would have seen us busy with our electronic babies. We were told that there would be no power in our condominium today, and so more than anything else, our priority was to feed and nourish our electronic babies to help us survive our day.

By 9 pm, all our gadgets were connected intravenously to various chargers, and receiving that ‘much needed energy’ to overcome the state of powerlessness.

Image courtesy – 123rf.com
Today dawned bright and clear. We rushed to finish as many chores as possible, and by 10 am there was a perceptible silence – all our appliances had taken off for the day. 

But it took so much getting used to. Light bulbs remained stoic when my hands tried to turn them on with the mere flick of a switch, the refrigerator was in a dark mood and the fans, for their part, enjoyed the natural breeze that blew-in through every open window.

Thanks to a few things that absolutely needed doing,  I had to walk up and down a few floors. At each floor, the view was different. I walked briskly up two floors and then slowed down and then some more. I was a huff-puffing mass when I got home.

The WiFi tree on my phone disappeared. The TV stared silently, throwing back only my own reflection.

Today, battery life was so precious. No extra surfing, no downloads. Everything could wait. 

I am sure we could teach ourselves to live without power; however life would be very different. 

When the power was finally restored, various devices came back to life after a day’s break with musical beeps, the WiFi tree on my phone was in full bloom and the refrigerator deigned to smile. And thankfully, the elevators had come back to life!

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A Nearly Power-less Dinner!


My grandma was on overdrive.  She had invited her first grandson and his wife, newlyweds, to her home for dinner.  The preparations had started nearly ten days ago, attention being given to every single detail.

Preferences of the new bride were carefully considered, various menu options were listed out and rejected, and finally clarity emerged from total chaos.  My grandmother had spared no effort to ensure that the new bride  would feel welcome, and part of our family.  It was her favourite grandson too!

We, her other grandchildren, were also caught-up in this excitement !  Running errands and eyeing the dishes, which were strictly not to be touched, or licked on the sly.  The whole house was squeaky clean. It was a small independent house, of modest means, with a lovely backyard that had coconut trees, neem trees, and a well for water.  My grandmother had outdone herself.

The day finally arrived, and by 6 p.m. the table was set.  My grandmother’s best crockery was on display, the cutlery shone, and there was the aroma of love and many well-cooked dishes, wafting in the air.

The newlyweds were due to arrive at 7.30 p.m.  At 6.00 p.m. all of us proceeded to get ready and look our best.  My grandmother came out radiant in a beautiful silk saree, elegant as always.  Our parents hovered around chit-chatting, while we played a game of Monopoly.

My grandma went around the house one last time, flicking away imaginary dust and straightening a couple of photo frames.

The clock showed 6.50 p.m. and then, without any notice, there was a power cut, just like that! Those were the days when frequent load shedding happened during the summer months. There was no generator to take over.

We panicked, as the adults scurried about lighting candles, hoping that our thinking faculties would be energized by the candle-light.

Suddenly, my grandma whooped, and said, “I have a brilliant idea. Let’s host this dinner in the back yard, by the well, a candle light dinner, under the moon and the stars.”

Now that we had a sense of direction and purpose, we kicked into action.

Back & forth; carrying, transferring, carefully balancing, till the open-air table was set. The cutlery sparkled even more under the moonlight.

Grandma lit candles all around the wall of the well, and the whole back yard looked transformed, infused as it was with a warm glow.

Just when we pronounced ourselves ready, the newlyweds walked in. They were taken to the yard, with much fanfare and giggling. The new bride seemed like a lot of fun.

Dinner was a fun affair, as family jokes were repeated, stories shared, and we tucked into one of the best dinners ever.

I caught my gran’s eyes as I went to refill my plate.

“We pulled it off, eh?”she chuckled.