Thursday, 23 May 2013

Thank you, Madam CM, for "Power-Plug Unplugged"


I know I know. It’s not like you pulled the plug, madam CM, on my restful sleep last night. It’s not you per se who pitched my humble MIG colony into darkness for 3 hours straight – 12 am to 3 am, to be precise. It’s not you, I know so! But then who’s to be thanked, I know not. So in typical Indian fashion I have found someone famous to write this letter of gratitude to on this very sleep-deprived morning. Yes, I thank you for the power-failure aka power-cut aka load-shedding-for-other-states aka result-of-irresponsible-citizens. I thank you, very much! Here’s why:

I saved electricity for 3 straight air-conditioned hours. Such fan I am of your impeccable English and even better cotton sari collection that soon as you had suggested coolers in place of ACs for those of us who can’t afford either (now that bijli competes with the cost of gold), I went ahead and bought a desert cooler. And a whole desert it could have cooled, if it wasn’t for this accommodation-for-the-government-by-the-government that I stay in. You see, I have foot-ball sized windows in my rooms, the kinds you see at the teller’s in government banks, only square. Fitting the cooler was impossible, and breaking the wall to increase the size against the law of the CPWD land! So AC it is, but what good fortune, I must have saved a month’s salary not having it running most of last night.

Which also made me realize, and appreciate, my inverter's capacity to work over-time! Here I was sitting and grumbling that my sarkari babu husband just went and bought a road-bike (austerity drive?) when we could have bought an inverter battery and pumped it up for the heated summers to follow, and there was this hand of providence cutting my electricity supply as if to tell me – “Child, worry not! Your inverter is fit-and-strong. In his hobby of morning cycling, let your husband go on.” So worried I am not, but thankful I am for this collateral revelation. Next time, I hope I can see if it runs a marathon 4 hours, in place of 3!



The failure of power may just have made a pop singer success of me. As I lay on bed, clutching candle in one hand matchbox in the other (picture of both you may find above), ready for a dead inverter and pitch darkness, I composed an original score harmonizing my son’s baby-snores with my husband’s scarier ones. Then suddenly, I found music in the 50 year old fan, the leak in the CPWD water pipe outside the window and pigeons in the unoccupied flat above mine. And I think I did a good job! With your blessings (since you had a hand in it all), I am sending the score to Anu Malik ji - to revive his lost legacy, and write my own. I plan to call it – ‘Power-Plug Unplugged’.

Three hours is not a short time! While creativity had its own place, observation followed close behind. A little thesis is ready on my table this morning on positions humans take while asleep. No, please don’t get me wrong. It a ‘U’ rated copy with inferences on how body-positions change with changing temperatures in the room. Nothing that Doordarshan needs to ban or Censor Board clip off. My study simply affirms the well-known fact that while toddler bodies are very flexible and sensitive to heat, husbands continue sleeping stubborn even in the heat!

Lastly, as I thought of this-and-that I caught myself praying to God and thanking Him for not making me that lizard crawling on the wall, or one of the 3 mosquitoes I killed. What a topsy-turvy life they live, and what  fragile ones. Such risk-to-life-by-falling the lizard lived with that night, thanks to the dim light, while all I had to do was be horizontal on bed and compose music. But the doer in me was awake too, when in those 3 hours I honed my skill at mosquito-killing. Where once I used to take 30 minutes for every mosquito, now my score is 27 minutes for 3. I am sure I’ll be even better with the next power-cut. Will mail you my results after due compilation and evaluation. I am sure it will make interesting read, when my power has failed me but your reading light shines without fail!   

I have come to value megawatts and kilowatts and what’s watt better, as they say, after having missed them (I understand if you don’t understand this). This morning, I woke-up to read that you are on war footing to regularize illegal colonies and perhaps do the neighbours a good-turn by selling off our power to them too.  I’m happy because I know that any further crunch in resource might mean longer power-failures, which means many more hours of lying around with the lizards, murdering the menacing mosquitoes and composing chart-cracking music. Just one humble request, madam! Do not hike the power bill any more. The sarkari salary coming home has gone from seeming like peanuts-n-no-butter to just peanut shells. And last I checked, they don’t come in enjoyable flavours!

Thanking you again, and wishing you a happy summer, just like mine!

Warm, nearly 46 degrees, of regards,
Music Composer - 'Power-Plug Unplugged'


(First on CNN-IBN Blogs)

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