MAGIC OF ELECTRICITY

 

Electrical box

Copyright–Ted Strutz

Here we are for another week, gathered today in an electric company, in front of an outlet, to discuss power and our original stories for the Friday Fictioneer’s group. It’s surprising how many stories can be written using the weekly prompt of an electric plug. The prompt this week was supplied by group member, Ted Strutz. Thanks again, Ted. The challenge for this group is for each of us to write a story with no more than 100 words. It’s supposed to have a beginning, middle, end, and follow the weekly picture prompt. Be sure to click on the little blue frog in the blue box to read the other stories.

The link for all other stories is as follows:

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/23-january-2015/

Genre: Non-fiction

Word Count: 100 Words

MAGIC OF ELECTRICITY By P.S. Joshi

In India, where we live, electricity is almost like magic. We’re among the fortunate ones who live in a city where we get electric power most of the time.

Of course, it’s not like in the West where we took it for granted. Outages are sometimes unexpected. On Thursdays, we often have what is termed “load-shedding”. The power is turned off most of the daytime to save on it. We have a battery lantern.

In rural areas, theyย can have ย eight hours or more without power during the day. Some remote places have never had it. It’s difficult for students.

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41 thoughts on “MAGIC OF ELECTRICITY

  1. Suzanne – this would be hugely annoying to those of us that are so accustomed to flipping a switch and having things work. Thanks for a poignant story to remind most of us about all the good things we have that others can only dream about.

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    • Thanks, Alicia. I’ts not half as annoying now I’m used to it. At least we live in the city where we have it most of the time. I just hate when it goes off during the times I’m working on something on the laptop. On cloudy days, I have to use the battery lantern to see the computer keys. I feel sorry for children trying to study in areas where it’s off for long periods of time. — Suzanne

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  2. Dear Suzanne, Excellent story and well written. We are so spoiled in the U.S. because we seldom have the power out – unless there is a storm – then it’s a short time. Love your story! Nan ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks, Diana. I’m glad you liked my title. You can imagine how people who’ve “never” had electricity feel about it. There are still some remote areas in India where this is true. The government says it’s working to correct this, but it’s a massive job. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne

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    • Thanks, Ellespeth. Unless it’s hot and the fans go off, we make do. My laptop is usually charged up so I can work for a while on battery power. I can’t recharge it though until the electricity comes on. I get a tiffin service, so that food comes warm in the afternoon. We can do some burner cooking because the stove uses propane gas from a tank. We have a battery-powered lantern for reading, but there’s no TV. As of now, it’s only shut off on Thursdays. Of course, sometimes it goes off for other reasons, but ususally not for long. That’s just the way it is so there’s no use getting upset. Some people, especially businesses, buy and use generators. In rural areas, they go without power for hours every day. I read it’s eight hours or more in some places. Really remote areas don’t have power at all. — Suzanne

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  3. It would really annoy me if I flipped a switch and nothing happened. But even here in the UK we’re starting to hear dire warnings that we’ll soon be using more than we’re generating, so we might start with blackouts or maybe brownouts in years to come.

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    • Thanks, Ali. The best thing about where we live is that we have electricity most of the time, and it usually only goes off during daylight hours. I hate when it goes off and we haven’t eaten our evening meal. I dislike eating by lantern light and can’t use the microwave to heat the food. It’s also hard when the weather is hot and the fans go off. Sometimes I think the use of air conditioning overloads the system and causes it to crash. I think, in future, the same thing happening here will spread to other countries. It’s just a matter of time. We should enjoy it while we have it. — Suzanne.

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    • Thanks, Perry. You’re sending your son to India and Indian parents who can afford it are sending their kids to the U.S., U.K., and Europe. ๐Ÿ™‚ If your son doesn’t like life in the college hostel–it can be basic to say the least–with extra money, he can rent a flat in a housing society like the one where we live. Sometimes several kids will go together and rent a flat. I hope things work out for the best for you and your son. Tell him to drink bottled water. I even brush my teeth with it. The water in Delhi is especially bad. — Suzanne

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  4. Thanks for the reminder, Suzanne. I’ve spent some time in Ghana. My partner lived there for about 10 years. The electricity goes off regularly and it is even worse now. He was in a hotel so there’s a backup generator. His son has an ecolodge with solar power. I experienced 2 days there before he put the solar power in. But you can always count on things breaking down in Ghana. Okay for a holiday but it wears a Western person down if he lives there any length of time – politics & the electricity thing.

    Lily

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    • Thanks Lily. It took me a while to get used to the situation here. We’re fortunate to live in a city where we get the electricity most of the time. It’s rough in rural areas. I know it’s worse in some other countries. I don’t pay much attention to politics here. It’s complicated and I’m not a citizen, so don’t vote. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne

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      • No, but I do have to renew my Indian visa every so many years. When I first came to India, I had to report to the police. The visa registration department is in the same building as the police chief’s office. So that’s taken care of. I also have to keep up my passport every so many years.

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  5. In rural Maui, one of the Hawaiian Islands, there were towns without electricity through to the 1960s. When I visited relatives in Kahakuloa we used gas lanterns. As for cooking, I think they had propane gas for their stove. Even in the city of Wailuku where I grew up our house didn’t have hot water. We had to boil water, pour it into a bucket, cool it down with cold water and bathe with a sponge or washcloth. To this day I cherish standing under a shower head with warm water pouring down over my head. I will never tire of the luxury.

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    • Thanks, Hugmamma. We have an electric lantern that uses batteries. Our cooking–other than the microwave–is done using propane which we get in tanks. I know what you mean about boiling water for a bath. We moved from the city to our cottage in the country back in 1950 when I was nine. The first winter before Dad had a shower and hot water tank put in, Mom had to boil the bath water and add cold water to it for a tin tub she put in the living room for our baths. My dad spent every other day at the fire station so could shower there. Mom was used to doing that as she was born in 1901 and her mother did it for them. Mom always preferred a tub bath to a shower, but had little choice. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne

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  6. After the ice storm of 2009, we were without electricity for 11 days. We did have a generator and could run a couple of lamps and alternate other appliances, but no hot water. Going without for a while really makes a person appreciate electricity. Thanks for the reminder.

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    • Thanks Russell, We had an ice storm like that in North Carolina. Our kids went to stay with friends whose houses had electricity, and my husband and I went to stay at a motel in another city where he was on a consulting job at the time. I had a friend who cooked in her fireplace and stuck it out. ๐Ÿ™‚ — Suzanne

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  7. Funnily enough I was listening to a radio programme in the car this morning, it was coming from South Africa but discussing the lack of a permanent electricity supply. The discussion was taking place in a Beauty Salon where the power had just gone off, leaving many women with wet or partially dried hair who then had no option but to go home. Your story is a very timely reminder of everything we in the West take for granted.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Dee

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    • Thanks, Dee. That would cause a problem. The businesses here long ago bought generators and use those when the power goes off. They can’t afford not to. On chosen days, usually Thursday here, the electric is switched off all afternoon until about 5 or 6 pm. Sometimes it goes off about 10 am. — Suzanne

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  8. An interesting and very enjoyable piece of non-fiction, Suzanne. In the West, we all take our elecrricity supply so much for granted and the idea that it is akin to ‘magic’ has long since gone. It’s easy to overlook the fact that many places in the world still have such limited supplies. Thank you for reminding me of that and writing it so well.

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