Power failure

18 hours without power

1:06 PM

That must be the longest time ever I stayed without electricity, and the timing could not have been any worse than that.

It all started Friday evening when at around 5.30 pm I saw a dense dark cloud looming over our house. I remember telling DH "this time it's going to be a big storm" and boy I now wish I was wrong.
DH left shortly before 6pm as he had to pick up his uncle and aunt at the airport, and that's when the storm decided to strike, within seconds strong winds started sweeping everything and making every windows bang, and suddenly water started pouring down like the entire content of a swimming pool was suddenly poured over us, the strong wind made the water fly rather than just drop, and I was sent into a mad rush to close all windows avoiding a poordown of water inside our appartment and at 6pm-ish the power went off, a thing I hardly found suprising as I know the drill, Summer storms come with such failure and it can be anything from a tree falling on a line from a simple overload in one of the terminals, the situation is generally fixed in a couple of hours, and the last time we had a long cut was last year, a 8 hour nocturnal cut that left me sweating.

I waited patiently for the light to come back so I could start cooking since I had planned making Dal makhani and rice for everybody and being 7 months pregnant I was hoping to take advantage of the food processor to chop the onions and mash the tomatoes while leaving the rice cook in my rice cooker, but at around 7.30pm i realised I better start boiling the lentils, by 8 I realised that DH would be back in an hour or so and that I might as well go and cut these onions and mash those tomatoes before they came so i dragged a chair in the kitchen and sat at the counter, sweating away only lit by the light of a few candles. At 8.30 with still no light I decided to get the dal makhani cooking so I could wash the pressure cooker and have a back up should the light refuse to come back which would mean no way of using the rice cooker.
This realisation was shortly followed with a painful process of trying to peak into a wok to see how done onions were and how to dose my spices right as all the candles in the world would not have helped me see things as I was used to, thankfully Dal makhani is not a strange dish and I pretty much have my reciepe all sorted up in my mind. By the time DH came back with our relatives, I was done with the dal, and starting the rice, it was around 9pm and there was still no light for the whole neighbourhood.
What a way to great visit into your own house I tell you! In a pitch dark house with a few candles around and a hot appartment, fortunately by then the rain had stopped and we were able to at least enjoy some cool air on the terrasse to compensate for the lack of ventilation inside the house. By 10pm we started eating and saw that all the other streets in the neighbourhood had the light back, all but ours that is, and that's when I started dreading the worst hoping deep down we were not headed for another 8 hours cut. We went to bed at around 11.30 struggling to find bedsheets and pillow case in complete darkness, but managed it, set the sofa into bed mode and all went to bed.
At first I thought it wasn't too bad since the storm did indeed cool things a little bit and went to sleep pretty easily only to wake up 2 hours later in sweat feeling miserable and realising that light was still not back, worse mosquitoes invaded the house, leaving all 4 of us slapping away, and slattering mosquito repplent cream every hours, by 4am with still no power I was about to just die, and that's when a light breeze came, at least bringing some relief to my personal hell, by 7 am I realised that the power cut was still on and lasted 13 hours and thought that it was a reccord and hoped that the situation would be fixed.
The power cut came with not only the inconvenient of having to do without the fan at night, but the fact that our water purifier was out of comission as well, and that we needed to buy more drinking water as we guzzled the 6 liters DH bought the night before in no time. By 9am with still no power in sight, the maid came as we were about to all shower get dressed and leave for a breakfast outside the house and there came the next big inconvenient : no running water in the taps and only one 8 liters bucket of cold water to wash 4 people! the overhead tank became empty and without being able to switch on the pump this meant no water, a situation I tried explaing to my maid who was in a fix to wash the dishes while I fummed and cursed bescom under my breath for not solving the issue faster than that. By 9.30 we were out on our way to get a dosa and some relief from our hellish household hoping that the light would come back by the time we made it back home at 11 NOT! The electricity cut was still on and we came to know earlier that a tree down our street had fallen on the lines ripping the whole thing. At least the day is quite fresh due to the violent storm so while Dh had to go for a short trip to his office we decided to nap and try to catch up with the mosqitoes and heat induced sleep debt we had. By noon the fan in my bedroom went back to life and for a moment it left me numb to try figuring out what just happened and I finally realised that yes power was back, anf made a mental calculation to conclude that we spend 18 hours without it, with visit in the house, me being preggo and no water in the tank, never mind that the entire content of my freezer turned to mush and that a box of ice cream leaked making the bottom all sticky, this was by far the least of my concern.

What still amaze me though, is that every year we have Summer storms at the same time, and we all know they can be violent, and that after months of dryness the soil is bond to loosen suddenly, but people still chop trees, and prune them in hazardous way making sure that at the first string wind and heavy pour down they will be send crashing down on houses, cars, power line and people simply because their weight repartition has been unbalanced and the suddenly muddy soil can't hold the roots firmly in. Yet people never learn, they will chop away at the end of the monsoon blissfully ignoring the threat they will face 5-6 months later. I swear that with proper city planning and proper tree pruning we could easily avoid half of the issue we have in town each time the sky comes crashing down on our heads.


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