I’ve missed the feeling of watching cricket, or television, in general, in the comfort of my home, after playing a game of basketball with my friends. This used to be my usual day after school on most evenings, and it’s nice to be able to continue that – even if it is for the brief stint of one month. I’ve enjoyed it largely because it helps me see how much we’ve grown in the two short years since a lot of us left this community, but how easy it is to reconnect, even though months of silence have passed.
With general Bangalore weather doing general Bangalore things, the electricity supply in our house has fluctuated drastically over the past few days – moving rapidly between BESCOM supply and a Diesel Generator. Which throws me into a bubble of nostalgia, when I used to whine about how my grandparents’ generator system could power the television for 2 hours and no more. Power cuts were disastrous. They ruined my day of sitting in front of the television and accomplishing absolutely nothing. It was horrible.
But it got me to read, in the small outdoor space they had in their earlier residence – amidst the breeze, with an extremely comfortable share, and close proximity to the kitchen, and the smell of tomato rasam. Nothing delighted me more.
These days when the power goes, my mind turns to whether our electricity supply will auto-switch, or whether we will have to call maintenance. While simultaneously, I pray that our appliances stay safe, and rush to check that all stabilizers aren’t in need of revival.
That sound is the worst, mind you. After that annoying sound some road bikes make, that stabilizer sound has to rank second. If you haven’t heard it, you must. It’s a sound you need to have registered.
Side note: Maybe that should be my alarm.
It’s then, when I contact maintenance, that I understand a little more of the home I inhabit at present. You learn about how the electricity flow and grid works, what challenges electricians face, and how there are always a host of tasks and complaints they need to attend to.
The kind of due diligence I might do as a lawyer can save a lot of people from spending a lot of unnecessary money. But the kind of due diligence these people do ensures that none of die as a result of electrical shock, or have to live without the comfort of lights and fans.
On the electricity panel, as I watched the electrician dexterously move his hands through the wires, I questioned whether he was merely matching random wires in the hope that it clicked.
I dismissed that thought instantaneously, though my mind contemplated snatching a wire and running away: to see if all those wires genuinely mattered.
Maybe I should have studied engineering to understand how these things work. They’re useful skills to have in life, I think: the ability to build yourself some sturdy furniture from pieces of wood, and the ability to resolve electricity and water supply problems – apart from knowing a little about how technology works.
We need a boot camp for millenials.
Also, sidenote, and conclusion. Growing up is learning that chores are intellectually stimulating and can be fun. And help you live comfortably.