Grin and bear power outages

Grin and bear power outages

The harsh power cuts in the city seem to have, unintentionally, created communities among residents who bear the brunt together.

 A case in point is Mayur Vihar Phase 1 where a regular nearly three-hour blackout from midnight to around 3 am over the last two weeks has seen people gathering in parks and sharing jokes, watching movies together to make up for disrupted sleep.Satish Rawat, a government employee, has stopped getting up early to go for a morning walk. He now waits till it’s midnight to step out of the house and burn some calories. 

“It’s difficult to sleep during power outages. I do have an inverter but it doesn’t support air conditioners in all rooms. So when there are power cuts, I go out for night walks,” says Rawat. “I have made new friends and all of us walk in the park at our society.” Rawat is a member of a middle-aged men’s group.

Lokesh Gupta, a Delhi University student is part of a bunch of college-going boys who have also started hanging out around midnight. He has been assigned to find good movies to be watched during power outages. “My job is to get movies on pen drive so that we all can watch them during the power cut,” says Gupta. Another member of the group, Amit Tripathi is responsible for bringing his tablet with a full charge. “I make sure that I charge the tablet when electricity is there so that we can enjoy our movie outing,” says Tripathi, resident of Pocket 1.

Most of these boys live in rented apartments and they don’t have an inverter.Neighbours who normally don’t have time to meet and greet each other are getting introduced in the dark in parks and apartment complexes. “I never used to get enough time to catch up with my neighbours. Now that I have started going out on walks during the power cuts at nights, I bump into them and we get plenty of time to chit-chat,” says Kartik Nair. “Sometimes, even my wife accompanies me on my walks,” he adds.

But some people prefer staying at home. “I don’t feel like going out so late at night. I rather prefer playing games on my cell phone than wandering on the streets,” says Monica Yadav. “Though my brother goes out to one of the parks to pass time with his friends,” adds Yadav, a resident of Pocket 2.

A few others go to nearby areas on weekends to save themselves from the daily power outages. “Whenever I come home from work, there is a power cut. I couldn’t even enjoy my food. So I decided to go to my friend’s place in Faridabad last weekend,” says Chirag Dasgupta, a call centre executive. “This weekend also, I am planning to visit my friend. At least, I can have two days of peace,” he adds.

Students preparing for competitive examinations complain that the power outages have affected their studies. “I am preparing for NET exams but I cannot study properly. In our pocket, the electricity goes thrice a day. First, there is a cut around 6 am then at 3 pm and at last at about midnight,” says Rima Joshi, a resident of Pocket 4. “So when do we study? Shouldn’t the authorities think about it? Delhi is the capital and the power situation here is worse than rural areas,” she adds.

The power cuts have been continuing in the area but the residents here and across Delhi have got respite from the scorching heat as the city saw a few spells of showers in the last couple of days.