This is a TW Exclusive
By Yasmeen Ali
Who is afraid of being bombed to the stone age by a nuclear war? There was a time when nations were afraid that nuclear proliferation will lead to one. Israel never tires to needling US to issue statements 24/7 against how horrible it will be if Iran was to go nuclear. No worst catastrophe can befall the world was this to happen.
In Pakistan, we are free from such heavy questions. For the people of Pakistan are being electrocuted to the stone age by absence of electricity. We wake up without light, it comes and goes after every hour, for one hour much like a coy mistress.
You can forget about watching TV, entertaining, ironing clothes, and doing many other tasks that need electricity at time of your choice. You need to time yourself for breakfast too if you want toasts golden brown from the toaster. You dare not go in for a shower if you are the type who uses a hair dryer after hair wash. You must put on the water motor to chug water to the overhead tank when light s there.Otherwise, you may well be without water too!
Of course you can avoid all the pain above, if you have generators and can afford to run it 12 hours a day. If you have a UPS, it won’t charge itself in the time electricity winks at it. And if you are from the 99% population who can neither afford to buy a generator or a UPS, well, buddy you can just swelter it out.
Of course, you must cater for power outrages when in hotels,departmental stores, hospitals. Make sure you check from staff timings of power outrage in the area or you might find yourself trapped in an escalator. If you like solitude and do not mind the situation, make sure you are armed with a paper back at all times!
If there is a power outrage and its after sun down, keep a pain ointment handy. It helps when you crash into tables, trip over wires, walk your shoulder in a wall you thought was not there as you grope your way to a candle or the switch for the light connected to the UPS or generator.
As for running ACs this summer, forget it. You will be lucky to get electricity to run the fans. And for storing weekly supplies in your fridge, I strongly recommend otherwise. Your food will not last for two days much less a week, unless you have a penchant for rotten gola kebabs, soft tomatoes in gravy and soggy fruits.Make a daily trip to the store of your choice for the supplies.
Now all we need to do is to cultivate hobbies that are not dependent on electric power! Is that good bye to computer?
The writer is a university professor & lawyer based in Lahore.She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org