Friday, January 13, 2017


Not for nothing is Electricity called 'Power'.I could realize this even more recently when we at Shimla had to go without electricity continuously for six days due to heavy snowfall.Life without electricity and the heavy snowfall are nothing new to us Shimlaites.
I was taken back to pre 1965 days when we had no electricity in our village and had to make do with kerosene lamps, the lantern called ' Lal tain' which was a portable device protected with a glass covering.On special occasions Petromax was used to get brighter light.lf one had to travel short distances at night, 'Joghti' of slim biyul wood with burning flame at one end would show the way.But we were happy with this way of life during those days as no better fate was in sight.I remember the winter months I.e. January and February of 1962, when we spent the entire vacation in village as our grandfather desired so. The reason was the Ashtgrahi or the coming together of eight planets together which portended destruction and disaster.He wished we all shall live or die together.Mercifully nothing of the sort happened and it was fun and enjoyment.
I am also reminded of my tenure at Pooh in the tribal District of Kinnaur in the '80s when we experienced 7 feet of snow in 1987-88 winter.It was not days but months without electricity, kerosene being the mainstay for cooking and for heating water purposes.However the saving grace was also the availability of fuelwood and steam coal which was burnt in bukharis to keep warm.We were resigned to our fate and never grumbled.
Also comes to mind is the heavy snowfall in Shimla in last days of December 1990, when I was forced to overstay beyond leave.
There are also instances when when I had to return from Dhalli as my vehicle started turning on piled up snow.
Bur the recent power break due to heavy snow proved the most trying and distressing of all. No battery charge left in mobile, landline phones not working , being unable to talk to kids living thousands of miles away.Forced dependence on LPG even for heating water for various purposes also seemed very exacting.In short life falling out of gear.
Mercifully, the power was restored yesterday night.
So much for life in a hill town !

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