Monday, August 16, 2010


my independence day began with a frenzy. because after 6 months of deliberation, i finally decided to cross the "coconut barrier", buy coconuts, break them open, scrape out the insides and make CHUTNEY! just to go with the dosas i was making for the very first time in my life. it was a momentous occasion.

but things were not meant to go smoothly. everything went up in a frenzy because we had a 2 hour power cut, which would NOT let me make chutney. and what was the point of dosa if you cannot have it with coconut chutney!? anyhoo all this ado about the mixie and the chutney and the dosas is actually about the power situation.

the the day after independence day, we had a 3.5 hour power cut that left me totally incapacitated. without power, i realized that i cannot get my work done in time. i could not run my washing machine and get my weeks pile of laundry done. i could not even fill my days supply of drinking water! for a lack of better things to do, i got cooking to kill time, and get it out of the way in the hope that the minute the power came back i could get down to work. the cooking got done in a jiffy, and i continued to wait some more. and some more.

three and a half hours later, still in the dark (figuratively), i decided to get out of the house and take my laptop to a cafe nearby just so i could get some work done and not waste my day twiddling my thumbs waiting endlessly for the power to come back.

and then it struck me, at least i have such alternatives. at least i have he option to just drive off in my car, burn enough fuel to get me to a cafe, where i can order an unnecessary cappuccino, a totally unnecessary muffin and get my work done so i can meet my deadline. but what about so many others who dont have such luxuries? other options? what about so many others who dont have a choice? what about those who dont have fancy cars to zip around in. what about those who live in the slum down the road, where such power cuts are probably an everyday affair? what about those millions, for whom EVERY little step in their everyday lives is an effort? and why should it be? is it not their right to have a basic supply of power? water? health care? education?

sometimes i wonder, when such fundamental necessities like electricity and water are not in place, what are we so proud of? when we look back, 63 years after we gained independence, is there really all that much we can be proud of? what is the point of the many achievements we have made, the boundaries we have crossed and the accolades we have gained for ourselves when such things like WATER and ELECTRICITY are still scarce?

it doesnt end with just water and power. the list is endless and meanders into the areas of basic education, eradicating corruption, basic health care. i live in a small town, and i see the sheer lack of such basic facilities just as i step out of my home. within the cocoon of my home, i feel safe, that i have a roof over my head, i can afford the life i wish for myself and that if i were to ever be in a crisis, i have a support system that i can depend upon. but what about so many others? who looks out for them? where are their options and alternatives?

sure we gained true independence 63 years ago, and sure we walk and talk freely, sure we have gained the right to vote and express our solidarity as we wish, we are independent. in a sense.

but when our everyday lives are so filled with unnecessary hurdles, when such basic things like electricity and water are an effort to acquire, when in merely getting through one day and the next we encounter so many unnecessary road-blocks, arent we actually just tied down by the invisible shackles of our own messed up systems?


Anonymous said...

Yep we are.. Well written...

Arjun Kartha said...

So bloody true. I'm so sick and tired of the daily fight that it is to just get along.

I dunno. I think we should start a colony on the moon. Hehe.

hAAthi said...

remember our 'japan island" plans?

sulagna ™ said...

i know man....the same ol' priviliges ..bah !!!