07 November, 2012

4 days without electricity

Have you ever thought of how our life would be without electricity? I have experienced it due to Hurricane Sandy :)

            In India, we may not have much problem if we don't have electricity, except for water scarcity as we cannot run motors to pump water to over head tanks. We can manage with cooking, washing as usual as we don't depend much on power for these. Office work has to stop anyway and internet also may affect in houses if we are using modems which run by power. I couldn't think of any other major dependency on power. It is common to have power cut and so very common to have generators in homes/ apartments :)

              Here in US, we didn't have power for almost 4 days and it was really hard. The hotel where i stay, doesn't have any generator. Obviously, they didn't need generator till now, until unless there is a hurricane or storm, which may happen yearly once or twice. They might have thought it is not required. Stove is electric, so cooking affected first. No food for 4 days and items in freezer also spoiled after 2 days. Then comes, temperature control system in room. With freezing temperatures around 6 degree Celsius, it is difficult to stay in room for 4 days even with many extra blankets and sweaters. If touching the cold water itself is difficult , think about using it. Since there is no power, no hot water available. Now, comes the part of dealing with darkness. No big candles allowed inside rooms which give smoke as per hotel rules for safety. We received some glow candles which can serve as bed lights and nothing else. I bought some scented candles which doesn't give smoke to take to India. They were very useful at that time. We cannot keep the doors open as rooms will become more cool and it will be difficult to sleep. So, we had to shut our doors and be inside and deal with darkness. 

                Our Indian tv channels are very proactive in showing all bad happening at different places due to Sandy to make people worry more. Fortunately, phone lines were working and we could call to India regularly and inform about our safety. We could charge our mobile phones with remaining laptop battery and save it for whole day by switching them off when not required. These days, smart phones take away too much power due to several apps. The battery of basic model of Nokia used to last more than 2 days :)

                  Now, comes the fun part! we enjoyed a lot in spite of all the above problems. Luckily, we have some of our colleagues who stay in the same hotel and we formed a group. Before storm itself, we all cooked at least 2 bowls of rice, chapatis and 3 varieties of curries, through which we could survive for 2 days. We bought bread and muffins, through which we could survive for 2 more days. We hunted down for any restaurant open after 3rd day and could get some food. Didn't tell you about fuel? we had a full tank in car before storm, which helped us to travel long distances to find a decent hotel :) After storm, there are atleast 2 mile queues before each gas station for 2 days. Daily, we used to watch horror movies together in nights, chat for long time and spend time in darkness. I had an extra laptop that i bought for my parents, which we used to watch movies :) It was fun and also scary, coming outside in the evenings and seeing trees moving ferociously due to storm winds in chilling weather. 

It's completely a different experience being isolated to external world for few days. But, we learnt to enjoy difficult times being together as a group and having fun. Sandy gave us an opportunity to spend time knowing the colleagues who are now dear friends, which might not have happened in our busy daily routines. 
All is well that ends well :)

Until next time,

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