Kathmandu Load Shedding: Life in Darkness

It’s 1:21 AM and I just woke up. I came home at 10:30 PM last night. There was no light in the house. There was no light in the village. The whole area was under darkness. Living in darkness has become part of life in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal. But then I think we must be thankful to ourselves that at least we have electricity in the only metropolitan for a few hours in a day. Why not? People are living with kerosene lamps in thousands of villages. I don’t remember when exactly I saw electricity first but I think it was only when I was older than 5 when I visited Kathmandu with my great grand parents. My village in Ramechhap where I was born and grew up until 10 doesn’t have electricity even now and if I go there I have to habituate myself with the life in dark. So there is no point in complaining for daily three hour load shedding in the city. Wait until tomorrow, there will be strong possibility of daily six hours of load shedding.

“How can we call Kathmandu a metropolis?” my reporter friend Girish Giri was expressing his anger as we were returning home last night. “There are no public vehicles on the road after 8 in the night.” How can we call this city a metropolis when there is three hours a day load shedding which will turn into six hours soon? Girish has a motorbike and he rarely uses office vehicle to get back to home. Today it was a different story. “The petrol in my bike finished while looking for petrol,” he said. “I can’t run the bike now.” He had parked the bike in office compound. Petrol stations, he said, are saying they don’t have petrol. “They have only diesel,” said Girish.

Dreams: So I said I woke up at 1:21 AM. Actually I didn’t sleep. Insomniac! I lied on the bed, covered myself with sirak, and felt the warmth of the water bottle filled with really hot water. Then I started dreaming. Sometime I do like that. Especially when I can’t sleep. I can sleep only when I am really tired so that I can’t think about anything. I try to make myself that tired every night. Sitting in front of computer for long definitely helps. So I imagined about so many things. Big things. Mostly I am the protagonist of such imaginations. I am the hero. I save the world. I do so many adventures that would put Spider Man and James Bond on shame. What can they do? Nothing compared to what I do in my imaginations. Have they been to moon for example? Most of the time I try to do something, may be read a book or newspaper to keep myself too busy to have any such dreams or imaginations. That is when there is light. Where there is no light, go with dream. I was peeking outside and noticed that the power has come back. Why not wake up and do the think that I like doing most? Thus I opened the computer and am now typing these lines.

Family news: Kalyan and Meera, my father and mother whom I call dai and bhauju, went to Ramechhap this morning via a flight to Manthali, the district headquarter. They are going home after 7 long years. I think they will return to Kathmandu in a few weeks though they didn’t tell me about their plan. I didn’t ask. My problem is I don’t take much interest in family affairs. Email, Ba and I are here. I think the talkative old man Toyanath will also be staying with us giving company to Ba, my great grandfather. Sometime I really enjoy his talks. “Babu,” he starts talking. And that Babu is a really long Baaaaaaabuuuuu. We used to mimic his way of talking when we were kid. (Hmm… here is what I wrote when Maoists opened the lock of Toyanath’s house in June 2006.)

State of the Mind: While starting to write this post I had thought about mentioning some of imagination adventures but I am not doing that now. Hyaa… Okay, its 2:6 AM and I just drank water which is cool by now. Felt so good. I am planning to wake up, if I sleep, at 8 AM in the morning. Can I? Okay, 9. I want to attend the Maoist mass meeting in Tundikhel and see Prachanda giving speech in public after 25 years. May be then I will go for a movie? That would be a good combination. Prachanda speech and Traffic Signal. May be I won’t have enough time for movie. Will see. Meanwhile I am having some signals now. I am starting to yawn but still not feeling like sleeping. How about watching TV? What’s this? Sting on CNN? Hmm that’s from Grammy. The report is about which band earned how much in their tours last month. Impressive figures! May be it’s time to dream again!!