TODAY -

With Little Power, Comes Enormous Frustration

Natalidita Ningthoukhongjam *

 Staffs of Power Dept installing pre-paid power meters in May 2012
Staffs of Power Dept installing pre-paid power meters in May 2012 :: Pix - Hueiyen Lanpao



'Heroism is endurance for one moment more.'
- George F Kennan

Sitting on one of the benches at The Classic's Sendra resort, I basked in the glory of Loktak, and said to myself, "This is an exciting time to be alive in Manipur." There was no trace of sarcasm in that thought, even if so many things are wrong right now. Perhaps, it was the beauty of the lake. Perhaps, it was being at the resort, an example of the slow but undeniable course of modernisation that is taking place in the state.

Factors like these tend to pull us irresistibly towards blinding optimism. We see one good movie and think the Manipuri film industry is nearing perfection, but a poorly acted and scripted specimen is enough to overturn such a generous opinion. Upon careful reflection, once the proper parameters are laid on the table, our impulsive judgements are found to be faulty. In the heat of the moment, though, knee jerk reactions are valid in themselves, and my appreciative mood would not allow further criticism.

This mood stuck with me during the return journey. The car window was rolled down, and the sight of lush green fields, recently filled up ponds, and close-knit tranquil hills made sure it stayed. We—my family members and I—decided to stop at Loukoi Pat. By the time I was seated in a boat, which my brother and cousin were paddling and steering, it was nearing dusk and most of the visitors had left. The place was silent, calm, breezy and mesmerising. It was all very pleasant, and my optimism began to assume astronomical proportions.

The good parts of life have this sneaky penchant for acting like a veil, temporarily shielding us from the other side of reality. My bubble was sadly going to burst as soon as I got home. Actually, make that a balloon. A helium-fed balloon. A helium-fed, heart-shaped balloon which would immediately be pierced by the sharp, apathetic point of a needle. It was after six when we reached Uripok. There was no power even though we were supposed to be getting it; it only returned a few minutes before seven, which left us with just three hours to enjoy the benefits of electricity for the day.

Of course, the next day, we were only going to get a similar quota in the morning, and then it would be total blackout till ten in the night. That's what our new roster is. 5:30 to 7 a.m., then 10 to 11:30 a.m., then 5 to 6 p.m., and then 6:30 to 10 p.m. On alternate days, we wave goodbye to power in the morning, and welcome it back just as we're getting to bed.

Why do we need electricity at home? The answer should be a long list. Basics such as electric motors for pumping water, heaters, rice cookers, washing machines, ironing, charging the mobile phone, etc. come to mind. Then, there's entertainment, which—let's be honest—helps us get through the daily grind. So, TVs and computers ought to be counted. Finally, we have the question of charging lamps and inverters for, you know, filling the void.

I'm sure we can all add a lot more, depending on our personal needs. Electricity, therefore, is not some disposable accessory. With increasing reliance on electronics and electrical appliances, its availability becomes increasingly vital. Even if we forget about modern contraptions, we still have to worry about water and, to put it simply, darkness. Not everyone can afford to maintain a generator, and no one should have to.

Surviving on less than eight hours of electrification was always going to be tough, but let's say it was unavoidable. We might lack resources, and some of us suffer from that disease known as 'unwillingness to pay the bill'. I mean, many of us have been surviving already; we are a heroic race.

What's harder to swallow is the arbitrary distribution of it. For instance, a few areas are allotted more hours than the rest, and others, like Uripok at the moment, are crippled by bizarre time slots. How does one function without electrical power for ten straight hours during daytime, for months at end? How does this fit into the idea of a 'developing state'? The mind simply cannot grasp the depth of these anomalies.

With every change in the load-shedding arrangement, our daily routines require a reshuffling. I wake up at seven because I sleep late, which means I have missed a half of the morning slot. As I work as a freelance writer with my laptop, this leaves a bad taste in the mouth. We now have to use a mechanical water pump, competing simultaneously with the neighbours' electric motors powered by generators, and this is because we only get water from three to five in the afternoon, on alternate days. Daytime reminds me uncomfortably of Delhi summer since we can't use the fan to rescue us from the heat and humidity.

Yes, I could wake earlier; yes, we should purchase a generator; yes, we should buy a dozen Chinese fans and work our arm muscles—this is the endurance expected of us. The slots will remain as they are, impractical and impersonal, and the Sangai will continue to dance at Keibul Lamjao. Maybe, Darwin had abilities to see into the future, and upon catching a vivid glimpse of our situation, made his famous observation that evolution is about survival of the fittest.

Incidentally, a metre-box for prepaid electricity was installed at our house last week. Better days are coming, and I shall greet them with the knowledge that I, too, have endured.


* Natalidita Ningthoukhongjam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on May 24, 2014.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • Paukhanmung, Siipuni :: eMing
  • Veterans Football Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #1
  • Naturopathy as career option #2
  • Multiple jobs @ R-Square Design
  • Cry of a Dying River - 30 :: Poem
  • Check fee structures of Private school
  • Hill-valley disparity in education
  • Climate change from Christian perspectives
  • Karuna- Please kindly read the message
  • International Nurses Week #2
  • Changing Perspectives :: Poem
  • Single Window Clearance System (SWCS)
  • Civil Engineer @ R-Square Design
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cleaning river bank an awaited measures..
  • Manipur, a destination for immigrants ?
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Himalayan newt: Biodiversity Day concern
  • On Academics, Intellectuals & Activists
  • An untold story :: Poem
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Families for inclusive societies
  • What happens in Karnataka ?
  • Why common man fails to show courage..
  • Looking at Mizoram & 2019 : BJP's agenda
  • ANSF wants ceasefire in entire Naga area
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Kailam Sanctuary threaten to displace tribes
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #3
  • Prof L Janmejay: Reminiscence as teacher
  • In The Annals of Time :: Poem
  • 128th Birth Anniversary of Ho Chi Minh
  • Challenges to Digital India initiatives
  • Pressing issues before the Govt
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Governor's Taekwondo Cup: Gallery
  • Entrepreneurship in the context of Manipur
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt this summer
  • Ah, me - Now Happy, Now Sad :: Poem
  • Rio assures of co-existence with neighbours
  • Nandeshwore- President, Manipur, RJSP
  • 'PDA Govt is functioning smoothly'
  • SC voices displeasure at defence ministry
  • Manipur NPF differs with Shurho over BJP
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Identity crisis : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Report
  • Globalization & its impact on our culture
  • District Demand 2011-2018 :: Timeline
  • Dishonouring the Constitution of India
  • From EVM to floor test Onus on BJP
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • 4th MCA Plate Tournament : Gallery
  • International Nurses Week #1
  • Story of Silence : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Invitation at Thoubal
  • IBSD-ILS Centre set up in Bhubaneswar
  • Of 3 Ws - Beware
  • Forming the Govt : Office of Governor
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur Fight League Season 1 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #3
  • Rights of indigenous people & merger
  • Manipur's tryst for a native Chief Secretary
  • Marxji, Modiji & Birenji
  • Reasoning without disparities
  • Regulate movement of auto rickshaws
  • Healing Touch: A case of still to outreach
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Sandrembi Cheishra :: Book Review
  • Homecoming & Other Stories :: Review
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #2
  • Cry of a Dying River - 29 :: Poem
  • Shija Hospitals MOU for RBSK Nagaland
  • Are we waiting for the "Go-dot"
  • Understanding with KSO : Reaching to all
  • Garlic Festival @ Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Dr. Cesarczyk drizzled harmonics in the rain
  • Tlanglhungbung Leikol - Tourist destination
  • Manipulative skill pays in usurping power
  • Khonzel TV : New Manipuri Streaming TV
  • Naturopathy as career option
  • Free Eye Camp at Wangoo
  • Khongjom Day: OK to observe on Apr 23, but
  • Outside Manipur after Class XII
  • TRAU Vs Langsning FC : Gallery
  • Ngasepam Nalini : State Akademi Award
  • Construction of Ima Keithel
  • Dreaming :: Poem
  • Test for dengue fever
  • Home Coming & other Stories : Book [upd]
  • Eco Tourism as alternative to Timber Trade
  • Go to Village - boon .. but a scourge for PRI
  • Citizenship Bill ... on basis of religion!
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Course in Book Publishing at IGNTU, Kpi
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #1
  • Gurudev :: Poem
  • Counseling to Delhi University Aspirants
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #1
  • Entrepreneur find ways to recycle plastic
  • Social impacts of Mapithel dam
  • Cyber crime defined: The Bhopal case
  • Timber banned but no ban on firewood
  • Traffic chaos : Regulate not ban entry !
  • Cheiraoba Thabal by LGBTQ #2 : Gallery
  • Culturals @Shirui Lily Fest : Gallery
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #1
  • Civil Service as a career option
  • The plight of education in Manipur
  • Appeal to Stop Oil Exploration
  • TechExpo at IIT Guwahati
  • Awaiting- a light at end of the tunnel
  • Wanted : Responses not reactions
  • Kabo Valley: A brief history
  • 'Autonomous Naga council'- a major hurdle
  • Cry of a Dying River - 28 :: Poem
  • Admission :: SAIRAM college at Patsoi
  • Khangminashi :: Lecture series at KKT
  • CASO conducted at Mantripukhri
  • PRI & the Mission- "Go to Village"
  • Final pact likely soon : Stand of CSOs
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • A village "wall" a destruction for others
  • Thank you Mangaal Rural...
  • Lack of proper investigation- minor girl case
  • Nagaland Cong shelved plans to contest LS
  • Employment drive through Afforestation
  • Bid to attract the brightest
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #1: Gallery
  • Occupational hazards of journalists
  • Election: The greatest weapon of the people
  • Community Gardening in memory of Belinda
  • Politicians need a thorough headbanging
  • Beauty essentials for your holiday
  • NPF will not attend meeting..
  • A view on "Go to Village" Mission
  • Littering Shirui peak after Lily Fest
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Dance competition @MANFETE #2 : Gallery
  • Bracing for monsoon madness
  • When I'm sick :: Poem
  • 1949: Story of India's Takover of Manipur
  • You can't defile a Judge like that
  • Legal provisions for misusing Social Media
  • Bill for non-local: Need to learn from 2015
  • Heart OPD Camp at Youth Club Brahmapur
  • Flood in Imphal [06 May ] : Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @ Ragailong : Gallery
  • Ode to Inle (in Myanmar) #2
  • AFSPA Repeal from Meghalaya, Arunachal
  • Reclamation of eutrophicated water bodies
  • Hey smartphone! Free me from your spell
  • Job Positions at VITSOFTS, Canchipur
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #1 : Gallery
  • Phumdigi Tantha Dance Drama : Synopsis
  • Speaker List at Seminar on Atomic Energy
  • The making of village republics
  • The Sunset Blues :: Poem
  • Rio for development on eastern corridor
  • Welcomes decision on mini hornbills
  • Good show only from Imphal
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #1
  • Communal Harmony in a Multicultural ..
  • Community Gardening Event at Ema Keithel
  • Usurped Domain
  • Fruit stalls : Who gave them the license ?
  • 60 best social media practices
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Scholarship for Civil Aspirants : Gallery
  • The Streets Of Imphal
  • Civil Aspirants Scholarship Announcement
  • Vandalizing of fruit seller- protecting identity
  • Free Heart OPD Camp at Manipur University
  • Go to Village Mission: Another first for Govt
  • Khongjom Day - April 23 #2 : Gallery
  • Haudonggi Lamchat :: Funga Wari
  • Mukada: Eroding Festival of Kharam Tribe
  • Kh Sanjita & Saikhom Mirabai :: Gallery
  • May Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • NE Guide to Thailand : Gallery
  • Paintings @Imphal Art Camp : Gallery
  • 'HUN' Thadou Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Naorem Kalimohon Singh : A Profile
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [14 Apr] : Gallery
  • Md Awaysh Khan: Mr. India : Gallery
  • Mahesh Thounaojam #2 : eRang Photos
  • Mnipur Ima :: Seireng
  • Tributes to Khelen Thokchom : Gallery
  • Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham: Biography
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Enakta Leiringei (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS