THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Through a dark and deserted street wafts in familiar Kishore Kumar melodies, sung out of tune but coated with glee. Trace it to reach Govind Nambiar’s house. It is the half an hour load shedding and Nambiar’s family is sitting around the candle light on the verandah, playing antakshari. This is a common scene these days in most houses.
How much ever you crib and complain about the daily power cut and the perspiration trickling down your spine, you can’t help but wonder doesn’t it bring your family closer?
With no serials and reality shows to glue you to the television and no Internet and Facebook to browse on your laptop, this daily blackout helps you connect and bond better. A much needed and routine family time. It is indeed surprising to find what all half an hour of darkness can do!
The serial TRP rates have taken a dip. “Prime time leading serials and reality shows TRP ratings have dropped to eleven points from thirteen and fourteen because of the power cuts,” says Reji, the PRO of Asianet Television. The loss of one is the gain of the other. According to Augustine Antony of Aircel there has been a noticeable rise in the number and duration of calls made from 7 to 10pm.”
Hostelites claim to have the most fun. They follow the tradition of howling the minute the lights go out and then huddle in the frontyard beneath the starry sky, gossiping and pulling each other’s legs.
What disappoints Sandeep Srinivas of Flytxt Technologies though is that, he misses half an hour of the Indian Premier League hoopla.
“At times we watch it through Youtube live streaming but owing to the slow net speed we tend to miss most of the fun,” says Sandeep, who then activates cricket live scores updates on his phone. If not anything else, mobile network providers are in favour of load shedding!
“Years ago when we had load shedding everyday, it was a fun time when my brother and I would plunge into a singing spree (much to the annoyance of our classically trained mother). But these days someone turns on the blasted generator and there is light all over again. Fortunately the UPS fails soon enough so I get to read the library books I never open on the pretext of ‘important work on the internet’,” says Shiya, a media professional.
It is time to leaf pages soaked in the yellow radiance of a candle, to sing to your hearts content in the dark and to place those extra cushions in your balcony chairs, to indulge in the half an hour of serenity after the hectic schedules of the day.