Saturday, June 11, 2011


I sometimes, very casually, wonder about basic infrastructure in India.  In the States when your power goes out it is usually a physical problem that a human has to come out and fix.  Most of the outages we experience here are really short.  I cannot imagine there is a system in place in India to monitor local power in real time.  (Is that a thing?  Compstat for the power grid?  It must be.)  I cannot imagine people are calling the power company to report it.  I really, really cannot imagine the Indian power company has teams at the ready to promptly address any problems. 

I'm obviously pretty ignorant about the nuts and bolts of power delivery systems.  
What is it that puts the power out anyway?  Does where you live matter?  Do hospitals and schools get  better response times and whatnot, exceptions from rolling blackouts?  Should we just get a generator?  Why do our fans make more noise when they are running on battery?

I thought the hot season would bring the worst of the power failures.  What with all those A/Cs running.  I was wrong.  The rainy season is the worst.  The power goes out every day now, several times a day, for much longer than ever before.  That's not the worst though.  A power outage is alright.  It's a bummer to lose the internet and the air conditioning, but we have a battery back up.  And it powers essentials like the fridge, ceiling fans, some of the lights, and one lone outlet.  Now we seem to be getting reduced power from the grid - not low enough to kick on the batteries, but not strong enough to fully power the fridge, A/C, DSL modem, or incandescent bulbs. 

I had reckoned halogen fixtures were the norm because they are cheap, but they also don't pulse and fade in a half-powered moment.  Which is annoying, really annoying.  I may be easily annoyed.  It's the little things I miss.  Like not feeling as though I'm showering in a cheap motel as a train goes by in a bad horror flick. 

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