Tag Archives: India

Electricity Woes

The world’s first public electricity supply was a water wheel driven system constructed in the small English town of Godalming in 1881. I was born more than a 100 years later and this article documents my woes around electricity growing up.

Electricity woes
Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

Asansol (Late 80s & 90s)

Asansol is a shitty town in West Bengal where one of my uncles lived. It was also the first stop where I went every year with my mother, during my summer vacations. My uncle and his family lived in the Sen Raleigh township at Kanyapur and it is the closest I have ever been to living in a village. I did not live in big cities during those years either (Gwalior, Indore etc), but this place gave new meaning to the term “backward”.

In summers, on average, there was electricity only for a few hours each day. At their house, even a fan was a luxury. I remember lying in bed for hours at night, not being able to sleep because it was too hot. When things were not too bad, the family used an inverter for the hours of the blackout. Eventually, over the years, even that became impractical because you could only charge it for a few hours every few days. Eventually, they switched their lights & fans to DC and hired pre-charged batteries on a per-night basis.

I also remember that they used their refrigerator as a wardrobe, because that’s all it was good for.

Still, I was a kid and resilient, so it didn’t bother me too much.

Kolkata (Late 80s & 90s)

Kolkata was the second stop in our summer holiday itenary & slightly better than Asansol. Electricity was more or less available, but there were sudden un-announced blackouts which the locals called “load-shedding”. Again, these would last for hours and I would lie in bed not being able to sleep. In bed, I would count down from 10 and pretend that at 0, the power would be back. When it didn’t, I would start again. Many nights, my mother would stay up fanning me with one of those Chinese fans till I fell asleep. Eventually, things became better after the power distribution in the city was privatised and today, such things are rare.

Karishma Apartments, East Delhi (1993)

Karishma Apartments (Now called Kirpal apartments) were shitty apartments, I lived in for (thankfully) 1 year around 1993. The story was, the apartment used some illegal way to apply for its electricity connection, which was eventually discovered and the electricity was disconnected for the entire complex. Most of the year I lived there, there was 0 electricity. Most people had their own generators putting away on their balconies. If I remember correctly, we shared a generator with another family and there were often disputes. Because of no electricity, there was hardly any water in the overhead tanks and there was a water tanker mafia selling water to everyone at exorbitant prices.

We lived on rent, we could have easily moved somewhere less shitty, no idea why we didn’t.

Gurgaon (2008-2015)

DLF Phase 3, U Block

There were daily power cuts during the summers. For others, it was no big deal because the power cuts were mostly in the daytime when they were all in their air-conditioned offices. I worked nights and these power cuts put a real damper on my sleep schedule.

DLF Phase 2, K Block

DLF Phase 2 being more posh than DLF Phase 3 had less power cuts, but they were still there. Still, it was not that bad.

Sector 22

We lived on one floor of a 3 floor house on rent for a few years. This was probably the shittiest house we have ever lived in. The landlords were kindly, but what they call “leechad“. They had 3 electricity connections for 3 floors, but chose to use 2 connections for one (their own) floor and the third connection was shared among the other 2 floors. Consequently, when we used the Air Conditioning, it would frequently overload and blow something on the electricity pole outside. The electricity people refused to resolve such issues at night and we spent many nights waiting for the fan to stop working when the inverter battery ran out. Eventually, we had enough and we gave notice at 2:00 AM one night after another incident.

Thankfully, this was the last of my electricity woes and since then, I have managed to elevate my life above such worries.

The Fix for Indian behaviour : Lashing

I was discussing with PC the Path finder how most Indians have a poor sense of social responsibility and civic sense. Filth is everywhere, no one follows rules. Most people think only of their own convenience, not their fellow countrymen. How even countries like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia are better than India in this regard. During the discussion, we bumped into the solution that can fix all this. Lashing. If there’s one thing that can fix the behaviour of Indians, it is lashing.

Humiliating, public flagellation. Import some strongmen from other countries for this purpose. Train them in the art of lashing. For minor offences, mete out punishment immediately. Ask the offender’s family to witness, too.

Some examples below:

Civil Offences

Intentional Littering20 lashes, pick up litter with mouth
Public urination20 lashes, rub face in own piss
Spitting in public20 lashes, someone else spits in offender’s eye
Invading personal space5 lashes, smear shit under the nose
Public Smoking50 lashes, send to live in Delhi for 2 months during winter
Listening to music/watching videos on speaker in a public place20 lashes and destruction of phone
Farting in an enclosed public space20 lashes and tape smelling salts under the nose
Presssing the wrong direction button in a lift10 lashes and banned from lift for 1 week
After the lift arrives, asking people inside if the lift is going up or down10 lashes and banned from lift for 1 week
Civil offence lashings


Faking rent receipts100 lashes plus fine double of amount
Fake fuel bills (Car lease policy users)200 lashes plus jail
Fake driver’s salary (Car lease policy users)200 lashes plus jail
Financial Offence lashings


Overtaking incorrectly20 lashes, car impound for 1 week
Jumping red light50 lashes, car impound for 2 weeks
Overspeeding20 lashes, car impound for 1 week
Driving with modified silencers50 lashes, put said silencer against offender’s ear and start engine
Drinking & driving100 lashes, pour alcohol over offender and set on fire
Traffic offence lashings

These are just examples. I am open to feedback.

Bye Bye Credit Cards

For as long as I have had a career, I have lived off of credit cards. I handled my expenses using these cards and paid it back at the end of the month. Using these cards, I also purchased things that I couldn’t afford and paid the money back over many months. At one point of time, I had up to 4 credit cards in my wallet, all maxed out.

Credit Cards
Credit Cards, PC: Business Insider

With my recent move and a long overdue financial reset, I decided to get rid of credit cards from my life once and for all. I was anyways going to get rid of my Indian cards, but I also decided not to get any in Thailand.

At first it was scary and I almost ended up applying for one during a weak moment but eventually pulled through. Now it has been more than a month without a credit card and I couldn’t be happier. For the first time in my life, I am actually sticking to my budget goals.

I hope I am able to stave off the temptation and maintain this going forward.

The Pathetic State of Education in India

Courtesy: http://asiancorrespondent.com

Growing up, I have witnessed a few things which have made me question the quality of education in this country; especially Primary and Secondary education.

In short, schools in India generally suck. They are more profit-making machines rather than a place to impart quality education to students. Moreover, the quality of teachers, especially in the Primary and Secondary education scene is very low.

I have studied in almost 9 schools from Class I to Class XII. I can say without doubt that most teachers did not teach for the joy of teaching, but rather to earn money. There’s no harm in that, apart from the fact that they are still expected to be good at their jobs; which mostly they are not.

One subject which I have seen teachers mostly suck at, is English. Apart from 2 teachers in my entire school life, none of the English teachers I have come across were good at their jobs. I have found myself arguing with my English teachers many times when I have felt that what they were saying is wrong. After a while, I realized that arguing is no use, as the teachers here, far from being open minded and appreciating feedback actually had huge egoes, which I hurt when I corrected them.

Unlike subjects like Science and Maths, if you learn languages incorrectly at a young age, you are unlikely to improve later on; you’ll be stuck with it for life. If there’s one teacher who doesn’t know proper English teaching a class of 50, he/she will produce 50 people who don’t know proper English later on in life.

This problem is not isolated to English/Hindi and other language subjects. Most teachers don’t know what they are doing and write things on the blackboard directly from the textbook or old notes and expect their students not to question what they are writing.

Also, I have recently seen students being told to take off their shoes outside the computer room, as their shoes might have “viruses” which would infect the computers. Also, a textbook as recent as 2010 still listed Pluto as a planet.

Why is the state of Education here so bad, when considering that the schooling here is much more expensive than the developed countries? The answer is “Jugaad”.

Indians have a long standing habit of relying on “Jugaad”, which is simply a way to get something done using means other than those which are proper. Mostly this would involve a monetary transaction, or pulling strings with someone high up in the system.

I have seen people I know graduate from full time B.Ed courses without attending a single class. These same people get jobs at nice schools using the same “Jugaad” technique; when it is clear that no self-respecting interviewer would have even interviewed them for more than 5 minutes. Also, these people don’t know basic English.

All this is very frustrating and makes me very angry; especially because I don’t know what I can do about it.

Indian mass media sucks

The mass media in this country sucks. It really does big time.

Have been regularly reading the newspaper for around 10 years now. Every morning (afternoon now) when I wake up and look at the newspaper, I see the front page covered with negative content. Every single day, without fail. It’s either murder, bribery, rape, match fixing or shit about the city you’re living in. These articles are accompanied by vivid images of dead bodies, slums, people hiding their faces in shame, puddles filled with stagnant water, potholes left uncovered, stadiums with rubble around them.

Now I start thinking – Is the world I’m living in really so bad? I thought about it and the answer is no.

The reason the newspaper is like this is because Indians love misery. Perhaps because it makes them take their mind off the shit in their own life. The media is just doing their job by feeding off the desire for misery in people’s lives.

I’ve often noticed how much satisfaction people get when reading such articles. These moments are always accompanied by comments like “I told you so” or “This country will get nowhere” or the more frequent “Corrupt Bastards”

When Delhi Metro opens a new line, or when an Indian wins some award or there’s something positive happening in the country, such content is always on page 2.

They showed us how the roof of  Terminal 1D of Indira Gandhi International Airport fell of during rain and storm. It was on page 1 for days. What they didn’t show was how Terminal 3 is best in the country, is the 8th largest Airport Terminal in the world and cities like Kolkata will never see anything like it in a decade, because they’re too busy decorating their airport with communist flags.

They showed us when a Delhi metro construction girder fell off killing many people; how the metro is evil. That is unfortunate and sad. However, they didn’t show that the rest of the country has nothing like it, and we Delhi guys love it.

I have stopped taking the newspaper seriously; I tell myself that its some evil propaganda to suck the happiness out of us and turn us into zombies.  

And this is just the print media. Television news channels are so full of bullshit (in a hilarious way though) that it deserves a separate post.