Sunday, June 10, 2007

Really, That's Just Too Kind.

The people of India are so kind and accommodating. Seriously. I have been thinking for some time that I need to write an entry about the electricity here, but I just didn't have that much material. So the Indian people got together and provided us with some fabulous stuff.

It all started last week when I went out to dinner with other American/Mormon women in the area. We do this about once a month and though there are about 10 of us, usually about 6 show up. One of them (a new girl) started telling us her harrowing story about a fire they had in their electrical box. After listening politely, we told her that we had all had a fire in our electrical boxes, and that it would probably happen again. That is the nice thing about these dinners. Nothing is new to them. They understand the craziness and can tell you how to deal with it or tell you to get used to it. But either way, you feel better knowing that they have all done it.

So the next night around 11 o'clock, there was this loud popping sound outside and our electricity started to fluctuate. Then I saw the sparks. Mr. Smith and I ran outside to see what was going on. The power line right across the road from or house had snapped and was jumping around, throwing off sparks. Eventually it dropped and was laying across a parked car. We made some calls, but they just don't have the 24 hour hot line like they do in the US. (Ironic for a country full of call centers, eh?) At some point one of the people we called told our guard to keep an eye on the line through the night, and they would notify some one in the morning.

The next morning we heard the popping and the power started to fluctuate again, so we all ran out on to the balcony. The transformer around the corner was sparking and on fire, and so were the many bushes around it. The volunteer fireman in Mr. Smith had him out the door and around the corner in no time, but luckily there were several men (including two policemen) near by when it started, so the fire was already out. Mr. Smith told the officers about the downed line by our house, but of course they couldn't understand him so they started to leave. Kirpashankar (our driver) stopped them and explained. Soon there were men guarding the transformer and the downed line and all the power to the Sector was shut off.

This was just the most recent event. When we visited India last August we actually stayed in this house. That was when we had our fire in the electrical box. Another time Number One Son was plugging in our TV and was shocked bad enough to throw him back a bit. A few weeks ago our house keeper was cleaning a ceiling fan that was, of course, turned off, but it still managed to shock her pretty badly. And, on a daily basis there are some outlets that when you plug something in you always hear a sizzle or a pop. Once every couple of weeks an electrician comes to the house to see if everything is working. Last time the twins room had no lights. The breaker was on, but still no electricity. I told my dad that if we get home without someone being electrocuted it will be a miracle.

P.S. When I ran a spell check on this entry I found that I had spelled the word "electricity" several different ways, all of them wrong. I guess there is a short in my brain!


Marilyn's Guru said...

Marilyn, if you want to leave a comment, just click "Other" under "Choose an identity" (look directly under the box you type in) then put in whatever name you want to use. You do not have to enter a web page or a password.

Aunt Carol said...

Glad to hear you have a night out with the "girls". Better to complain about the electricity than the husband. Of course you have a sweetheart of a guy, but then maybe I am just predjudice. hoho. We watched a special the other night on Delhi, you can see the class difference.

Tell the kids I had a bear run in front of my car the other day. He was a pretty good looking bear. It was coming from the lake not too far from the house.

Toni said...

I too am glad you are going out with other American women. I'm sure it helps keep you sane.

Sounds like you guys need rubber gloves or something that doesn't conduct electricity before plugging in, switching on/off, indeed before touching.

My mother-in-law's stove had something going on, and once-in-a-while when I was cooking on it, I would get an uncomfortable, even slightly painful shock. I soon was afraid to go near it. I can't imagine getting a shock that would knock me a few feet away!

Do you have smoke detectors?

Maybe someone with depression would do well in India with free shock therapy!

marilyn said...

Thank you Guru. I sure miss calling you with my TV problems.
Interesting story about your electricity. Your plugs must not be grounded. Glad you have a night out with the girls too. Probably makes you realize you are all going through the same things. And that you'll appreciate home when you come back.

Hunnydu72 said...

Hey, teach me Obi-Mom, is there a way to respond to a comment? I wanted to tell you that I'm a little freaked out that soon Ben or Hannah might have children. Seriously, is there no chastity belt you might have in storage you can haul out??? Lock them up for say, ten years??? I'm not ready to be a great aunt!!