When Indians die it is so boring
It is 7 am in India. Twenty four hours have passed since Indian television started showing videos of devastation in Uttarakhand. At least a hundred people have died in the floods, the collapsing houses and stranded traffic jams.
There is no mention of it on the BBC ( I checked again they are mentioning it now on the website) or CNN(Still no mention of it on CNN one hour later). The protests in Brazil; US talks with the Taliban; the G8 meeting in Ireland; Hong Kong switching of its lights after 11 pm; the NRA T-shirt debate; boy missing in Mexico and Snowden. It goes on and on. There is no mention of the human toll in what is just the beginning of the monsoons in India.
India is a forgotten state. It is ignored because it has always people dying. Indian lives have no value for the rest of the world.
It is truly amazing. Is there not one Indian keeping an eye on the events in India in these news organizations. Thousands of pilgrims are stuck near the temple of Kedarnath. This is not worth reporting? If this is not navel watching television, what is?
So what would one do if there were no electricity on a Sunday? No television. Lots of time on hand and you are all alone. Breakfast without a coffee machine and a blender. Boil an egg, make a sandwich. What next? Read a book.
Mow the lawn. Do not have the energy today. So? Still no television. Meet some friends. Might lead to some heavy beer drinking and eating. Really have to shed some pounds.
Make something interesting on the gas? Frozen food on the gas? I really do not know real cooking. I have no fresh vegetables that I can chop and perhaps make a soup with some chicken thrown in. I’ll eat some ice cream.
Now what? Still no television. The internet is knocked out. I have the laptop to write a few pages before it too gives up the ghost.
I have to step out. A cool summer breeze. The sun is behind some clouds. I will sit down under the big tree in the lawn.
Mr. Jones too walks out. “No television,’ he says. It is the first time we have actually talked to each other except for the occasional ‘how’s it going?” etc. etc.
He is a chess fanatic. I do have some moves in me and he brings a folding table and a chess set. We sit and play all afternoon under the shade of the tree. This is a big breakdown. Mobiles are knocked out too. So no one knows what has happened any way. Mrs. Jones brings us lemonade and chicken sandwiches and she sits down on the lawn near us. She asks all the questions about me that must have been pent up for a month. Where is Lina? Where are the kids?
I tell her that Lina is designing and helping re-decorate her parents’ house and the kids are with her and they will be back today.
She, I am sure does not believe me.
It is five in the evening now. I have somehow blocked Mr. Jones in the last game and he is scratching his head when there is a roar of a car in my driveway. It is Lina and the kids. The chess game is abandoned and I help pull all the stuff from the car and into the house. Mrs. Jones helps too. The kids are really flummoxed by the lack of electricity. They just cannot believe it.
At last everything turns on with a thump, the refrigerator, the television and the air conditioning.
Could I really have survived another hour’s power cut? God knows but I sure had a great day out in the open. Mr. and Mrs. Jones too loved the picnic in my lawn. I am sure we will be better neighbors because of the power failure.