Stories about power outages

Why Batti Gul Meter Chalu should have stayed in the dark

These days it is difficult to find a Bollywood movie that depicts a strong message. Most movies are made for the sole purpose of entertainment and pay no heed to the script or the plot of the movie. As long as there are some witty dialogues, catchy songs and a star cast, the movie will cash in all the moolah. Unfortunately, due to this, the fine line between commercial and parallel cinema is fading away. After the success of the eye-opener flick Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, Direcetor Shree Narayan Singh is back with another subject-oriented film, Batti Gul Meter Chalu. The ...

Read Full Post

How are we supposed to “celebrate” Eid with no water and no electricity?

Life in Pakistan has never been easy. The living conditions continue to deteriorate with each passing year. The effects of climate change, coupled with the water crises, are making life harder and harder for people living here. The power outages do not help either. However, this year, the repercussions of climate change and the water crisis are being felt the most, and things are about to get much worse. Today is Eid, which many people in the colonial parts of the city, especially certain gated communities, are enjoying to the fullest. Perhaps because they do not face the same problems ...

Read Full Post

Why has non-violent India become so violent?

India carries somewhat of a reputation globally as the home of spirituality and a champion of non-violence. The combined legacies of Emperor Ashoka, Gautam Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and many other renowned gurus and sages have left an imprint on the way India seeks to carry itself on the world stage and also to an extent how the rest of the world perceives it. Many seekers of wisdom and inner peace make their way to India, hoping to find a path to spirituality and enlightenment. Some succeed in finding what they were looking for, while others return with disappointment, disillusionment, and ...

Read Full Post

Is a discussion on climate change even relevant to a third world country like Pakistan?

Over the last century, the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.6 degrees and experts estimated that it will increase by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees centigrade by the end of the current century. What does it mean? How does that have any effect on a person’s daily life? For a third world country that is struggling with power outages and recurring political crises, is this even a relevant discussion? The answer is yes. It is relevant. It is important. And it impacts all of us. The geographical location of Pakistan places it in a heat surplus zone, which makes it extremely susceptible to the impact of climate change. The occurrence of ...

Read Full Post

We cannot blame K-Electric for the electricity crisis

It would be an understatement to claim that the last few days have been a nightmare for the residents of Karachi. Tripped feeders, faulty transformers, broken cables, voltage fluctuations, phases missing for entire days have coupled with the scorching heat to deal a fatal blow to the metropolis. Latest reports indicate that more than 780 people have died as a result of heat stroke, dehydration and heat-related ailments. Naturally, this has resulted in widespread anger with K-Electric. People are attacking offices and beating the staff as a means of venting their frustration over the company’s incompetency. Every listening post for the company is ...

Read Full Post

K-Electric boasts of massive profits, but Karachi still does not have electricity

Three years ago, I wrote a blog praising K-Electric’s improving standards, and in general, the blog was received well by Karachiites. Clearly, many of us were in agreement about the power company’s progress as a service provider. Rolling blackouts in areas where customers were paying bills regularly were less frequent than before. At the same time, the company formerly known as KESC had adopted social media to allow more avenues of communication. There was also a marked improvement in customer service and a faster reaction time from the repair teams. At the time, I expected this to only be the beginning of K-Electric’s upward trajectory. As ...

Read Full Post

14 hours without power and teetering at the edge of sanity

I recently experienced something that almost every Pakistani is familiar with: a prolonged power outage. It came on the heels of a public announcement that the government cannot vanquish the great beast ‘Power Shortage’ and the good people of this country must grit their teeth and hunker down for the collapse of civilisation. Notice the use of the word ‘almost’ in my first sentence? Yes, the people responsible for doing something about the crisis do not experience it at all. Maybe that’s why their actions, not to mention their comments to news agencies, lack a sense of urgency. Perhaps they no ...

Read Full Post

From Peshawar: A plea to the government

Dear Leaders of Pakistan, I hope you are well and are busy overseeing and planning solutions for the many problems faced by our nation. Since you will, undoubtedly, be caught up with reforms rather than amassing wealth, as you have just stepped into office, I thought I should tell you a little bit about your awaam. As a dutiful child is expected to inform his parents about the changes happening in his life, I want to tell you about how we are living now. We, your children, have finally installed a generator at home. Despite living in a posh area of the capital ...

Read Full Post

When there is a blackout, Karachi isn’t completely in the dark

It was nearly midnight last night when we lost power here in phase four of Defence, Karachi, and I could immediately tell that it would be a long blackout. As a citizen of this nation, I am unfortunately quite familiar with such outages, and can often tell the nature of the incident in the way the power goes out. Typically, a loss of power that happens swiftly and on the hour is normally a scheduled piece of load shedding (rolling blackout), though occasionally can also be a half-day long shutdown for neighbourhood maintenance. A loss of power that occurs at ...

Read Full Post

Does Karachi really need the tallest building in the world?

As you read these lines, many people mourn the death of their loved ones in Karachi.  As you click on the “share” button on Facebook to express your awe on the proposed wonderment that lies ahead, a frustrated son curses the traffic jam he is stuck in as he tries to get home to his sick mother after work. As you start believing that I am yet another critic who can’t stand seeing any positive change in this country, you tend to forget the wise old saying that all ‘that glitters is not gold’. The currently tallest building on the planet, ...

Read Full Post