I was in my bedroom in the village making up my bed for the night. I had just collected two blankets, sheets and pillow covers when the lights went out. I had forgotten the load shedding.
My son, and I had come to our village home, and we were spending the night there. The whole day had been busy with visiting our relatives, we got to our home only half an hour ago. From past experiences I knew the lights were not going to come on again. I had forgotten to bring the battery lights with us.
I blindly walked into the lounge, feeling the way with my hands extended in front of me, so as not to run into the furniture. I was taking slow steps into the darkness, so as not to hit anything in my way. I reached the kitchen, and searched the pantry shelf for a candle. Luckily I got hold of a slightly wilted one.
Next step was finding a match box. I kept the spare matches in my old cooking range. It had a small compartment where I kept certain things. Why there? I had found out that matches kept in the cupboard in the kitchen got soggy due to the house being closed, and they remained dry in the cooking range. I lit up the candle, and put it in a holder. I lit up another one for Son, and took it to his bedroom. He was patiently waiting for a light.
My apprehension about the electricity was correct. It didn’t come, and we spent the night without it. I managed to heat the food on gas, but there was no hot water. When I reach our village home I turn on the electric water heaters in the kitchen, and bathrooms. That day I had forgotten that too, and we had only ice cold water to wash with.
Life without basic amenities is certainly dreadful in the village. In winters it is very cold, and summers are hot. Our house in the village was built twenty eight years ago, but we have spent little time there. When my late husband was alive, we took trips to the village when someone had died, someone was getting married, or a feast was happening.
I’m trying to sell the house, and the surrounding lands, but has yet to find a decent buyer. For what’s it worth, no one is giving me that price. Last year I spent a huge amount in renovations on the outside. I have to pay tax, electricity bills, and monthly pay to the watchman. The village home has become a burden for me.
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