Tag Archives: electricity


How not to get frozen? The thermostat in our home is generating a false cold wave in our home. I drape a shawl around my shoulders to keep the cold hitting my most vulnerable place ie: my back. It seems we have moved to an Alaskan winter in the dead heat of July.

When Son, and I moved to the apartment in New Bedford this year, I would never had anticipated that we will have any problem with heating, and cooling. The management is there, and it’s their headache to take care if there are problems. We gave up, once we came to know nothing can be done. It was that, or getting a flow of experts banging on our doorway at all times.

What basically the most expert one did in winter was, to set the thermostat to 82. While the rest of the house became bearable in the cold weather, my room was an inferno of heat. Now the reverse is taking place. The rest of our home is cool, my room becomes an ice box in which I shiver.

I prefer to spend my time in the sitting area, but come bed time, I have to sleep. I try to get warm while piling on a heavy blanket over the quilt to warm my frozen feet. I have to wait a while for my feet to thaw out. Till then I wait for sleep to take over.

At moments like these I thank God for being here, and not in Peshawar. Can you imagine being without electricity in summers, or winters? It used to be 100 degrees outside in sweltering heat, and electricity being off. Same thing in winter, the whole house a giant freezer — no gas, and no electricity. The biggest wonder is getting the huge bills requiring payments. The charges keep getting higher each year for the minuscule services provided.


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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Last year I visited my home in Peshawar. Winter had arrived, and it was cold. As the evening would progress, gas would sputter. The flames would get tiny, and then eventually disappear for good. No amount of wishing on my part would bring back the gas flame.

I soon learned if I wanted a cooked meal, I should do my cooking in daytime, or start earlier than the time the gas did the vanishing trick. With no electricity, and no gas life was a huge misery.

I soon learnt no cooked meal meant it was time to have cereal, and milk. It was the easiest way to feed myself.




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Back in home country, no electricity is the norm day, and night. Most of the time one waits for the electricity to appear to do the housework with which us housewives are blessed with.  I would keep one light burning. The minute the bulb lit, I would rush to finish the chores around the house.

I would joke with my late husband R , “We are having candle lit dinner again”.

He wouldn’t get the joke, “What?”

Daily we had candle lit dinners. Was I a romantic person?

No! It wasn’t that. At the precise moment when we were about to have our meals, the lights would go off. Load shedding would begin. When R became too weak with chemotherapy to start the generator, we started burning candles.

I don’t know when the curse of having no electricity which is a basic right, will be lifted back in home country. When the politicians are being elected, they make promises, but they come to naught.




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A Tale of Home

A Plot of Earth
by Michelle W.
You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

When am I getting It? Please let me know. It’s no fun getting it as an imaginary one.
Here is a tale of one we bought.

When my (late) husband R got posted to Abbotabad, and we moved there, I fell in love with the place. I kept badgering R to buy a plot, and build us a home, so we could retire there in the future.

A two canal plot came up for sale, and we got it at a reasonable price. We built a lovely stone house on it. It was a single story, three bedroom house. We left one canal for a garden, keeping in mind that later we might build an annexe on it.

We didn’t get time to live in it, because R’s transfer came. We put the house up for rent, put our son in a hostel, and left to where R got posted.

Our last tenant didn’t pay two months rent. He didn’t pay electricity dues for a year. How he managed that, and the electricity didn’t get cut off, that’s a mystery. He left doors, and gate opened, and the house remained like that for a period of two months, till R was notified by an acquaintance.

R put the house up for sale. After selling it R cleared the electricity, and gas bills. For the eight years it was occupied by tenants, none had paid the water charges. R paid all those plus the sales tax. Ten years later the same place got sold for millions.

Only wish we didn’t sell it. Should have kept it shuttered, and had a go at the millions.