Today we had a power cut in our condominium for nearly eight hours. We were informed of it yesterday, but the window of the outage kept getting extended. In 18 years of living here, we have never experienced such a long outage because this condominium like many others built by DLF, has 100% power backup.
The Concept of Power Backup
Till we moved into Ridgewood, we were like most of India in the 90’s and early 2000. There would be frequent power cuts and if need be you bought an inverter or a genset to manage through the outage. We would always have an emergency lamp in the house and lots of candles as preparation.
Once we shifted to Gurgaon, and into a condominium complex, we enjoyed uninterrupted power supply. There were voltage fluctuations for many years and it still fluctuates sometimes, but over all, we never had an outage. The condominium has massive gensets, that support the entire power requirement in the complex as there was no state given electricity in the first few years.
We got so used to having power all the time, that when Krishnan worked out of Bangalore during 2007-09, we found it odd that we could only use some of the appliances when there was a power cut and the common genset was being used. Then in our second stint in Bangalore in 2013, it was even more bizarre that an upscale apartment complex would not have 100% power backup !! Having power corrupts you… having 100% power backup corrupts you even more :):)
Why the Power Cut today ?
During routine inspection, the team realised that the main power cables were about to give way and that would have been a disaster ! We seem to have averted a major problem. Today, new power cables were being laid. Initially the repair team felt that they would take longer to do the work only in certain towers and in our tower, the power was expected to be restored in two hours.
I guess the damage was extensive and so it took eight hours instead of two.
Our Prep !
We did the following prep –
- Charged all our devices :). Most importantly, the phones. We couldn’t be out of touch and Krishnan had a couple of mentoring calls today.
- Made breakfast and lunch in one go. I use the induction stove mostly, and we wouldn’t have been able to use it.
- We took out all the things we needed from the fridge and decided not to open it till power was restored. This was probably the longest time that the fridge hadn’t been opened while still having food stuff :):). On a normal day, we would probably be opening the fridge multiple times to take milk, vegetables, fruits or leftover food.
- Took bath early so that the geysers could reheat the water.
- Filled water in a couple of buckets just incase the overhead tower water storage ran out. Amma wanted to fill even the coffee mugs with water, but we convinced her that it wasn’t that kind of situation :):).
Here are some pictures taken around 5.45 pm when the Sun went down and I lit some oil lamps and some candles as the power was yet to be restored.
Learnings from today –
- Not being able to watch TV gave us several hours :). Despite the fact that we watch very little TV, we realised even that little was more.
- The reordering of things in the Kitchen and a couple of shelves in our room happened – the saved time was used effectively. De-cluttering happened too.
- We are terribly dependent on the internet. We can manage without the TV, but not without the internet.
- Prevention is better than cure – it was great that the problem with the main power cables was identified during routine inspection. I shudder to think of the alternative scenario.
- We store a lot of things in the fridge … and it has become an essential gadget in most households.
Power is essential to lead a good life. Can’t imagine being without it. (Pun intended !!!).