Day before yesterday I wrote about the importance of the power.
Yesterday I wrote about the problems and stresses related to it.
Today I am writing how our parents or ancestors were happy and contented without power.
In my childhood -
There was no power in the house. We used mustard oil lamps or kerosene oil lanterns in our houses to go around, in the kitchen and sometimes for reading too. We normally finished our studies in the daytime only. We got our water from a hand pump or from a well, as there was no tap water in the city in those days. Even well was not there in every house. However, we had a well in our house, so many people come to our well to fetch water. It was fun to watch people coming to our house with their buckets to fetch water. Rope was always there at our well so they did not need to bring their rope. For some people filling water was a project.
We use firewood and coal for cooking - so no worry of gas, microwave, toaster, oven etc etc. Food was cooked twice a day - lunch and dinner. If somebody had to eat at any other time of the day, he ate only cooked kept food - no grudges. No fresh breakfast - only Paraathaa cooked the previous night with vegetable (if it was there at all) otherwise with pickles. My mother used to make many kinds of pickles. One full cupboard - of 4 planks, on each of which at least 4 big jars could be kept, was always full - with 16 jars of various kinds of pickles.
Otherwise we always ate fresh, no fridge food, no freezer food. If sometime something remained, we used to give to poor people. We were happy that our food was utilized and they were happy that they got the food. What a win-win situation.
Getting up in the morning was no problem. My mother and grandmother used to get up very early, so they used to wake us up. There was only one alarm clock, of about 6" diameter, in our house and the other one on my father's wrist. There was no need for us to see TIME. Our parents kept the track of the time. We used that alarm clock to see time only to go to school, so that we are not late, that is all.
There was no radio, let alone TV or anything else. Only rich and educated people used to subscribe for newspaper. Why? Literacy rate was very low and people did not value the newspaper as much. Only countable magazines were there to read. Most things were spoken and heard.
Whole day either school, or play, or some studies or any other activity if we ever had any. When it was about to be dark, we sat on our open air roof and talk about many things - of house, of outside, of city, of country, about history and geography. My father used to ask us many types of puzzles and questions. We gained a lots of knowledge out of them.
Then at about 8.00 pm we used to have our dinner, sometimes my mother made it an hour before, sometimes she made it instantly. After taking dinner we used to lay down our beds and our father used to tell us many stories - of Raam, of Mahaabhaarat, historical, educational. And then we slept. At that time we heard many stories. I have written down many of them as "My Childhood Stories".
What about in summer days? As we did not have any electricity we did not have any electric fan. We used hand fans to cool down ourselves. Everybody had hand fans on his bed. There used to be many fans lying everywhere in the house. As the summer started the hand fan sellers used to come to sell them and people used to buy them in tens for the whole summer, They were made of palm leaves. Many fans were made very beautiful - by using colored cloths, beads, golden laces etc; and all this was done in our houses too. My grandmother and mother used to beautify these hand fans. It was an art.
My school days -
My school days started when I was 8. Till then we had power and tap water in our house. It was a great relief then. The whole house used to seem lighted and for water we did not have to draw water from hand pump - just turn the head of the faucet and Lo there was water flowing down heavily. It used to come 24 hours. Since power was there so we had a radio also in our house, although my father did not allow me to touch it. It was used only to .listen to news only. There were not many programs used to air in those days.
This electricity was not like today also. Our room was 12 x 30 feet, and we used only 40 watt bulb in that big room and we never thought that the light was dim, rather we were happy that we could study in the night. But today even if we have 100 watt bulb in a small room, we complain of low light.
I used to spend my summer vacation (2 and 1/2 months) with my maternal uncles' place. Our house was a businessman's house, so there were no modern way of living - from the view point of that time. My maternal Uncles (Maamaa) were in government service, so they lived in the modern way. We (my younger sister and myself) learned many things of modern life by living there,
In short - No Power, No Problems, No Distress.
Modern Day Problems-1
Modern Day Problems-2