I have to admit that I never fully appreciated my husband’s blog post titled “Silver Lining: The Electric Alarm Clock that is Pakistan” till I started living in Australia.
We moved to Australia this February. It is often said that humans adapt quite easily to good (say positive) changes in their lives. But somehow even after living in Australia for well over a month, my internal clock keeps reminding me of the possibility of a power shutdown. Something inside me is still not completely accepting of the fact that I can do regular chores (including ironing, heating some baby food) whenever I want, without keeping a close eye on the clock. What a life?! Its pretty amazing how our systems get routinised into living by the hour every hour every day, 365 days a year. Every time I need to iron my daughter’s school uniform, I have this worry and a weird sense of urgency that there might be a power cut. I have to remind myself that I can iron anytime, even in a few minutes, without anything major to worry about.
No matter how sophisticated a UPS system or generator you put up in Lahore (the heart of Pakistan), there was a creepy way in which power shutdowns would come to haunt you time and again. You think its superficial, but the fear digs deep. Some of us live in the illusion that we are living in a bubble (a minority that included me from time to time) and then the hour would pass by and the bubble burst with the electricity going again. If we had amazing power backup systems, a bomb would blast (all too often for sanity to prevail) to make us uncomfortable in the little kingdoms we built for ourselves. I need to work harder on my internal panic button – the alarm clock attuned to a Pakistani lifestyle – to keep it silent.