Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Friday, November 13, 2009

64. Inverter

Please, do not misunderstand me.

But I like darkness. The deep darkness that occasionally envelopes me is a treat not only for eyes but also for permanently rushing mind. I have not installed any power backup instruments at home. When there is power cut in the night, I just relax and enjoy the darkness.

Many of our likings are rooted in our childhood. Though I was born in a town, I was brought up in a very small village. In the first ten to twelve years of my life, I did not know what electricity was. I still vividly remember the magic moment, when I first came across it. It was the ultimate luxury then. I fear with the climate change and power cuts, it will become a luxury again in my old age.

When you are not surrounded by shining lights, you learn to find fun in darkness. No doubt there were ghost stories. The fear of snakes and scorpions made life miserable. One could not read and write after the Sunset. The kerosene was limited and one could not study during night. Actually one never thought of doing anything important after the Sunset – of course dinner and sleep were the exceptions.

In the night the only bus came to our village. All villagers gathered at the bus stand, and waited for the arrival of the bus. Hardly anyone came from outside. But the village gathered as if each one had a guest arriving by that bus. The road passed through small hills. So, the headlights of the bus were visible from miles. They were there, and they were invisible. I still remember that ‘hide and seek’ game of the headlights. I always wondered whether the headlights were seen first or whether I heard the sound of the bus engine first. I still do not know who travels faster – light or sound? The confusion is deep rooted in me.

In the summer, the front-yard was cleaned and watered in the evening. I was always enchanted by the innumerable stars in the sky. The moon in the early morning was so majestic that I did not sleep in the nights – just to watch that moon. And nobody labeled this as ‘insomnia’ then. Early morning also brought the cold wind, and the first ray of the Sun was indeed life giving.

Monsoon nights were special. The lightening added spice to the environment. The rain tunes differed at various stages. The frogs started singing. The rushing water played around.

Evenings generally came slowly and silently. Everything became quiet. As if the whole world around went to sleep. The toils of the life were forgotten. It was like going back to a world where there were no problems, no stress, just joy and dreams.

I liked the surrounding darkness. I actually waited for it. It was the time, I could talk to myself. It was the time; I did not have to face others. It was the time, I could be alone. It was the time I could dream. It was the time I forgot to ask myself purpose of life. To be left alone was a boon. To experience wind, moon and stars was luxury. To face the fear was an important training. I loved it to the core. There was the knowledge that darkness does not last long, after every night there is a Sunrise….. which was influential in shaping my life.

For middle school education, I shifted to a small city. There was electricity, but it was very tender in nature. I mean with a little shower, with a wave of wind, it used to stop functioning. And even in that small town, many nights were spent in full darkness. The kind of darkness: where one cannot see even oneself. I had plenty of it in life. I actually grew with that kind of darkness around me. But it was always comfortable to have the presence of darkness. It created coolness, happiness, it filled the vacuum, and it was always so peaceful.

Recently the cyclone ‘Fiana’ just touched my city. For one night, there was no power. But I could not get that enveloping darkness around me. Couple of my neighbours have ‘inverter’ installed in their house. The cancer center adjacent to my apartment, naturally immediately turns on generator. The headlights of vehicles on the highway bring a piece of light in my house. I do not get darkness around me. I was just feeling aghast about the generators and invertors.

But then I realized generator and inverters too have their value. It is necessary that we store some positive energy when it is available and use it when there is no light, no hope. I understand that for everyone darkness cannot mean peace and opportunity to be introvert – due to some experiences people may have fear about the darkness.

I agree that those who want light have the right to get it. I am aware that unfortunately most of them do not have opportunity to get it. I understand that we need a real inverter to change this situation.

But somehow I miss the deep darkness. I tend to blame inverters.


  1. Gosh, even I love darkness! And I love power failures because that is the only time I can light a candle. I still don't have an inverter installed in my apartment because I enjoy it when the power just goes off.

    Beautifully written. You took me back to my childhood village. :)

  2. I used to be afraid of the dark when i was a kid. but now i enjoy it.

    sometimes modern life can be dam bugging. small pleasures are completely forgotten. post reminds me of kerala. with the power cuts. and in the village you can actually hear the sound of silence. it's brilliant.

  3. As usual - great piece of introspective writing! Yes, when there is complete darkness outside- there is a chance of becoming aware of the inner light..that silent glow, in the light of which you can not send an email- but certainly talk to your Self..
    Let it keep coming- I think for every one "commenter" you have a thousand silent admirers around the globe..
    Keep writing..

  4. Interesting. Just the other day i was reading that there is no such thing called darkness !

    How will you describe darkness, but for absence of light, i remember reading !

    And here is the description. Of a certain longing. And a poetic 'hide & seek' manner of writing.

    Lovely ! Neat take !

  5. Sojo, yes, darkness too is beautiful.

    AJai, thanks for visit and taking time to share your thoughts here.And yes, 'Sound of silence'.. i forgot to mention that.

    Sachin, in darkness the inner light glows.. that is a wonderful addition to the post.

    Kavi, I believe darkness is not just absence of light, it has its own existence.

  6. Really its beautiful description about darkness. I remember when there was electricity cut off, we chat for hours with our neighbourers and which was important time of sharing and relation developing. As I was living alone for the job purpose it helps me to share my happiness and sadness with others and avoid feeling of loneliness.

  7. Oh that was so true!!!! Especially when it comes to full moon lights!!!
    Everything really looks beautiful....
    I love darkness occasionally. :-)
    And why did you write that we should not get you wrong about loving darkness!!! There are many a people who like it!!!!!!

  8. You have given a new perspective to fear... after all why are we afraid of the dark?
    Beautifully written and you have put on words many of our childhood memories.

  9. This one reminded me of my childhood though I was born & raised in a city but my grandparents used to stay in a village and we used go and yes there was no electricity... so would enjoy the darkness but now 'power cuts' get on my nerves ....

  10. Sukeshni, welcome to Times Change. Good to know that we share our feelings about darkness.

    Niharika, yes, I guess I was bit defensive about my liking of darkness.

    Gina, fear of unknown.. but if darkness means something to us, we may not be frightened about it.

    Dhiman, power cut makes me nervous too.. especially because then I cannot acess my blog :(

  11. nicely written.yes darkness is beautiful with its own light.i had this wonderful experience when i wass travelling to shrinadwara by road many years ago and we stopped by at unza a small village at midnight. the place was surronded by hills& sky was starlit.though it was night it was not dark. i could see the dark blue color of d sky n hills in nightlight.a different world altogether.darkness had its own existence.yes n i do remember d nights in usa. it was awesome!sorry! in mumbai no power cut. thanks for sharing.

  12. superb post, very well written, specially enjoyed the parts about your village and the bus, had me reading it twice, enjoyed reading this post a lot. i enjoy the darkness too,i used to stay some months in a village and most months of the year in a city, so could relate to the post.

  13. Thanks Nutan and Harsha. It is always nice to have people who have same liking :)


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