Before I begin, let me tell you what the word “Load-shedding” actually means. It’s one word, a noun apparently, seperated by a dash used as an attributive compound. So when, if ever, you decide to write a letter to the authorities, make sure that dash goes in there. It is defined as “cutting off the electric current on certain lines when the demand becomes greater than the supply.”
Now, for those of you oblivious to the developing world, people there are really suffering from load-shedding. Among the hardest hit countries are India and Pakistan. I know Japan was suffering because of their tsunami & earthquake, and they had 4hr rolling blackouts every day but I believe that may have stopped in 2012. Anyways, I don’t care. As of right now, Pakistan is REALLY suffering from load shedding. Some stats as discovered by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce (and some by personal experience) are as follows:
Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Lahore 10 to 18 hours
Hyderabad four to eight hours
Karachi two hours (jerks)
Peshawar six to 10 hours
Quetta four to eight hours
Rawalpindi eight to 14 hours
Sialkot 14-18 hours
Mirpur four to eight hours on a regular day. Almost none near and around holidays.
With temperatures peaking at around 135 degrees Fahrenheit in some places, losing electricity for such extended periods of time only adds to the atrociousness of being away from home. It also adds to the craziness of the already ever-so-crazy people. Everyone finds their own unique way to deal with this issue though. I bet there is a lot of potential psychoanalysis here, but here is my superficial (and comical) breakdown of society without power:
1- The spoiled nagger: I’ll start with my favorite. This is the somewhat normal, average person effected by load shedding. Statements like “Oh my god! It’s so HOT!” and “I can’t stand this heat! What should I do?” are common. The really spoiled ones are oblivious to all the real problems caused by load-shedding and say things like “I was playing that game!” or “My cell phone isn’t even charged yet!” They try to add to the dramatic effect by relaying the percentage of battery left. “28 percent! What will I do now?” This last one might be me. If I have low battery, I have to find a friend in another part of the town so I can go and charge my phone. I can’t afford to miss calls, I’m engaged to a mafia boss. Here’s a caricature of her during a black out.
2- The satisfied citizen: I don’t like this person at all. This is the absolute worse. This particular person says things like “It’ll be back in an hour, we’ll just continue the power related work then. For now we shall do some manual labor while we sweat our innards out.” I have teachers who do this. They drop the ongoing multi-media lecture and start teaching from notes, at which point I am suddenly against anti-gun laws. Here is what these buttholes look like:
3- The self loathing righteous: This one suffers from an inferiority complex. Add that to his spiritual personality and this is what you hear all day: “This is our fault. This country sins so much!” and “Allah has punished us for not remembering him!” Of course if you try to reason with him by asking why Allah gave all the white people electricity, he turns into number four, the next type. To his credit, load-shedding does make you remember religion for sure. Here is what the religious self loather looks like:
4- The ferocious badass: Oh boy. I don’t like being around this type when the power goes out. This particular victim of load-shedding throws a temper tantrum every single time. Sometimes major, sometimes minor. He curses out the last and next 10 generations of power management companies, the president, his neighbor, and his mother-in-law all in one breath. He tosses things around. Heedlessly walks out into the sun, comes back feeling like an idiot. We all know that type. Takes off his shirt, starts banging his head on semi-soft surfaces before turning into number three and eventually two above. Here’s a sound depiction of what he may look like:
5- The sleep deprived psycho: Last but not least, this one is a total tool. These people always fall asleep right before the power goes out for. You hear them say things like “I literally JUST closed my eyes and the power went out” or “I haven’t slept all night and now the power is out?” The worst is when you come out of your bedroom in the morning and they tell you “I didn’t sleep last night because of the outage.” Well, no duh! I am no ninja either. I need sleep just as much as you do but, lets keep the bitching to a minimum. On the inside, I turn into a number four for a while. Here’s what the psycho looks like with his stupid cup of chai all the time:
For the record, I love chai and coffee and any other forms of caffeine except for the sodas. So there you have it. This is how Pakistan reacts to not having power for more than three quarters of a day at times. Which one are you? Leave a comment.