5 Things Lankans Do During a Power Cut

I have often sought out a healthy way to vent my frustration regarding the dreaded Lankan power cuts. I’m grateful to finally have the platform to do so.

The “Why God?” moment 

If you’re still a student, maybe you had a long week packed with school and all the tuition classes you’re convinced you need to pass. If you’re working, perhaps seven days stuck with a narcissistic, maniacal boss has you completely drained. Either way, you turn your 6 A.M alarm off and plan to sleep in to finally recharge. But alas, the universe has different plans for you my friend. At the break of dawn, your fan slows down, the sweat wakes you up…yup it’s a power cut. And so, you sob into your pillow wondering what God’s beef with you is to punish you so severely.


Substituting a fan

Once you’ve had a long cry, it becomes increasingly evident that this power cut is going to last for quite some time. And so, the eternal quest to fight the heat begins. Now I’m not talking about you hoity toity rich folk in possession of backup generators. I’m referring to the less fortunate who park their chairs in the balcony hoping to catch a breeze. The ones who push the through the pain and desperately wave a paper fan. The poor souls who give up and sleep on the floor or get a permanent residency inside the fridge. All the while knowing in their hearts of hearts that nothing…nothing can actually substitute the real deal.   

 Pure frustration

5 hours have passed since you last experienced a fan. To make things worse, it’s getting late which prompts Aachchi’s constant warnings to close the doors and windows before mosquitoes find their way in. Moreover, your phone, the one and only sanctuary you had, died a while back and so, you’re starting to show symptoms of withdrawal. Safe to say, you’re completely and utterly fed up. Frustration can drive us to do dark things. If you’re like me, you might even incessantly flip the light switch up and down in hopes that you can scare the power into coming back on (no? Just me? Okay then…).

Bring out the candles

A wise comedian once said that you can choose whether to cry or laugh about the troubles life sends your way. Since majority of this day was spend brawling over the heat and dead electronic devices, the time has finally come to just cheerfully accept your fate. The cool atmosphere of the night of course makes this easier. As Amma lights up a few candles and sticks them on to milk powder tins, you have to admit, things are starting to look prettier… more bearable.  And so begins the appreciation of the current situation. “Some people have it much worse”, “I still have my health”, and “It’s kind of peaceful not having my phone around me”. 

The relief

Just as you were starting to love life for the little things, lo and behold, the power comes back. Ah, hallelujah! Gone are the sentiments you previously fabricated. True to your nature, you rush to charge your phone, promising never to part ways with it again.  And oh, how nice it is to FINALLY bask in the glorious breeze of your fan. As you cuddle up in bed grateful that it didn’t come to sleeping on the floor, you utter a prayer earnestly begging the universe that you never have to go through this again. If only….

To whom this may concern, this is a sincere narrative of the struggles we go through during a power cut, minus the profanity that may escape us during such an ordeal. The suffering is real. So please…don’t take our power away.

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Author: Erangie Kulatilaka
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