I think sometimes Human beings are in a kind of continuum in the social skills. I have read in some book about the cave dweller habits of telling stories around a fire. I think it must be in the social science book in school.
The interesting part of the important piece of information, was given in the details about how the cave dwellers spent their nights telling stories and creating social stories that were common knowledge!
How they spent their time around the fire which ensured the protection and source of light to dispel surrounding darkness thus dispelling fear of the unknown. These gathering leads to some interesting story-bites about hunting and adventures and songs with crude musical instruments.
The concept of darkness seems to bring out fear in people and this is universally applicable over the timeline of earth. But then, the community comes together and assures themselves about being safe even in the temporary darkness.
Darkness has lurking danger, which I am sure everyone feels even to this day, especially when opening the door to an unlit house, apartment, room, walking in a dark alley, or just when there is no visible light.
That apart, of late I have observed that Chennai doesn’t get as much power cuts are it used to. With advancing technologies of powerful Generators, power cuts are just the time it takes for the switch over from the main power source to the ancillary power source.
But back in the past, there used to be a lot of current cuts and each house would look pretty with various sized candle lighting up the house. I don’t know how the houses would have looked up from the sky.
When there is a common distress in a community, then this brings the people suffering come together. Exchanges such as, queries if the electricity department had a timeline for rectifying the fault, and other such questions gets exchanged.
Of course the fact that the mosquitoes have a fields play with uninterrupted source of food chain. The interesting thing about power cut was that it brought people together.
In our house, when there is a power outage the family members get together in the verandah because that is the only place with a grill that provides fresh air. The conversation ranges from any wild topics or it would be extempore singing sessions with entire family members.
Of course, appa and amma would hum and let us do the hard singing. We never thought about being a nuisance to the neighbors. Surprisingly, they never complained!
Mostly, songs from Raj Kapoor movies and some early and late 80’s will be explored. Surprisingly, we never tried the current songs. These days the music channels screen the latest movie songs and make it almost as popular as the old time songs.
There were different types of power outage experience for me. When I was in the fourth and the fifth grades, the power-cuts-based socializing was different from, the one I had as a adolescent.
Those from the school days were to race to put out the candle when the current vibed on the line. Especially during the time when Cricket matches were going on then, there would be the battery operated transistor blaring scores and the small community of like-minded listeners would gather.
This state of natural sharing happened when people got together during times of distress. Even to this day, it quietly happens when I have conversation over the windows with my neighbors.
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