Posts Tagged ‘KESC’


… Go sit outside and enjoy the summer breeze 🙂 It’s balm for the soul.

I was sitting at one of my friend’s house the other night and he had some people over whom I was meeting for the first time. As it happened, the electricity went out a couple of times and we were all left in an awkward darkness for a few seconds in between the time the lights went off until it took my friend’s chawkidaar to turn the generator on. I found my friend embarrassingly apologizing to the group for not being able to run the a/c on the generator because “there was something wrong with the generator and it was not running on full power at the time otherwise it really has enough juice to run even two a/c’s at a time, etc.” This sparked a conversation about what kind of a generator everyone had and how powerful it was. As the conversation progressed, I found myself growing increasingly conscious about the size of my generator because every one there were talking about their high-powered-automatic generators as if they were talking about owning some sort of a Italian designer suit or sports car, or both. The thing I realized was that generators, like cars and cell phones, have become not only a necessity but also another status symbol and items for showing off among the pretentious population of Karachi.

You would think that I would be extremely glad and content to have a small 4.2 kVA generator that can run all the fans in my house, all the lights, and perhaps the TV and maybe a fridge if I am careful and use only a few lights. It’s a bit loud when it runs and it’s the kind where you have to pull on a chain in order to start it. Also, I have to turn off my deep freezer, a/c’s, and all other heavy appliances in my house before I can turn the generator on as it cannot support so much load. I am living alone these days and I don’t have a chawkidaar so I am the one who has to get up and turn off the appliances before turning the generator on every time the electricity fails. And then I have to stay near my living room so that I can hear the sweet and wonderful bell that rings (music to my ears) to indicate the electricity is back and it’s time to turn the generator off.

You would be wrong: I am not happy with my generator. And I realize it’s not because I think having a bigger generator would mean me having a higher social status; it’s because having a bigger generator would mean that I have less shit to worry about every day. I, being the ungrateful ass of a human being that humans are, want an even bigger and better generator. I want the super duper 25 kVA kind where I don’t have to turn off anything in my house. I want it to come installed with an automatic starter so that it turns itself on when the power goes out and then turn itself back off when it comes back. I want to be able to sleep through power outages with my a/c running full speed and no worries that the food in my freezer would go bad if the electricity doesn’t come back within the next 4 hours.

I realize how ungrateful I am being and how I must sound like a pathetic pretentious percentage of the population I described earlier. But what can I say? I find myself living in a new class-system in Karachi: those who have a super duper generator, those who have a regular generator, and those who don’t have a generator at all*. And I understand that this last group of people must comprise a huge percent of the Karachi population and are the ones who are the most miserable without having any alternative power source at all. And I feel so stupid and ungrateful about whining over having to get up every time the electricity goes and having to contend with spending the time being under only a fan. The reason I feel that this is so bad is actually not because I feel stupid and ungrateful but because I have to feel stupid and ungrateful over such a ridiculous condition. This just goes on to show how bad the electricity situation in Karachi has become when even people who own generators are not happy and the power outages continue to have a negative effect even on people who have an alternative source of energy. I am frustrated because I have a generator that is not powerful enough. And this frustration is not because I envy those who have a bigger generator but because it is still extremely inconvenient for me to go through the hassle of turning it on and off 16 times a day (and night) and still not being able to use every thing in my house. KESC is failing Karachi on not only being unable to provide adequate electricity to the city but also because it is now responsible for creating so many different problems on so many different levels, e.g. creating all sorts of weird psychological problems, what with all these various generator-related inferiority/superiority complexes and these new kinds of stupefyingly stupid social syndromes.

Isn’t all of this extremely pathetic**?


* I am currently ignoring people who have UPS and invertors installed in their houses, as they would be a topic of some other post some other time.

** not my ingratitude, but the distressing electricity situation in Karachi. Well, ok, both my ingratitude as well as the distressing electricity situation in Karachi.