A few days ago, there was a little drama that took place on the main road where the office of the Mylapore Times is located.
Black jelly spurted from the tarred road, flames shot up, the smell of burning wires enveloped the place and smoke swirled up.
Once again the local power cable which supplies power to our building which is set in a complex owned by Chennai Corporation had crumbled, unable to handle the load required to keep over 30 shops and offices going.
The impatient, evening rush-hour traffic smothered the drama and we resigned to the inevitable - working in the sweltering heat and under emergency lamps and in candle-light.
We have learnt to work around the daily dose of hour-long power cuts. And when the unofficial ones strike us, I some times choose to go up to the terrace and sit under the canopy of a Rain Tree that rises from the neighbour's compound and spreads across our terrace.
If the sea breeze sets in in the afternoon this is the place to be.
During one recent break on the terrace, I mused over the idea of fixing solar panels to draw natural power for our Macs and making little of the current power crisis.
Perhaps, if we did this we could convince a few others in this complex to adopt the technology. And get the Chennai Corporation Commissioner to acknowledge this effort!
There are a few simple ways in which civic and community issues can be addressed locally.
The effort is missing or is rather lame.
Recently, a resident of the Adyar neighbourhood wrote to the 'Adyar Times' newspaper to highlight the practise of local shops using all the lights and neon signs they had fixed inside and outside their shops at a time when we are facing a sever power crisis.
This was a timely point to make.
But did the Electricity Board officials of Adyar get to read this letter?
If they had, they could have started an informal campaign to coax shops to switch off their 'decorative' and promotional lighting and thus save some power.