Maharashtra Power Outage - Lessons!

The citizens of Maharashtra faced a sudden jolt, both literally and figuratively, today morning when the lights went out of our lives - pun intended.

Several parts of Mumbai woke up to a sultry humid morning with the fans and the ACs accompanying the lights in their state-wide revolt. The power outage hit the citizens where it hurts the most. More than the fans, the ACs, the hot water, it was the Mobile Data and the Broadband Connectivity that was missed the most - which meant that 'work-from-home' had become 'bored-at-home' within several households that were facing the brunt of the connectivity issues. The workaholics couldn’t work, the aspirants relying on devices couldn't study, the shopaholics couldn’t shop on the Amazons and the Flipkarts of the world, the ‘shirkaholics’ couldn’t even waste their time on FB, Insta and YT.

I was especially irritated as this disrupted my entire morning routine. I couldn’t log in to work and not expecting this to happen, I hadn’t put my Phones, Laptop or Tab on charge either, which meant each of these devices zonked off in the next few hours. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined a day-long blackout (which happened in and around the place where I live). The ‘power-cut’ had made me ‘powerless’. More importantly, it made me realise some crucial lessons.

One, I hadn’t prepared myself for this outage. There were things that I had lined up to do today but due to the blackout, all those plans were washed off like the sandcastles on a wavy beach. All of us have succumbed and continue to succumb to procrastination, which I feel is less laziness and more the fear to do the task that we’ve kept in abeyance. This procrastination leaves us vulnerable to unforeseen events such as this blackout or even some urgent stuff at home that requires our attention.

Lesson 1:
TOMORROW may never fall in line,
Even if it does it might NOT be MINE!
So Task Prioritization is DIVINE!

If you’re a serial-procrastinator, identify the reason as to why your mind wants to delay an activity. If it is pure laziness, then visualise the consequences of NOT doing that activity and if you DON’T WANT that outcome, then get your mind to DO that task, PRONTO! (well if you're Ok with that outcome then you should re-look at your Task Prioritization, maybe you can delegate that task or avoid it altogether). If the procrastination is on account of fear then identify what the fear is and address those fears through clear actions which can allay those fears. We tend to procrastinate important things because we feel that we HAVE TOMORROW but what if the tomorrow that WE WANT doesn’t come or comes with such constraints that we are unable to fulfil the promises we made to ourselves and others YESTERDAY, thinking that TODAY (which was yesterday’s tomorrow) we will solve/complete everything.
BOTTOMLIME - Those who live for tomorrow never live the present, they just wither it away!

Two, technology was supposed to be our saviour and in many ways it definitely is but the way I and so many others were impacted today because of lack of it, it made me realise that we have become ‘slaves’ of technology instead. This kind of addictive dependence on technology spells DISASTER for all of us as we keep getting lured and baited into the ephemeral pleasures of instant gratification. In fact, it has become so bad that if we are asked to stay away from all forms of technology for an entire day, let alone a week, our mind shudders, unable to think clearly, just as it would happen in the case of an 'Addict'. The only difference is that this technology addiction (excessive usage & dependency) is far worse as it not only maims our mind but also diminishes our ability to think independently, solve things on our own and kills our innate skills due to a lack of self-reliance.

This blackout made me realise that I was feeling helpless for several hours without being able to work or even engage myself. Then it dawned on me. Why do I need technology to work or even enjoy myself? As soon as this realisation sunk in, I requested my better-half to get the chess-board out and after several years of intellectual drought (thanks to the tech-addiction), we finally played a mentally stimulating game of chess. With my mind now charged and active, I took out a pen and a dusty ‘NOTEBOOK’ (never written a word on paper in the last few years) and started penning down the thoughts for my next lecture. While I was working on it, I heard a cacophony of voices downstairs. The kids who - till the blackout - were inside their homes, watching content on different channels, be it educational or otherwise, were finally out in the Sun and doing what they were supposed to do in the first place at this age anyway - Play Outside (with Social Distancing of-course!).

Lesson 2:
Technology is a SAVIOR Yes but it can easily become our NEMESIS,
If we -
Don’t know where to draw the line,
Can't figure out that we are getting addicted.
We should spend some time away from Tech each single day,
To remind ourselves there is still a blissful Life away from Tech,
So that Technology remains where it is supposed to be,
Within our reach but not like an Albatross around our necks!

Finally, the blackout made me appreciate the simple pleasures in our lives which we often neglect - Standing in the balcony, letting the cool breeze evaporate the beads of sweat owing to the sultry weather inside, watching the kids play in the courtyard, hearing the birds chirp in a mellifluous unison yet surprising harmony which gets lost in all the daily rigmarole, hustle and bustle and Last but certainly not the least, sitting down as a family, breaking bread and talking to the loved ones to our hearts’ content.

These are things that don’t need a reminder to be done but unfortunately, the world we live in, compels us to forget these lessons. It takes a blackout to remind us. But the bigger worry is once the blackout is done and dusted, will we forget these truths again?

Hopefully, this time we won’t need another blackout!

#techaddiction #selfreliance #NoProcrastination #Prioritization #SimplePleasures

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