Growing up, electricity was always kinda playing hide and seek with us, especially during nights, in my hometown. Power outages were a regular occurrences and part of everyone’s lives. These outages were more frequent during Summer season, cause of increased demand. Though, I am pretty sure that the number of households with air-conditioner, would have had been very few in those days (at least in my hometown), the distribution generally does not depends on the needs of one city. Other than the increasing demand, I am sure the production and output of power would have been less than the normal demand of the days. It has been like that in India, as long as I can see in the past. A gap in the supply and demand!
But, this post is not about the power situation in India. Not about, the production, supply, and demand of electricity. But, this post is about recalling those summer nights, when electricity was out, and we used to sit outside in the lawn, under the moon and stars. As soon as the power went out (it was almost a fixed time, every night), we used to pull folding chairs outside, and then sit and talk. The neighborhood used to come alive during those power cuts. You could listen to conversations going on, across the boundary wall, shrill cries of babies getting irritated due to the heat, sharp noise of children trying to play and have fun in the night, under the light from stars, moon and candles or emergency lanterns peeking from the open windows of the houses.
Those days, fireflies were quite common and present everywhere. At night, as kids, you could enjoy the faint yellow glow and marvel at those flies. It amazed us as kids. I remember, we used to catch few of them between the hollow of our palms, and then peek through a slit between fingers at the yellow glow. At times, I remember, catching a few of them in glass jars and then doing nothing but staring at the yellow tail. As soon as it was time to sleep, even if the power did not came back, most of the times, we used to release the trapped fireflies back to nature, their natural habitat.
It’s been ages, since I saw a firefly. The same way, it’s been ages spotting house sparrow. The fast change to climate, must be causing changes to the ecology on the whole, which has disturbed the eco-system for many birds, insects, animals. I am counting on seeing the fireflies once again, sometime in future!