Alternating Current (Part 2)

After a few days of waiting, the E.B. informed us that they were sending two people to check our line today.

Alternating Current (Part 2)

Note: This is the second installation of a 2-part article. You can read the first part here.

After a few days of waiting, the E.B. informed us that they were sending two people to check our line today. We quickly went into action, rehearsing the plan we had worked out to explain the problem to the E.B.

The setup: My brother Pulippo (Ares Vallis) was stationed in the bathroom, where our electric-kettle had been filled and plugged in in place of the washing-machine. My father was out at the front of the house, next to the switchboards. One of the bulbs there was switched on.

To practice, my mother walked up in place of the E.B. people. “Current vandach-aa? Has the current come?”

“When I put only one bulb”, my father said, “then it works fine. But the moment I switch on the second one…”

I put on the second switch, and the second bulb came on. But the click of the switch was also the cue for my brother. He put on the electric-kettle, making the supply drop by a hundred volts.

“…everything becomes dim”, my father finished.

End of rehearsal. The electric-kettle and bulb were switched off, and kept ready for the final show.

We never got to actually carry out the plan. Before long, the electricity went off completely, and we could see our E.B. lineman, Murugaraj, walking with his assistant and checking the electricity lines. On the way, they climbed one of the posts and made some adjustments. Then they continued checking, eating a few guavas that they found on the way.

All this we saw from our vantage point on top of the Hippo Rock. After some time we left them and came back to the house. And then…the current came.

We checked the voltage. The bulbs, the electric-kettle, the computer — everything worked perfectly. Presently, Murugaraj and his helper came up the slope. “Check your current now!”

“It’s working,” my father informed them, and asked what they did. Apparently one of the insulators on our line had cracked. Earlier, there had been an additional insulator problem on the main Valagapattu supply line, so their power had been dimmed as well. When that was fixed, Valagapattu got its current, but we still had a problem because of the other damaged insulator.

Murugaraj told my father he had also replaced a slightly cracked insulator. It was supposed to be done earlier, but he had been on leave, so he diceded to do it now as he was coming this way anyway.

Now, there would definitely be no problems, as the whole line had been checked, and the two faulty insulators were replaced with better ones…that were found “lying around somewhere.”


This is the second of a two part article, the first part of which can be read here. It was originally published in Sirius, issue #205 25 Oct-7 Nov 2015 “The Blueprint of Life”.

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