Friday, January 2, 2009

Load Shedding is a Capital Bitch

The load-shedding schedule for my area looks like this:

Sunday Monday Tuesday
04:00-10:00 08:00-14:00 08:00-14:00
17:00-23:00 20:00-02:00 20:00-2:00

Wednesday Thursday Friday
08:00-14:00 04:00-08:00 02:00-08:00
20:00-02:00 14:00-20:00 14:00-20:00


These are each 6-hour blocks, twice every day, for a total of a staggering 84 hours every week. Of these, hours falling between 9AM and 6PM are: S:2; M:5; T:5; W:5; Th:4; F:4; S:4. If we exclude Saturday and Sunday, that is still 23 hours of a work week of 40/45 that is without electricity: more than 50% of the time we twiddle our thumbs, if we happen to work from our home. If we happen to be a lowly writer, for instance, who must depend upon deadlines met to earn a living. We are a sorry lot in Kathmandu at the moment.

Nepal is no place for enterprise anymore. I am told a lot of businesses are fleeing to India. Banks are considering cutting down on weekdays: that is a serious indicator of how serious is the problem. Himalayan Bank, one of bigger, more successful banks in the country, says it saves upwards of Rs 200,000/- if it can close shop for one day every week.

I guess people like me can go back to improving their handwriting, perhaps benefiting from their new acquaintance with the page. But it is a different aesthetic of composition between typing and forming alphabets with the hand, and there is usually a subtle shift away from a set style or mood. Sentences do change their length, their flow, to adapt to each form. Expression does become affected, whether one likes it or not.

In any case, I have until 2AM to write something useful for a meeting tomorrow.

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