Yesterday was Valentine’s day. With no one to spend my day with, I decided to plunge into dreamland (wearing psychedelic clothes and the inscrutable pencil-moustache) to sing romantic duets with my heroine from South India. But then, as happens in all movies – the villains buzzed their way into the scene. It was a host of “bloody mosquitoes”. The time was 1:30 am – For the nth time, it was a power cut (till 4:00 am)!!! Maharashtra’s energy minister, Mr. Dilip-Walse Patil says there is no power-relief till 2008. Hurrah! To meet the shortfall of 5,700 MW(megawatts), the State Government plans to borrow power from captive power units run by companies. It also has plans to get the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd. (RGPPL) operating at its full capacity of 2,100 MW per day from November-end. The big question however is ‘Where to get the fuel for RGPPL from?’ This inevitably will come at the cost of the consumer, as the State Government has been threatening to buy fuel at an exorbitant price. Load-shedding is not the solution. In commercial establishments, people have changed their work timings to adjust to this bizarre scenario. The net result is the same – the same amount of power consumed. The way to tackle the problem would be to educate the public about the power crisis, prevent power wastage and pilferage. People must take the initiative to save energy, be it at offices, public places, or their homes. Mumbai might enjoy uninterrupted power supply today, but if their seemingly callous attitude continues, it won’t be too long before they too are in the dark! The bottom-line is – A watt saved is a watt earned! God said let there be light – and MSED(Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution) played spoilsport. Well not exactly! All our festivals have been celebrated with great fanfare since time immemorial and the trend continues. Mega-watt decorations and blaring bhajans have always received preference at the cost of the common man. Let us not forget the cacophonous and fatuous campaigning of our political parties organize during elections. These “Power Derangers” (I have taken the liberty to coin the word Deranger from derange) have paralyzed the state with their petulant “Power Plays”. To paraphrase what Dave Berry said – “The only reason why I believe that electricity exists, is because the electric company keeps sending me astronomical bills for it.” Whatever be the case or the cause, we definitely are “light-years” away from interminable electric supply. Well on a “lighter” note, one good thing is children from areas like Amravati, Kolhapur, and Panvel will definitely be the indisputable champions if Blind Man’s Buff is organized at the National Level. Also, couples no longer will have to pine for those rare and romantic candle-light dinners. “Groping in the dark” has now assumed a totally different meaning!!!