The Night is Dark (and Full of Terrors)
Anonymous | Aug 14, 2017
The continental Rourkela weather has always been a tad too much for those of us who are unused to it. With the onset of monsoon, the humidity has surged up, and now in addition to the heat, we always have to deal with the sweat. So, it’s become fairly commonplace to wake up earlier than I had planned to, in a pool of my own sweat (which by the way is not pleasant). Unfortunately, life is unexpected and here at NITR even more so.
It goes without saying that the academic area needs a constant supply of power because there are expensive equipments in a few labs that cannot be suddenly shut down, and classes in LA are unbearable due to lack of proper ventilation. Thus a convenient alternative is to let the poor Hostels suffer power outages without any backup, because the mess food isn’t bad enough and we don’t have enough space crunches, already! I find this even more strange, because a couple of years ago, we did in fact have power back up for almost all the hostels, and maybe we’d gotten a little used to that luxury.
It is understood that power is a scarce resource and with the growing demand, cuts will become even more frequent – what I don’t understand however, is how nobody has a clue about it. No matter who you call, and what you ask, the answer remains the same, “We don’t know!” So, we’re basically left in the dark literally and figuratively about why there is no power, or when it’ll be back, if at all it is. So I don’t even know who to direct my grievances to anymore!
After a long and exhaustive week of classes (since we still have an ungodly number of credits to complete) you think just maybe the weekends will provide a respite (this probably applies to professors too), but you end up as zombies with nowhere to go, because your room is too hot, and so is the sun outside. You don’t have internet to distract you and help you forget about the heat, not that we get a lot of internet these days anyway, but at least there’s the intranet at those times which doesn’t work without power, either. You’re constantly trying to calculate how much charge you have to last the power outrage and fighting off your urge to use your phone. Some people even try to study, but not even that is possible without power because laptops need charging, and we all remember what it was like sitting in LA-104 during mid-April, and don’t fancy doing the same in our rooms!
It keeps getting worse, actually – because no power, means it’s only a question of time before the water runs out too, and then you’re left sweaty, tired and dehydrated. I know, as engineering students hygiene isn’t supposed to be our top priority, but some of us still need to take baths and that doesn’t happen, either. If we’re particularly out of luck sometimes the outrage pulls through to evenings when we have to make a tough choice between leaving windows open for ventilation and allowing mosquitoes and other hosts of discovered and undiscovered fauna into our rooms.
A campus shrouded in darkness might rouse an occasional poet in you, but in all honesty with the rain and mud, I’m just worried about where or what I’m walking on. As an ambivert, most of my socializing happens when I see people on the road and exchange small talk, but now I can’t even do that because I only see mobile torches and flashlights. I remember only last semester we were told to steer clear of Dark Places, and now the irony is that there are only Dark Places. I mean sure, some people are probably making the most out of this opportunity but some of us, would really like the street lights back on so we know we’re not stepping on a sleeping dog.
The entire NITR community seems to be suffering and we’re losing out on sleep, water, work, and leisure – but nobody seems to know why. We seem to have accepted this as our fate and our trying our best to navigate around it, but I think our mental faculties would do better dealing with the finer aspects of life, instead of worrying about basic amenities like we had to in the Dark Ages. After all, “education is the movement from darkness to light”, but we seemed to have gotten the order a little mixed up- are there any Red Priestesses who can help us find the Lord of Light? After all, with the great responsibility of being the future technocrats of this country, isn’t it time we got some power, too? If not, some answers would definitely be nice.