I don’t have a lot of time this week for a nice fat blog post, as these project deadlines are getting down to the wire and I’m trying to stay off the computer when I’m not working. But I’ve got a few odds and ends I’ve been meaning to share.
The image above is a fairly typical Indian lightswitch panel, and it is to me one of the deep and meaningful mysteries of the East. There may be a few of these in each room. Generally, maybe half the switches on any given panel will appear to work as you flip them in confusion, and there will be little or no consistency or predictability between panels. At some point in a new place, you will be informed that you have left on a light on the exterior of the building that you couldn’t have seen from inside. At another time, you will realize that you actually did have hot water all along, you just hadn’t found the right switch; or perhaps that you have accidentally turned off your fridge. And then on another day, the landlady will show you that you need to have a certain switch on for the doorbell to work, and that it sounds a little something like this:
Not only that, but it’s a different melody every time. There’s something pretty damn surreal about hearing “Oh Susanna” in your South Indian living room.
There are still several switches and outlets throughout this apartment that remain unidentified. Perhaps, if I watch and learn and immerse myself in the local culture, I too may fully realize the truth of the marvelous power hidden within the Indian lightswitch panel.