The transformer outside J.N.U collapses and the entire campus is left without electricity for a day. The worst is yet to come as the generators in the school of life sciences run out of diesel and shut down. Research scholars panic as they're not sure if the electric supply would be back in time to save their glycerol stocks!
It started off like any other day, the sun peeped from behind the clouds and the only question that I had on my mind was whether or not I will reach class on time. It was August 2, 2010, a Monday and like any other Monday, or rather any other day, I was reluctant to get up. I somehow managed to pull detach myself from the bed as it was already 9.36 which meant that I had missed breakfast again and this also meant that now I will have to rush through my morning activities. Why do I repeat this everyday is a question my friends would love to have answered!
I somehow managed to reach my class. I was late by 5 minutes. My very gracious teacher did not comment on the lack of my punctuality. I was saved from an apparently embarrassing situation. All this running around made me sweat like a pig and for the next ten minutes I was wondering if I could ever reach the class early enough to get acclimatised to the environment. There were another 45 minutes for the lecture to get over which I, in fact all of us in the class, somehow 'went through'.
Next we had to refill our empty stomachs and off we went to SIS for our favourite South Indian cuisine, not to forget the cold coffee. Having lunch, or in this case it was brunch, with my pals is on of the best things that I like to do. All the crazy things we discuss, the stuff that we do, it's all kind of rejuvenating. But this usually lasts only for half an hour or at the most one hour.
Now to the lab. Once again I had nothing much to do but since I had a lot to study, I ran off to the library and tried to read. As usual, I started feeling sleepy in some time and came back to the lab and took a nap which was very essential for attending a lecture at five in the evening.
I woke up at 5.05 p.m. only to find that there was no electricity in SLS. Research scholars had to come out of their labs to fight off the heat inside the labs. The windows there might have never been open in years were now welcoming the air. The gels stopped running, thermal cyclers stopped, centrifuges stopped rotating and the bacteria growing in the flasks inside the incubators didn't know what to do! After all this running around, everything had come to a standstill. As if all of us were stuck in a traffic jam.
Gradually fear started creeping in the minds of the students. What if the power supply is not back soon? What if the generators are not re-fueled in time? What will become of the bacteria in the incubators? What will happen to their years of effort stored in the form of glycerol stocks? What about the experiment that had been started in the morning, the one for which they missed their breakfast and even lunch? Will everything go to waste?
The electric supply was resumed at six. There was relief but not without a revelation of how dependent our lives are on technology today.