Power failure for three hours.
Turned on the generator - it's big, 32kva, enough to run the whole house.
After half an hour the lights began blinking and went off, though the generator was still running.
Switched off the generator -- still no city-power -- started it again.
After five minutes Mary ran from the kitchen, saying the room was full of smoke.
Ramesh followed her there, and saw a tube light burst into flame and fill the house with a reeking stink.
I ran to the office to turn off the power there, but was in time to hear four big popping sounds: the UPS, two power strips, one light bulb.
Switched off the generator, tried to phone the repairman.
The electronic phone system has a UPS connected to it - that wasn't working.
There's also a backup telephone on the old system, which gets activated when there's no power - that wasn't working.
By the time the city-power came back, the generator office was closed.
Guests were coming.

The fridge wasn't working.
I bought fuses for the power strips, but they popped immediately.
I called the electrician, generator repair, fridge repair, telepone repair.
I failed to reach UPS repair, CD player repair, cable modem repair, water heater repair
The day was full of repairman.
The generator repairman claimed there was a cable fault, and that the underground cable linking the generator room to the house must be dug up and replaced. Ramesh forced him to do a few more tests, and it was discovered that one small component, called a totaliser -- which measures the number of hours the generator has run -- had burned, causing the entire mess.
By the end of the day everything worked but the CD player, the cable modem, the UPS and one water heater.
I couldn't use the computer till the UPS was fixed, or until I got the right cables to plug it into the wall socket.

The UPS guy took the UPS and promised to bring it in the evening. He lent me two cables to plug in the computer.
The modem guy has done something from afar that has started the modem working.
My Jack of all Trades, Palani, is taking the hot water heater apart, not for the first time, and putting it back together again.

I'm going to make a page in my fledgling illustrated journal: a black border decorated with dead and wounded appliances. Fire and smoke from the tube light bleed into the center of the page, which is grey with smoke. I will recount the incident in big black letters. At the bottom of the page I will glue a tasteful assortment of burnt fuses and sundry other damaged gizmos. It will be entitled POWERLESSNESS

I hope that regular service will be resumed tomorrow.

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