ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary AM PLEASE do come if you want to be regaled by the folk tales of Bengal. Calcutta's normal intake of power is close to 600 MW every day. For the past few weeks, it is getting only about half of that. Industrial production is on the verge of collapse, workers are being laid off in their thousands. The offices are still open, but nobody puts in any work, the lights and fans are out, the bosses' air-conditioners too. Clearing stops in the Reserve Bank, the electric trains halt mid-way, water cannot be pumped into the central reservoirs, the city, filthy in all seasons, is now confronted by the prospect of coping with the long, sultry summer sans water. Epidemic is round the corner; once it breaks out, the city, practically without any defences, wilt be a domino. Colleges and schools work listlessly, if at all, teachers and students come and go, they talk of the hell of the night, they talk of the hell of the day: dark, dark, dark, heat, heat, heat. Young people, who have to sit for their examinations, grope around in the dark, and the stop-gap arrangements for lighting, depending as they do on kerosene and gas, are equally chancy. Shops close early, and those vast sheets of darkness, the streets and thoroughfares, are taken over by the knife-wielding fraternity. Cinemas cancel their shows; the director, shooting a film, is left stranded in the midst of a crucial take: theatrical performances arc ordained to unintended climacterics; even before Des- demona could be throttled to her death, the cut-off of power puts paid to Othello's demonic anguish. As economic activity droops here and there and everywhere, that awesome factor of inter-dependence comes to its own: x pulls y down, y pulls z down. z pulls something else down

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