Last night I came home from a one hour invigorating walk by the sea. Took off my shoes, switched on the AC and put a bowl of fresh jasmines soaked in cold water in front of it. As the light fragrance filled the air of my small but cute studio appartment, I decided to wash up and make dinner.
Didn't want anything too fancy or complicated. So toasted a couple of slices of brown bread, smeared it with butter, drizzled a bit of lightly melted honey, and had it with chilled mangoes. It was so good that I actually ate my supper in silence. The mangoes were cool and sweet with just a hint of tartness that served as a reminder that they weren't canned. And the bread - well, they were toasted to perfection. Dark honey mixed with yellow butter on crisp brown bread sure looks beautiful. I decided that someday I would upholster the seats in my library with silk of that color.
Then lied down on my sofa, switched on the TV and settled down to watch a good-looking albeit dumb sitcom. It was the kind of program where even the canned laughter seems forced but everyone in it has poker-straight hair and glossy lips, including the men. Was really content about it all when suddenly the lights went off.
'Suddenly' is a rather inadequate term to describe just how the lights went out. I felt like the rabbit that was suddenly stuffed into the magician's hat. One moment, there was the lulling hum of the AC, the steady purring of the fan, lights, good-looking people on the TV drawling, 'We need to talk', and then suddenly....nothing!
I got up from the bed and looked out. The entire area was pitch dark. I could see lights in the far distance and looked upon them wistfully. I was the ostracized alien living on a lonely planet while other life forms were partaking in civilized life. The only sounds to console me were the soft rustle of the palm trees and the incessant honking of the autos (whose attention do they seek to get on an empty road at 11:45 p.m.?).
I fumbled and found a couple of candles. One was a beautiful ivory one with dried leaves and flowers embossed on it and scented. The other one was its rather plain cousin - white, straight, made of wax and did not cater to any olefactory whims.
Turns out, when there's no electricity, you need a candle with a good wick and not the scent of Italian meadows. The scented diva just refused to light up, while the stoic plain Jane rose to the cause and burnt with a steady flame.
I went back to my bed and looked around my appartment in candlelight. Odd shaped shadows lounged around the smooth marble floor and the occasionally nestled in the generous folds of the drapes. Urban chic , I believe, such a sight is called. Then
I turned the other way and there it was - my TV. No goodlooking people on it, no music, no color, no shape and without it all, my television was a 'big, black, box.' Gasp! I saw the cliche in its original, ugly form!
Yup. A TV without pictures on it seen in candlelight - not so pretty!