Friday, 19 June 2009


In Mumbai, when we bought bulbs, we bought in bulk. Like at least ten at a time. In my most recent abode there we had tube lights that came with the house and then some sockets in which we bunged CFLs. In the old abode on the high high higher floor, in a misguided move we had installed some 'light fixtures' - they sucked royally and bulbs fused every other minute and blew the wire along with. The husband bought boxes and boxes of bulbs to satisfy the craving the fixtures had. Usually we walked into a hardware store and identified the type of bulb we required and said

Ek box dena (or deejiye)

The guy tested every one of the bulbs in the box and forked it over in exchange for the ruppees.

Here also we have wierd looking fixtures on the wall. A friend who has done the same (temporary) move as us and rented a similar house from same source insists that she hated the fixtures and needed to get them all changed over. I don't hate these as much as I hate my own light fixtures in Mumbai, plus, I do not have sufficient patience to tolerate changing of so many things now. So I am going with the fixtures. They are all fitted with 40W round, yellow bulbs. As and when they fuse, I am changing over to CFL. They fuse often. Plus there are so many places to light up on the outside etc. that we have had plenty opportunities to move on to CFL as any sane human being would.

With visions of our Mumbai purchases, I dragged into the hardware store.

Bulbs irrukaa?

They were irritated. Bulbs in the Electric store they yelled. Oh okay. I went to the Electric store, after purchasing a cheap-ass kitchen drain trap thingie since that was missing and incidentally available in the H.S. (and not in the E.S. of course). The Electric store guy had THREE CFL bulbs. I went down the road to the other one. He had NONE. Though he did offer to hook me up with four round bulbs, a kindness I had to turn down, because, you know, BAN THE FUCKING BULB already.

Of course, I did operate in semi-darkness last week (three round bulbs of 40W each are hardly enough to light up a room enough to allow us to read). But now finally I have done some adjustments, gone ten times to various E.S. in the area and we have some semblance of light in the home.

Should I smuggle bulbs from Mumbai, I wonder.

While at it, I should smuggle alcohol too. Its a nightmare to get something as simple as a bottle of beer here. While really, all I had to do was ring 2570xxxx and he would land up with the chilled goodies in about three minutes (I suspected at times that come Saturday he would be half way to our flat already, knowing fully well that we would call). And by the way, the booze store there gave us a box of chocolates as a Diwali gift for being the preferred customer.

The crazy thing about India is that at times its hard to believe its the same country across the length and breadth of it. I mean you have the usual floods in one part drought in the other type situations. Then there is the generic weather. Then there are all these cultural differences (what else can I call it?).


Serious Lounger said...

kewl, moi respectful suggestions are as follows:

1. a the place you live in, the owners are not likely to haul ass and buuy thinggies such as bulbs. SO suggest you make a queeck trip to nearest spencers/foodworld/nilgiris/AVBirlaMore to buy the bulbs.
2. As for the beer, behind the IITYUM i am sure you would remember there is the shakti wines, the big bro will know the place as rumour has it that he spent most of his fourth year there :D :P.

So with those pearls of wisdom i shall waltz away.

Parul said...

LOL@looking for bulbs in hardware store. And tragic stuff about the beer, lady. My sympathies.

choxbox said...

oh its not just india. at least as far as bulbs go.

we must have easily changed abt 500-600 bulbs in 8 yrs in that hse in ldn, that too of 6 different types. no electrician could ever figure out the problem.

Perakath said...

Who the heck buys bulbs in bulk?? Do you stock up on batteries as well too?

kbpm said...

things change. we were in college like twenty years ago remember? & even nilgiris has like four bulbs of the kind i want, not forty. It does great on snacks and rice and oil and so on, though!!!

yeah. tragic indeed.

heartening to hear (sort of).

no, absolutely no batteries, but somewhat obsessed with bulbs for sure.

dipali said...

Given the strange state of bulbs in desh, I find good old fluorescent tubelights the most happening. I've had CFL bulbs knock out fuses here:(
Though I am using the few I managed to buy here.

choxbox said...

:) @ shakti wines.

never bin there, but have heard several interesting tales in which it featured big time.

kbpm said...


yeah. i have been there but cannot for the life of me recall where it is. anyway its defunct now.