When the tall tress of our village situated in the Western Ghats got entangled into the over head electric wires, we were without electricity for over twenty hours. Highly understaffed, the MSEB personnel told us that they were switching off the mains till we trim the trees. Young and able men of our village climbed the many rain soaked slippery tress in the blink of an eye.
They cut the entangled branches using axes and koytas with utmost precision of each stroke that landed at the exact place the previous strike had made a cut in the tree or a branch. The cutting of the branches had to be done skillfully so that these did not fall on the wires. The whole operation lasted for three hours while it rained and gusty winds blew.
Three wire-men arrived with just a ladder and climbed the cement pole to accomplish the rather tricky operation of joining the wire in midst of a downpour. The youngest of them, a young man was on the top of the cement pole for over an hour and he said he does this low -paid difficult job in the hope he will be made permanent some day. The cement poles are particularly dangerous as these are brittle unlike the metal ones he said.
|Wire-man sitting on the electric pole. Photo: Nandini Oza|
All of us ended the operation by eating leaf – cup full of fresh honey from the two honeycombs that had fallen with the tress- at the cost of the honey bees sadly.
|Fresh Honey from a Honeycomb. Photo: Nandini Oza|
My job in this was to coordinate the operation. My reward, enjoying the rains, and discovering the many mysteries of the Western Ghats.