Or maybe it was the solar flare that was scheduled to hit earth today.
Whatever – when I got out of bed this morning at 6 a.m. it was to the shrieking of the UPS – which was strange, because,
a) We weren’t having a power cut just then.
b) The UPS was off.
I went and pressed the UPS’s button, but it made no difference, so I roused Amit. He spent half an hour dismantling the UPS to remove the battery and examining the trip switches at the main electricity meter outside. The entire study was without power – something had blown a fuse. As the morning progressed, I got half-hourly updates from an increasingly irate husband, until he almost blew a fuse himself. It was not just the UPS that was fried – in fact, that was merely the tip of the iceberg. The phone line was cooked. The modem was roasted. The router was toast. In the end he went to the terrace and found that the line that swings gracefully over the treetops and across our terrace was nicely burnt to cinders and lying in a charred mess in the middle of the road.
This was interesting. At first, we’d postulated a short circuit in the UPS itself, but that couldn’t possibly have travelled all the way up the phone line to the treetop. It must have come the other way – through the phone line (before it burnt itself out), to the modem, and thence to all things connected by any bit of metal, even if in the wrong direction. I mean, you’d usually expect power to go from UPS to modem, router etc, but in this case something had not only jumped from the telephone wire to the electric wire, but then proceeded to travel all the way upstream to the UPS. It might or might not have been a freak streak of lightening (we didn’t really have any jagged lightening yesterday that I’m aware of) but it does make for an eye-catching headline, don’t you think?