By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar
All cities of Pakistan were engulfed in darkness on the night of January 09, 2021. While the cause is still being ascertained, some reports claimed it to be an “engineering fault.” At 11:41, the system tripped causing the flow of power to be interrupted. The electricity across the country was resumed after a lapse of nearly 12 to 15 hours. The social media users, especially those on Facebook and Twitter, began sharing their reasons behind the blackout. Some said it to be a military coup while some humorously connected it to an alien invasion. While some were talking sense by saying that the power grid has tripped, the rest were sharing memes about this incident. While such a power shutdown and a blackout do not bode well for the effectiveness of the government, it did show us a lighter side of our nation. A similar power breakdown in a Western country may have compelled people to take on the streets, loot stores, and create havoc, the people in Karachi showed an opposite reaction. They began sharing memes and jokes about the power breakdown on social media. Such a blackout wasn’t taken seriously by the Pakistanis as we as a nation are accustomed to spontaneous interruptions of power that at times do last for more than 12 to 24 hours. Moreover, we have become prone to such incidents and events. Imagine the time in 2010 when Cyclone Phet entered Sindh and it was predicted that heavy rainfalls would occur in the province. The people of Karachi went to the Sea View to witness the incoming Cyclone Phet. They did so despite the authorities asking them not to. The power blackout was again a strong reminder to the people of Pakistan and to the world that we as a nation can withstand any hurdle unless it is not backed by political or religious differences.