In the days of old, most people do not have to worry about lightning strikes simply because they have little or no electrical wares. And since most houses have tall trees around them acting as lightning rods, people lived in relative calm during thunderstorms. Unless, off course, if they happened to be out in the open field when it happen, or high up on a branch of a tall tree. Oh, and another; those tall trees around their house, do sometimes attract lightning. And when that happen, chances are the tree or part of it, might come crashing down on the house. Still, this is rather remote.
Living presently and in the city, one's daily life can be severely affected during thunderstorms. Like last Monday afternoon.
It has been the norm for me to pull out the Internet Modem's connection whenever I suspect or know of a coming thunderstorm. And I seriously thought I did, and thus went down to read papers with Emak and not worrying about the PC itself as most electrical appliance are quite safe with the main switch of each house shutting down automatically when there is a sudden electrical surge. Rare, but when it does happen, it would then lead to a blackout. But hey, the temporary darkness is better than having all the appliance burnt to crisp.
Lying on the sofa with a Harkah in hand, a sharp crack of lightning whizzed inside the living room, followed by an extra loud thunder which literally rocked the smaller items in the house, and had me jumping up in shock. It may have been in my mind only, for had it not, then surely I would have been burnt to cinders. Still, at the precise moment just before the crack, I saw a flash crossing my lower legs. The Malays would call it 'kilat', as it definitely was not a 'petir'. And neither was it 'The Kilat', a band that rose to fame in the early '70s for winning the 'Juara Kugiran' competition on RTM1.
Anyway, after saying zikr, I later went up soon as the weather permitted, and tried to go online as usual. But woe me, I soon found that the crack I heard was real as was the strike. My faithful modem which had been serving me for almost 3years now, refused to come to life; it, was struck by lightning! Well, power surge via the telephony line actually. Still, it left me dumb struck for 2days.
Looking back, I am off course thankful that it was just the modem. But, it made me wonder: Could not we have a more safer appliance like days of old?
I remember my arwah grandmother had a gramophone which had thick needles that can sew through the tough hides of an ox. Off course, I am exaggerating on that last part, but the point is, it was safe to play even during thunderstorm as it was not electrically operated, rather, hand-cranked. I imagine, many would be suffering stiff shoulders each morning having to crank their modem and PC the previous night just to stay online. As much as I would like to come online anytime irrespective of the weather, alas, I do not think it is a good idea.
Its quite a pity that I have yet to take a picture of the gramophone, which sadly, only the shell remains now. Perhaps, the picture below would have to do for now.