New Jersey-based real estate agent Madhuri Pundlik shares her Sandy experiences with Ritu Jha.
"I feel like I am in the Stone Ages," says Old Bridge, New Jersey-based real estate agent Madhuri Pundlik. She misses her smartphone, which is now not-so-smart, thanks to the lack of power.
"I used to text or receive a phone call every second," she rues.
"Nothing can prepare you for a storm of this magnitude. We were alert, but not scared. Since my house is on elevation and never floods, we were more relaxed. We went shopping -- buying groceries, candles, batteries -- and also withdrew cash for 'just in case' situations.
"Little did we realise that we will lose power and all the vegetables and frozen foods that we stored in the refrigerator would go waste."
October 28 morning, the day Sandy hit, was spent in anticipation, talking to friends, exchanging info situations, and watching the news.
"Around the afternoon, strong winds started blowing," Pundlik recalled. "At about 6 pm the trees in our backyard started swaying to the gust and making scary noises. We lost power at 9 pm and since then it's like living in the Stone Ages. We easily adjusted to our new life without power. We still look at our microwave, oven or cable box from time to time, laugh and look at the wall clock. Our hands customarily go to the switch each time we enter a room, closet or bathroom. Then we smile and use a flash light. We are lucky to have hot water. Friends who were without hot water came over to take showers."
Pundlik might be missing her smartphone that connects her to the world, but the storm "has also brought out the humanity in people. I see people wait in long lines to get gas; they are patient and courteous and still smiling at each other. We all know the situation and feel the same. Friends have more time to spend together as there is no office, and we have decided to do pot luck. We reminisce about the old days and share our life stories with my son. Suddenly we have more time on our hands. And we seem to enjoy it somehow."
Image: A tree uprooted by Superstorm Sandy snaps cables in New Jersey