Via BBC News: BBC reporters: India's power failure. Excerpt:
Here in the sweltering desert of Rajasthan, people have been waiting for rain. Electricity is particularly important in the month of July when students go to classes to prepare for exams and academic competitions. They need electricity at night to get their work done.
But this is also the season of no rain when humidity is high, the heat is sweltering and people get taken ill. Hospitals desperately need electricity and will be very worried about what the power cuts will mean.
In Jodhpur, shopkeepers are sitting idly outside their shops unable to handle transactions. People are sheltering under the shade of trees to keep themselves cool and doors and windows have been opened as people try to cope with the intense heat.
Pilgrims who have been making journeys to holy sites on foot have also expressed fears that there may be no light as they sleep on the roadside when night falls. The light gives them a sense of security.