I don’t mean to be a pessimist but given the problems plaguing the world today – be it the economy, climate change, or the obscene amount of airtime hogged by Arindam ‘I Look Like Kamala From Haji Ali Traffic Signal Went To B-School’ Chaudhri – it is safe to assume that the future will also be a giant load of bollocks deep-fried in misery. But once in a while, we get a glimpse of what lies ahead, and if you ignore the small stuff like war and poverty, the future does look cool.
I’m referring to the Google Glass preview that released this week. For those of you still using Yahoo, probably to send across pictures of your cave drawings, Google Glasses are wearable smartphones fashioned as a pair of spectacles, except that the lens is a heads-up display controlled by a voice-based interface that will enable users to oust the current set of Bluetooth-headset sporting douches from Douchepur.
Thanks to these, you could be out on a stroll while also being in a hands-free video-chat with someone halfway across the globe, thus revolutionising the way humans get hit by traffic. I’m curious to see what the competition will do. I imagine Apple launching its own version called iEye, which would cost twice as much, because of exclusive features such as the Apple logo and a sense of unbridled growth in the trouser region.
Then India would jump in with its low-cost indigenous version called Aakash Glasses, which would run off the same lightning fast processor that powers Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speech. You could use Aakash Glasses to take a picture of your newborn baby in the delivery room, and by the time the kid turned nine, you’d finally have a great shot of the nurse’s armpit. And if you accessed Twitter, it would redirect to a picture of Kapil Sibal giving you the finger.
Another cool sci-fi experience became reality when a meteor broke through the atmospheric nakabandi and crashed into Russia. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to have a 10,000 ton hypersonic space missile explode above you, thus reminding you of your insignificant existence as a human-shaped container of organic mush flitting about on a tiny bit of space detritus which could be destroyed any second by a game of celestial marbles, so I’m just going to quote Carl Sagan who best described this awe and wonder with the phrase, “HOLY MOTHER OF TOTES AMAZEBALLS.”
A lot of Russians don’t buy the meteor story and are lapping up theories such as that the meteor was a US missile, an alien spaceship, or a message from God. This is what happens when an entire nation is breastfed on vodka.
It’s not like India would react any better. Firstly, how would we even know if we were hit? Bombay roads already look like they were made by launching meteorites into the ground. If anything, a meteor strike would be an improvement over the BMC’s work ethic. Also, anything that wipes out Saki Naka will always have my vote.
But assuming India were hit, we’d quickly turn to our contingency plan, which involves Manmohan Singh wagging his finger at the sky and condemning the meteor. Then Sushil Kumar Shinde would step in and ban tinted windows, thereby eliminating the possibility of future strikes. Meanwhile, Arnab would yell at meteor fragments until they broke down and confessed to being Pakistani, while India TV would launch their special feature, “KYA METEOR HAI BHAGWAAN KE NAAK KA BOOGER??”
If cyborg vision and space attacks aren’t reason enough to look forward to the future, well, then slap my bottom and call me Sally. The only way it’d be better is we figured out how to end all that war and poverty stuff. If not, can we at least get Arindam off the air and back to Haji Ali?
(Note: This is my HT column dated 24th Feb 2013. Cross-posted from here.)