Friday, March 23, 2007

It’s an over-smart world!

I am thrilled and nervous at the same time! Life has become simple and complicated. There is abundance of choice and limitation of time. I am thankful to have born when the world decided to eject out of the decidedly slow past, but scared that my future generation would not be able to cope up with the escape velocity.

Did you ever think countries will be trading carbon surplus in lieu of economic benefits? In our language it means “I burn less and pollute less. So let me trade my surplus with a country that burns more, in return for other economic benefits”. Smart solution to a practical problem or stupid answer to a fundamental flaw?

First there were simple pollution masks and now in my own adyar there are oxygen parlors! Will my kid sport a tiny pollution filter as its first gadget? Will some smart company sell me fragrance over the internet, which I can use to recharge my kid’s pollution filter, so that the kid breathes aromatic air? If it happens will you call it the affordability of technology or suffocating abundance of options?

If you think the above mentioned thought is science fiction, sorry you are out-dated. Check for “Fragrance cartridges” in google. There is a way to send fragrance over the internet.

My cell phone can understand who is calling and tell a customized response to them through SMS without me having to decide what to say. It can recognize voice, capture movements and ships them all to my blog with just two button pushes. Now I cannot live without it. I communicate more than the cave man did. Now I communicate even more than my earlier generation does. Everyone’s having a story to share, as it happens, when it happens.

There is smarts everywhere. There is choice. There is money. There is a craving. The smarts find answers to this craving and the craves have the money to pay for the smarts. It a vicious cycle of ecstasy that breeds dependence and complexity.

I think somewhere the secret passage to a new world had opened and we are marching fast towards the comforts and pains it can provide. What you might read blow would be downright bizarre but will certainly happen within the next 10 years!

My TV will soon understand who I am and show me a list of programs I can watch – drawing from my browsing patterns, mobile phone usage, channel surfing patterns and even my mood. I will not need a remote very soon. My hand movements or simple nods would be enough. Soon it will go outdated and my pollution filter fit to my nose will sense the breathing patterns and decide if I am angry, romantic or scared and accordingly play American pie or Ring or Gladiator.

My cable company will tell my mobile phone vendor and the game company that am watching gladiator. I will get a video call from some simulated babe who will talk in my language, asking whether I would like to download a free version of the new gladiator game. The game company by now would have sent the same free version to my gmail.

As I watch the movie, my TV will show that I have a new game on my PC and if I want to compare a chapter of the movie with the game and show the relevant portion of the game, so that I can play that portion of the game.

My couch will soon realize that am sitting in the same posture for 30 minutes and start massaging my butt. If I had paid an additional 500 bucks to the furniture store, he would have fitted a small Bluetooth device, which will communicate with my mobile phone and send an sms to ‘Sanjeevanam’ that am doing a home massage. They would send back a message to my TV if I want a relay on how to stay healthy and if I want “Raja Keeyam” food for lunch.

My western closet would have got a communication from the same couch that I may need a warm water massage and the next time I shit, it would spray warm water to clean, than the normal water!

Roughly three hours after my visit to the loo, my fridge will ask me by sms or mail or tv message whether I need some juice. Perhaps my BMI would have been monitored in some perfectly logical way.

The world has cracked the rhythm of inventing. One thing leads to other and we always know what next and how to go there. As the game gets exciting, there is always an end. Even today am frustrated and feel suffocated about how much people know about me, how they guess where I am, how they know when to reach me and how easy it is to be aware of me. How much our lives have become like “Truman Show”!

When my kid grows up s/he will not have the option to opt out. I have now and I’m not exercising it yet as I am not bored of the excitement of this escape velocity travel. But when its boring to my kids, they simply can not come out, because the simpler world is ceasing to exist in front of our eyes!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Alternate Professions for Team India

With such a scintillating performance against Bangladesh, Team India might well not return to India. Even if they manage to do so, through the underground gas pipeline through Iran, they might still not find their jobs as cricketers. We thought we would provide them rehabilitation advices and who knows, some of them might even consider these seriously!

Sachin Tendulkar - He is the most versatile (er?) player. In the mornings he can lift the MRF tire and keeping rotating like the MRF Man and in the evenings he can charge himself with tiger biscuits. In between he can try an audition for Mowgli of Jungle Book.

Virendra Sehwag - Oh he already has a full-time job ready. The number of andae he has laid, it would take time for him to collect them all.

Rahul Dravid - When the team comes back to India, he can stand in front of the mob and utter absolutely believable statements like "Boys tried their best". Even if someone throws an empty pepsi bottle, it wont hurt much. After all, he's the wall!

Dhoni - They are searching for a new kid for our "aarogya naalarai paal" and Dhoni has no other job anyway.He can also launch his own hair saloon and upsell mysor sandol there.

Yuvraj Singh - He is such a marvellous fielder and has enthralled us wih his dives. The dolphin show in ECR has not been doing well at all and we will literally jump a this job!

Agarkar - He just lacks consistency and line. We would recommend him to work with PWD or Telephones department. His lack of skill suits here very well. He can start the trench anywhere and end it anywhere. We will figure out how to drive, inspite of all this.

Harbhajan Singh - We suggest he opens a restaurant next to Cozee in besant nagar and sells 'Doosra'..err..."Dosa"

Sreesanth - We heard this dude sings well. Being a mellu and hinduu, our dude has a bright future with Ayyappa devotional songs.

Ganguly - Our man has a way with stripping. So how about a pole dancer in a strip club?

Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel - Oh opening bowlers? Know swing? Fast? I think I will retire my car and these two can carry me through the traffic. Fast and easy to manuveur.

Mandira Bedi - She can make noodles from her noodle strap blouses!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Should I not hope?

I'm not the Mother Teresa type. My idea of helping the society is capitalistic. In India, there are more people who need jobs than there are. India needs more people who can provide jobs.
The best way to serve the needy is to equip them to be self sufficient, to be ready for tomorrow and to make their lives sustainable beyond a generation. We are educated. We are equipped. We are smart & capable. If 1 in 10 of us become entrepreneurs, the ripple effect will generate livelihood and sustenance for generations that we won't live to see. That's transformation.
It's for this reason I dont resort to any kind of charity - feeding beggars, sponsoring food or providing medical help. I instead work and equip myself, so that one day I can create jobs. For this same reason, I do come forward to helping students with fees once in a while. I derive immense pleasure in teaching and mentoring. But am appalled at the lack of accountability of the receivers of acts of charity.
Money that isn't theirs, money that comes with no toil and help that comes without a rider, though born out of deep desire to transform is often wasted and misused.
I learnt a hard lesson this week. I had a vegetable seller at my door at 6 15 am in the morning. He was in tears and woke me up to say that he needs to pay exam fees of 615 Rs. I don't know him. But not believing him would have costed him his studies. So I gave him a cheque, without asking for any proof.
The boy came back yesterday, saying inspite of giving the fee he could not attend the exams becuase he has the term fees not yet paid. He needed 1115 Rs. Then again my loss if he was unreal will be lesser than his loss if he was true and I din't pay him. So I wrote another cheque. But he did say that he has got the money from a charitable trust and the money would reach him in the evening and he would return the money back to me the same evening. I was ready to gather help for him to continue his help.
The guy has not called me since then. He has not returned the money, nor has he come to say that he has not got the money from the trust and hence using my money. Where's accountability?
I have lost a bit of money, but lot of hope! It's just hard to find deserving people who are accountable also. I could have done well to go with him to his college or ask him to bring some elders with him or so many other things, than give in to false sense of fulfillment.
More than a loss, its my lack of insistence on accountability which has mde me sit up and think!
Watch where you put your charity and better, make the receiver know you mean business even when it is charity!

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