It’s 11.33 hrs. I just alighted from the Metro train at MG Road station, Bengaluru to commute to my workstation at Richmond Town by walk. Although walking to work has its own health and economic benefits, people often ridicule it as Nat(y)araj express. However, neither do I dance, either when alone nor I walk very fast like an express. I am well in my late 30’s but people around me say that I walk with a hunched back, like an octogenarian. Thankfully, they didn’t tell me that I walk like a Parkinson’s patient, lest I would take days to reach my office.
In the simmering heat of the late summer, expectantly praying for the monsoon showers to bring the mercury down, I wipe the thick sweat blobs on my forehead with an already fully soaked handkerchief. It has no further absorptive capacity, but I use it to smear my sweat all over and make myself relatively presentable.
I join a batch of swarming people on the newly constructed footpath to march towards my office. As I walk past, I see a Porsche Cayenne fabricated in all possible colours of the rainbow. I instantly recalled seeing it through my workstation cubicle, making me wonder what made this dumbo insanely deface his premium car (its worth INR1.92 crores, ex-showroom) to insignificance.
Anyways, I had better things to think and do for the day and these thoughts deserved the shortest of one’s attention. I walked into a cafe coffee day to quickly grab a chilled drink. A glass decal mentioning fruitilicious fiesta prompted me to get into the store and grab one of those relatively expensive drinks to quench my thirst.
I received a phone call from my colleague to check an important mail. I thought to myself, what a timing! as I sip and relish the orange twingy flavoured drink.
As I open my laptop and connect it to a mobile hotspot, and launch Google Chrome, I am pleasantly surprised to see a colourful Google doodle with colours similar to the shades of the Porsche Cayenne that I just saw crossing the road. I usually don’t get into the details of the doodle, but not today. As I clicked the doodle, I saw an infographic walkthrough right from 1969 until 2019.
Further details revealed that Google is celebrating 50 years of pride and acceptance of including LGBTQI community. Although my sexual orientation is straight, I share similar thoughts with google and the community. The world belongs to you as much us. Period.
I quickly complete the work and keep the laptop in my branded leather bag. I come out of the store, walk for another mile and reach the office.
After the day job, I take the same route back home. I rarely use smartphone personal assistant, but use Alexa at home for a variety of reasons right from asking for the time, current temperature, playing songs and listening to the news. But, it is not connected to any of the other devices. By that definition, I still live in a dumb house.
But, like most of us, tax and non-tax payers included, I own a ceiling fan that hangs on the roof. And as an Indian and a stickler for reputed brands, the fan belongs to the Usha company.
Currently, the Indian Usha doesn’t talk to American Alexa. Usha is a conservative, regulated, shy and task worthy, she has all the traits of a typical Indian lady, except that she doesn’t talk! On the contrary, the western American Alexa is very talkative, multi-talented, plays games like rock, paper and scissors, makes mathematical calculations and is told to eavesdrop too.
While the former makes me comfortable with a night of restful sleep, the latter makes me seem lazy and dumb with loads of useless information. Worse, for answers that she doesn’t know she mentions “Sorry, I don’t know that” in an indifferent humanoid voice.
Looks like there is an unwritten rule between them of not trespassing each other. But we live in 2019, an age of connected devices through IoT and the year of celebrating the golden jubilee of an ignored community.
There are attempts to make this humble personal device as the master controller of the house through IoT technology. So, Alexa will now control Sam(sung) TV, Philips trimmer, and Bajaj air cooler, who are relatively the masculinists brands. I am sure, these brands will love Alexa and even impress her with dutifully. “Your wish is our command to work and impress you”
Wonder if feminine fights akin to Queen bee syndrome would be unleashed if attempts are made to connect Alexa with Usha Ceiling fan and Sony TV.
Or should the air of pride and dignity prompt them to fall in love, again and again, and settle as love birds?
I don’t have an answer.. what would you wish?