I was sitting with my roommate and scrolling through the TV channels when this godforsaken movie ‘Love Story 2050’ appeared for a moment.There were some scenes in which cars were flying; apparently they were showing 2050 AD. Friend snapped, “They show just anything and want us to believe it. Flying cars. Ha”. I didn’t reply and forgot the comment the moment I saw ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’ playing at another channel.
I would not have written this piece if I had not read a news a couple of days back in Economic Times about an American company Terrafugia which seems to have succeeded in making an automatic flying car.Published along with the news was a photograph of the car which reminded me of my friend’s comment and took me to contemplate my 26 years of journey called life. (Please keep reading, it was first and last philosophical cliche I have used in this piece. I promise, there is no more)
There was a time when I used to run around in small red shorts and my legs had no follicle growth. It was the time when my parents would take a long walk after dinner to one of the omnipresent STD booths to talk loudly with their parents (STD calls required talking at loudest voice possible for the sound to reach the other end); and they would let me dial through the Rotary-Dialer of landline phone which I enjoyed a lot.
As the time passed, Button-Dialers replaced Rotary-Dialers; Cordless phones emerged; then a appeared a small giant, Mobile phone.
Just 10 years ago, if somebody had told me that one day, I would have all the information in the world at my fingertips and that I would be connected to the world through internet day-in-and-day-out with a super multi-functional device which would work with just a mild touch, my reaction would probably have been “Yeah! and the pigs will fly”.
I remember watching a small black and white TV at my grandparents place. I was proud that we had a big CRT colour TV with 8 channel buttons connected to a big antenna which had to be adjusted to a certain angle so as to get a clear Doordarshan. I remember shouting “aa gaya… Gaya fir se… bas!bas!bas! Clear hai… arre…fir se gaya” while my dad would try to set the antenna.
I remember spending hours in setting up a cable frequency that our antenna would catch from a huge parabolic dish nearby. It was the time when Zee Horror Show would scare the hell out of me, I would never miss Duck Tales and yes, I believed that The Undertaker dies and rises back from the grave.
20 years ago, while setting the aluminum TV antenna which had probably shifted some 2.5 degrees because of a stupid kid’s Kite that stuck over it, if someone had told me that there will be a time when every house in the city, and even in the villages, will have its own small and stable dish antenna which will show hundreds of TV channels, including more than 50 News, movie and cartoon channels each, I would have said “Yeah! And Baba Sehgal would be a Superstar that day”.
Then there was a time when my dad would drop me at a video game shop to play Contra at Rs. 10 per hour. Eventually my family saw in-house Satyagrah, or whatever it is called, when I decided to abstain from eating food until I get a TV video game player with cassettes having Contra (1and 2), Mario and WWE games in them.
15 years ago, while pressing the hell out of video game’s remote buttons, if someone had explained me motion gaming console, I would probably have asked, “Will I be able to Hunt the Duck with a real gun?”
Not long ago…
30-33 photograph-albums a trip was the only option with reel based cameras, International Space Station, Test-Tube Babies and Clones were a Hollywood Sci-Fi imagination, Booking movie and rail tickets required slogging in the queue for hours (still required in case of tatkal bookings, thanks to irctc), PC’s and TV’s were about a foot wide, and Tablets were just ‘cute’ medicines, Congress was the party of learned intellectuals (atleast I thought so, CURSE ME NOW!!) and Rajnikanth was just another South Indian actor.
In past 25 years, we have developed at a lightning speed.
Let’s see where we are and what the world is up to…
Richard Branson has already tested first space flight, over 530 space travelers have already booked tickets, and first passenger flight is expected as early as 2014, A couple of weeks ago, a two year old kid got her wind pipe made from her own stem-cells, Google Glass is the new buzz and Sixth Sense Technology (SST) is the foreseeable future (if you are unaware of SST, search and watch 30 min video of Pranav Mistry to get amazed), America and Japan are already succeeding in instilling emotional feelings in Robots, I already mentioned about flying cars, Buzz Aldrin wants US to colonize Mars by 2040, Nano technology is gaining speed, and God knows what they would achieve with God Particle.
Flying cars till 2050?? Dear roommate, be ready to embrace much more.