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 every once in a while, we get a glimpse of what
lies ahead, and if you ignore the small stuff like war and famine, the future does look kinda cool.
I'm referring to the preview of Google Glass that made headlines this week. For those of you who still use Yahoo, probably to send across pictures of your cave drawings, Google Glass is an augmented-reality device brought to you by the same people who know exactly what you search for on cold, lonely nights. These are wearable smartphones fashioned as a pair of good ol' glasses, 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.
With these glasses, you could be out strolling in the neighbourhood, 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 how the other players in the market react to this invention. I can already imagine Apple launching its own version called iEye, which would cost twice as much as the Google product, because of exclusive features such as the Apple logo and a sense of unbridled growth in the trouser region.
At some point, India would jump into the fray by announcing the 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. Also, if you tried to access Twitter, it would just 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 your head, 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 feeling of awe and wonder with the phrase, "HOLY MOTHER OF TOTES AMAZEBALLS."
Apparently a lot of Russians don't buy the meteor story, and are lapping up alternate theories such as that the meteor was actually a US missile, a crashing 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. First of all, 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 while condemning the meteor. Then Sushil Kumar Shinde would rise to the occasion and ban tinted windows, thereby eliminating the possibility of future strikes. Meanwhile, Arnab would be yelling 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, then slap my bottom and call me Sally. The only way things could get better is we figured out how to deal with all that war and poverty nonsense. If not, can we at least get Arindam off the air and send him back to Haji Ali?
Ashish Shakya is a writer and a stand-up comic. He co-writes the TV satire, The Week That Wasn't. Sometimes he's even sober while doing so.