Thursday, November 29, 2012

In The Driver's Seat ...

Recently, during a trip to Chennai in India, I was chatting away merrily with the driver of my cab. He was in the driver's seat of course, while I sat behind. This man has been driving for 25 years, he is raising 2 daughters and lives with his wife. His dreams are simple. They are more singular than plural. 

He wants to give his daughters an education. His smile never faded as he tried to describe, with a perfect blend of mellowed pride, some of the famous places we crossed on the way in his broken English, and also talked to me about his family. He learned English without reading books, first by listening to people who always sat behind in his car, and then by trying to strike a conversation with them. 

He also pointed and showed me the area where he lived, and told me that he commutes from there to the hotel he works everyday by an ordinary bus. I asked him how long it took him to commute and came to know that he starts at 4 a.m., has to change bus once, walk some of the way, and reaches the hotel a little before 7 in the morning. 

It took less than an hour in the air-conditioned car ...

Life can be humbling at times. Talking to his man, I felt happier than talking to so many Tom, Dick and Harry's, who claim to be the bigwigs in the driver's seat, and own a lot of fancy things, while taking the back seat always. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Over the moon!

Recently I read an article about a future aircraft that could be in operation in another 20 years!
That probably means somewhere in my lifetime huh?
We are talking of an aircraft that can carry passengers from Tokyo to New York in less than 2 hours. Great!
Who are the people who would require that kind of speed? Maybe the top 0.000001 percent of billionaires?

Well, don't go by that percentage because I just conjured it with a lot of zeros. We are also looking at a world with widening disparity and poverty, some veiled and some quite open enough to provide stunning footage's for journalists.  

We cannot solve our daily set of problems. We cannot make water for millions, a commodity touted to become scarce in the near future by famous experts. We dream of fighting aliens from outer space with our courage and technology when junior high school level physics should tell us that those "aliens" who have the technology to travel millions of light years to come and visit us could smash the best of our technology to smithereens within fractions of seconds. Also, think about this. Aliens who are so advanced as to travel millions of light years, do they also have time to be petty enough like us, spending hours, days, months and years thinking of revenge and jealousy and politics and gossip? Wouldn't they rather be having thought processes that have laser-like precision?

 We don't even know where to dump our garbage, both non-nuclear and nuclear. We haven't yet been able to visit our next planet. But, we must always try and fly over the moon to get to New York from Tokyo!