Unsung Heroes!

It was a warm and bright weekend morning. I started for the usual weekend shopping at the local mall trying to beat the weekend crowd but the place was already teeming with crowd, mostly families. People were strolling across from their cars to the entrance as if it was a moonlit night. Kids were scampering across to get hold of the trolley for the family shopping.

Actually the heat here is quite bearable even with high temperatures. There is not much humidity most of the time. No complaints at all!

Fruits were in high demand even with such high prices. Somehow the price of most food items has sky-rocketed quietly. Watermelon seemed to be the most in-demand fruit. The moment the mall helper emptied the cart, they were disappearing into shopping carts.

I do not know if it is an acceptable thing or not in other parts of the world but here I see people, both kids and adults, drinking or eating stuff while still shopping around or while waiting in line at the cash counter even before paying for it! I haven’t seen it even in my home town Hyderabad in India!

When I came out of the mall I felt the hot air hit me from outside the mall. The car temperature meter showed the temperature peaking at 46° centigrade.

As I started driving back home I couldn’t help feeling sad for the dozens of  men working on the road project in the searing and sweltering heat. They start work at dawn and finish at dusk, working tirelessly, day after day, for a meager salary. Yet, everything gets stacked up against them whenever there is a change in recruitment policies!

In the coming days they would have some respite when work has to be compulsorily stopped from noon for three hours during the summer. That should bring a bit of a solace for them!

Soon the road project would be completed. It will be a big relief to the commuters as the overpass will ease the ever increasing traffic problems. It will be another milestone for the state. For the companies involved in the project, it will be another achievement, another feather in their cap, and lots of money.

But the sweat and blood of these men would be buried deep under the concrete structures. No one will even remember the hundreds of nameless faces who toiled day in and day out under extreme conditions. Truly, these are “the unsung heroes“!

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Travel of bat & jerseys to Mount Everest

The unfortunate death of Australian cricketer Phil Hughes on the cricket ground must be still fresh in the minds of cricket lovers. For days following that unfortunate incidence, when he was hit on the head by a bouncer that lead to his death, we saw outpouring of pain, sorrow and tributes from his family, friends, his cricketing mates and from the entire cricketing fraternity all over the world.

It is very sad and heart breaking for any family to lose a member of the family, especially at a young age. Another family must be going through similar pain and sorrow at the death of their 21 year old son.  Ankhit Keshri, a first class Indian cricketer, died a few days ago from a collision with a team mate on the cricket ground.

My sincere condolences to the bereaved families of Phil Hughes and Ankhit Keshri at their loss! May God bless them with comfort and peace!

The game of cricket, once called a “gentleman’s game”, has become dangerous since pace bowling and other aggression were introduced into the game. It has become more cut throat due to the gross commercialization of the game by rich businessmen and corporations.

A recent news item caught my attention. It was reported that Chhurim Sherpa, who was the first woman to climb Mount Everest twice in the same season, has started a third attempt to climb the Mount Everest. It is a very praise worthy and very inspiring news. I wish her God speed and success in her venture!

But what made the news more interesting, or rather very intriguing, is that she is carrying with her a cricket bat and two jerseys that belonged to Australian cricketer Phil Hughes. She will bring back these items with her when she returns from the conquest of Mount Everest. The items would then be placed in Australian Embassy in Kathmandu.

I do not really know what is the significance or sentiment behind this gesture or in what way it is a tribute to Phil Hughes. I do not even understand what is the connection between Chhurim Sherpa and Phil Hughes. She is a Nepali, a mountaineer, no way connected with cricket or with Australia. Nowhere have I seen even a mention of the interest of Phil Hughes in mountaineering, with Nepal, with Mount Everest or with Kathmandu.

One thing is for sure. This time Chhurim Sherpa is going to be known not just for the third conquest of Mount Everest, but more for carrying the bat and jerseys of Phil Hughes! For, we all know the power and magic of cricket on the people all across the world!

Sometimes it is beyond one’s normal reasoning to understand why certain things are done. Either people get carried away by the euphoria of the situation or there is an unexplained reason or sentiment behind the actions or it is simply done because someone thought that it should be done.

Whatever the reason behind the bat and jerseys travelling up and down Mount Everest, I find the whole business quite intriguing!

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Shot in the arm for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

I don’t usually get excited about the Indian union budget. It is always almost pretty much the same. Few carrots here and there to please the vote bank, otherwise mostly it is the same, “old wine in new bottle”.

But the Union Budget 2015 was a bit of a surprise. The usual vote bank carrots were surprisingly missing. In fact most common response to the budget from people was that the budget was in favor of corporations, because of 25% reduction in corporate tax and it was against the common man, because of the increase in service tax from 12.36% to 14.42%. Though the percentage increase in service tax looks small, the net impact could be quite big because of the ripple effect it could have on all services and commodities. It always does!

For me, the main surprise was the budget allocated for building Six Crores of toilets across the country under “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.

I was quite skeptic of the whole thing when “Swachh Bharat” was initiated in October 2014, with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rustling some dead leaves, surrounded by cricketers, film stars and other celebrities.

That was followed by some of his ministers getting on to the streets with much fanfare  and doing the sweeping act. It was reported in the media that truck loads of garbage was ordered to be spread on the streets for the ministers to sweep. That was very amusing news! India is not exactly Singapore or Switzerland where you have to go looking for garbage. In fact when you step out of the house you have to be very careful not to step onto garbage or dirt. Then why would the ministers order for truck loads of garbage to be spread on the streets! The only answer for that may very well be, “the ministers needed sanitized garbage instead of doing their sweeping act with stinky and smelly garbage”.

The Prime Minister also  managed to rope in big names like Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan to join in the campaign. In one of the media coverage’s, Sachin Tendulkar was being interviewed by a senior journalist out in the street. Amitabh Bachchan also joined in on audio. I thought, “‘Big B’ talking to ‘The God’, this should be interesting!”.

Before the discussion could get down to serious business, Amitabh Bachchan took a dig at the dark glasses Sachin was wearing. That only made Sachin squirm in embarrassment. The tone and the way Amitabh Bachchan said it, it really sounded more like pulling the leg than compliment! It is amazing how celebrities vie for “one-upmanship”!

Amitabh Bachchan opined that in Switzerland, school students were made to clean streets as part of punishment if they were caught flouting school rules. He suggested the same could be adopted in India also. What a wonderful and novel idea! Most children cannot clean their own rooms but we would be seeing them cleaning the streets! That will be the day!

In Switzerland they have different colored trash bins for different types of trash. Even if anyone is caught throwing trash in the wrong trash bin, they would be fined heavily. In India we do not have such a problem. Even if you are a civic minded and law abiding citizen, it would first need a big effort to find a trash bin. Even if you find one, you cannot even get near it. Being crazy fans of cricket, all you could do is take a shy at the trash bin and hope it falls somewhere close to the trash bin.

Building a “Clean India”  is serious work. It needs dedicated manpower, lots of investment and lots and lots of awareness programs. It cannot be achieved through part time involvement of celebrities. Using celebrities to attract the attention of cricket and film crazy public may work to an extent, nothing beyond that. After all, the celebrities too have a living to make and of course they have to worry about their personal glory as well. They may get their fifteen minutes every time they appear for the campaign, but beyond that they need their own time to continue to be in the limelight! No amount of public adulation and worship is enough for celebrities!

The allocation of budget is definitely a shot in the arm for the “Swachh Bharat” mission. Let us hope that it is the beginning of a much needed clean living for our country. But it cannot happen without positive attitude and realization of the importance of personal hygiene from the people. It cannot happen without honest efforts from men and women entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the projects.

The success of the campaign depends on answers to many questions.

  • Will the money be spent honestly for its purpose or will it go into deep pockets of corrupt and shameless individuals and greedy corporations?
  • Are there enough controls to ensure accountability and ensure that the money is spent according to plans?
  • Will the public provide the support that is so important for the success of the campaign?
  • Will the public and the politicians rise above political party affiliations?
  • Will the states cooperate with the central government?

We have to wait and see, only time will tell!

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The man with the lantern

Quite often in our lives, we are subjected to situations that seem to test our faith in God. There are many stories of “test of faith”, stories that reflect upon how people react when their faith is put to the test. I came upon one such interesting story that was narrated by one of the members of Legion of Mary.

Once a month, the members of Legion of Mary celebrate “Marian Devotion”. It is a ninety minutes of devotion, praying, singing of praises, and reflections on the life of Mother Mary.

There is an overpowering atmosphere of fellowship and brotherhood with everyone greeting each other as “brother” or “sister”, with smiles on their faces, feeling quite at peace. Sometimes, the priest also joins along sitting with the congregation. All in all, it is quite a peaceful, comforting and a solemn affair!

In between praying and singing hymns, someone reads out a passage reflecting on events in the life Mother Mary or narrates a story of faith.

During one such event, the following story was shared by one of the members. I do not remember the story exactly to the word but I have tried to narrate the story in my own words by trying my best not to lose its central message.

This is the story of a man who prevailed when his faith was tested several times, on the same day. The man lived in a small town. He was an average person, just like anybody. He believed strongly in his faith, not fanatically religious but reasonably righteous.

One Sunday morning the man started walking towards the Church to attend the Sunday Holy Mass. As he stepped out of his house, he felt the chill of the cold winter morning. He shivered a bit, hugged himself  and started walking towards the Church.

The Church was not very far from his house, but this morning, the walk seemed a bit difficult. It had rained heavily the previous night and the road was wet and slushy and it was still quite dark.

As he came to a bend in the road, it was a bit difficult to cross the path, as there was a large puddle in the middle of the road. As he started crossing the bend, he slipped and fell to the ground. His dress got considerably soiled. “Surely I cannot go to the Church with my soiled clothes”, he told himself. He turned back towards his house angry with himself for being so clumsy.

He could not understand how he could have slipped. He has been walking these roads all his life, but never once had he experienced this kind of an embarrassing situation.

As he walked back home, he heard a voice whispering in his ears, telling him that there was no use trying to go back to the Church as he would not be able to make it on time. But as he neared his house, he told himself that it was still not too late. He would still be able to make it if he hurried up. He quickly cleaned himself, changed his dress and started walking again towards the Church.

It was still quite dark, too early for the winter sun to rise. As he came near the bend, he was very careful, not to slip again. He was very happy as he almost crossed the bend. But as he was finishing the last few steps, he slipped again and fell to the ground. The man was furious with himself. He could not understand how he could be so careless and clumsy yet again! He looked at his dress, cursing himself under his breath, he started returning home dejected.

As he started walking back, again he heard the voice whispering in his ears, for sure he would not be able to make it to the Church.  He should forget the idea of Church for today! It is too late! But as he neared his house, his resolve grew stronger. He told himself that it was still not too late. At the most, he would miss the recitation of  the Holy Rosary and the Litany of The Virgin Mary, but he would still be on time for the Holy Mass.

He quickly cleaned himself, changed his dress and started walking again towards the Church. As he was nearing the bend, he saw a man standing by the side of the road, holding a lantern. As he came closer, he saw that it was a wizened old man. He did not look familiar to him, perhaps a traveler from the next town.

The wizened old man started walking along the man, with his eyes on the ground, not saying a word. The light from the lantern helped the man to see the road more clearly this time. Both walked in silence and as they neared the Church, the man thanked the wizened old man profusely for his help and consideration. The wizened old man did not say anything. As he turned to leave, the man asked the wizened old man to join him in the celebration of the Holy Mass.

The wizened old man answered, “I cannot enter the Church”. The man was quite surprised and curious, he asked “why not?”.  In a sad and defeated voice the wizened old man said, “I cannot enter the Church because, you see, I am the Devil!”.

That is when the man looked more closely at the wizened old man and noticed the deep, hollow, sad, sunken and deathly eyes. He felt a shiver run up his spine!

The wizened old man continued, “I knew that you were a man of faith but I was not sure just how strong your faith was. I made you fall, both the times, trying to shake your faith. But when you returned to the Church the first time, God was very pleased with you and He blessed you”.

The wizened old man paused for a moment and continued, “The second time when I tried, again your faith prevailed. God was pleased more and He blessed your entire family. Then I realized, that you are a man of strong faith and testing you further would only increase the number of people being blessed and I did not want that to happen. So I wanted to make sure that you reached the Church safely without any further incidence”.

With that, the wizened old man turned, walked with his head downcast and disappeared into the chilly winter darkness.

It seems that when your faith in God is strong unconditionally and unshaken, even the Devil will be forced to bend its knees at your feet!

One might say, “what was the big deal, he could have prayed at home!”. Sure, he could have prayed at home. But the celebration of the sacrament and sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist is central for Christian faith. It is an important grace given to the Christians. How could not a Christian yearn for that grace, the “Bread of Life”!

Community praying also has its own importance. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Mathew 18:20

 

Come to me all ye heavy laden….

I remembered this story I heard many years ago from a friend. It is about an “Ammachi” (an elderly lady). Come day break, she would walk a couple of miles on foot with a basket on her head to sell vegetables at the town market. At the end of the day she would trudge back home wearily with whatever was left in her basket. This was her daily routine.

One day an empty bullock cart happened to pass that way. The cart driver saw the Ammachi and offered her a lift to the town market. The Ammachi hopped on to the cart thanking the man profusely. After few minutes of drive the cart driver turned to the Ammachi and with an amused smile said “Ammachi, at least now you can keep your load down!”. The Ammachi had hopped on to the cart but but she did not realize that the load of basket was still on her head. She laid the basket down with an embarrassed smile.

I guess this is exactly what happens with many of us  in our lives. Even when there is a chance for respite, we continue to carry the load, even blaming others for our troubles! We are so busy with our everyday routine that we don’t even find time to pause, sit back, and ponder on our problems to find ways of lightening our burden!

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – The Holy Bible (Matthew 11:28-30)

Curiosity!

“Curiosity killed the cat” is a famous saying used to warn people not to get too curious because it could get them into trouble.

It is not always so! I personally know of two persons, Inquisitive Driver and Inquisitive Helper, who reached from “nothing” to “something” all because their curiosity got the better of them.

Few years ago we had implemented a system for tracking the movement of the company fleet vehicles. During one of the training sessions the trainer was giving orientation to a group of drivers on how to record the trips they made.

He explained that details of the trip was entered by identifying the vehicle through the Fleet Number. A meek voice came from behind “Is Fleet Number the Primary Key”? The trainer stopped dead in his track as if someone had knocked on his head, then with a surprised look on his face, he turned around to see who the Inquisitive Driver was. The other drivers giggled thinking that the Inquisitive Driver who asked the question must have said something silly. The trainer looked at the Inquisitive Driver and said “yes, Fleet Number is the Primary Key”. With that, the other drivers fell into an embarrassed silence.

It is quite understandable why the trainer was surprised at the question. Primary Key is a technical term used by database designers and computer programmers. A lay person is not expected to know about it.

We were quite keen to know how this Inquisitive Driver came to know about such a technical stuff. The explanation he gave was simply amazing.

He told us that before joining our organization, he worked as a driver for a software company. While transporting the programmers from the office to clients and back, he used to overhear the programmers discussing about their work. The driver was quite curious about some words the programmers used in their conversations.  Somehow, “Primary Key” caught his fancy.

Out of curiosity, he asked one of the programmers what “Primary Key” meant. And, thus began his journey of learning, culminating into his becoming a programmer. By asking many more questions and with the help of the generous programmers he became very much interested in computer programming.

Later, he took up a job as a driver when he got a better offer from our organization. He also told us that after joining our organization, he had requested the management to give him a chance in the IT department but it was rejected  as he did not have the basic qualifications as required for even the junior most post in the IT department.

As he started telling his story, we realized that he had a very good concept about databases, programming languages and even Lotus Notes. It was his lucky day that this episode took place during the training session.

The trainer took up the issue with the management by conveying the passion and the tremendous potential this driver had for learning. It needed special recommendations to push his case forward. Finally, the management agreed to send him for a basic qualification course. Inquisitive Driver has been given a chance to pursue his passion, all because of his curiosity to know something. I am sure, in due course he will be a very good programming resource for the IT department.

The second story is about the Inquisitive Helper who joined the organization as a “helper”, many years ago. At that time, the bar attached to our club needed a helper to assist the bar tender. The club management was trying to implement a Microsoft Access based system to keep track of the stock. When the system was ready for implementation, the Inquisitive Helper volunteered to do the data entry.

Whenever there was a problem, as the programmer would try to debug the programs, the Inquisitive Helper would peek over the programmer’s shoulder trying to figure out what he was doing. His interest in programming started to increase and he desperately wanted to learn more.

He borrowed books on programming and with the help of the programmer, his journey of learning began. In due course of time he started doing some very basic programming with the generous help of the programmer. Soon, word spread that the helper was some sort of a computer wizard.

Few years later, the management decided to do away with all desktop based systems by  consolidating the applications into the enterprise system. The management decided to give a chance to the Inquisitive Helper to work in the IT department. He grabbed the opportunity with both his hands. He spent hours, learning from books and other documentations, on his own, by staying late after office hours. This man with just secondary school education, with no formal IT education is today a very important programmer in the IT department.

According to a Danish Proverb “he who is afraid to ask, is ashamed of learning”. Millions saw the apple fall, but only Newton asked “why”. Because of that “why” today we are able to fly in the sky, in a mass of metal, comfortably sitting in a chair, thousands of feet high, defying force of gravity!

“Curiosity does not always kill the cat!”

According to a Chinese Proverb “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere”. How true! It is not just the curiosity but the thirst to learn, that makes a person successful! Learning is “an endless, incredible journey”, age, color, creed, nothing matters!

Puppet on a string!

Another day of closely witnessing the impact of technology on human behavior!

As I walked into the eye clinic, I saw the place quite crowded with close to a hundred people, ladies in the left wing of the waiting section and men on the right.

I got myself registered after a long wait. In between registering the patients, the clerk was busy with his phone, responding to messages and sharing it with his colleague sitting next to him and both having a laugh at something obviously quite amusing!

As I took a seat after registering, I noticed that the place was absolutely quiet. No one was talking to anybody. The only sound I could hear was that of technology.

A couple of ladies in wheel chair seemed to be just staring into space.Few older men were looking at the program on TV. One man was dabbing his eyes and waiting perhaps for the eye dilation. Everyone else seemed to be hunched over their smart phones or note pads or tabs, some poking with their index finger, some with both their thumbs and some just swiping the screen left, right, up & down.

Now and then I could hear the sound of the default whistle notification ring tone. There was a time when whistling was considered to be an act of indecency, even a crime. Even pursing the lips in the shape of whistling was considered as a sin. By mistake if you are caught whistling, then you had it. But how times have changed! The whistle ring tone does not bother anyone these days. It is cool! A definite sign that you are using a smart phone!

There were two girls smartly dressed in some kind of a uniform, must be in the security services, intently hunched over a “tab”. The one holding the “tab” was vigorously swiping across the screen, as if she was playing a video game. The other girl was having a tough time containing herself from having a go at the screen. The girl playing the game paused just for a moment, then the other girl could not resist anymore, she swiped across the screen. It was so amusing to see the two enjoying themselves!

Three adults, two men and a woman, sat huddled close together. No prize for guessing what they were doing! Each was bent over, busy with their smart phones. Don’t know why but they reminded me of a famous three-some!

An old man sat by himself with a small phone held close to his eyes. He seemed to be playing some kind of a game, I could hear the “plop, plop” sound. After some time, as of his hands were tired, he hunched over, almost doubling himself up, with the phone on his lap. Finally, the game ended or he got tired, he put his phone in his pocket, then he looked at the TV, squinted, put one hand across the left eye, then the right, then put his head on one arm and heaved a long tired breath.

The whole scenario looked quite unnatural especially for a place from these parts of the world where people have been known for their social and civil behavior. There were hundred odd people in the room and yet during the whole time I sat there, no one was aware of or even cared to know who was sitting next to them! No one greeted anybody. Maybe, it is a good thing that everybody was minding their own business not prying into others business. But then, whatever happened to the good old “civil or social human interaction”! I realized how chill the place was, not because of the air conditioning, but because of the deafening “sound of silence”!

From time immemorial, inventions and technological developments have played a big role in our lives, bringing personal comfort and economic and social development. There is no doubt that if used properly, technology will continue to serve humanity.

But it is the misuse or improper use or the addiction that is really scary! The scariest of them all is how our social behavior has gone through such a drastic change since the invention of “personal devices”!

Years ago, I had the good fortune of working with a Plastic Surgeon as one of the co-consultants for a hospital project. We hired his services to strengthen our experience in the “medical domain”. When I went to receive him at the airport, I saw him standing outside the arrival lounge totally tilted to one side. He looked as if he was in some kind of pain or discomfort. As I walked closer, I noticed that he had a laptop hanging on his left shoulder. Those days, the laptops were quite heavy, weighing few kilos. His left shirt pocket was sagging under the weight of his PDA, which was again a very heavy thing. He was desperately trying to balance the load of the gadgets on his left shoulder and his left shirt pocket by tilting to his right side.

I felt very sad for this man, standing there sweating and looking very tired and obviously in pain. It made me wonder, do we really have to carry a yoke around our necks, however exciting and fantastic the gadgets may be!

With the advent of smart phones and online social networking, social interaction has moved from the “one-on-one personal domain” to the “virtual domain” and how it has moved, it is quite sad! The elders cannot give any advise anymore on how to behave in this virtual domain. They used to advice “not to talk to strangers”! But that advise does not matter anymore! It is all about having more and more “friends” in your network, does not matter even if it is a stranger. You cannot even be sure that the person is really who he or she claims to be. Anything goes in the name of “networking”!

Popularity is based on the number of people you have in your network and how many of these friends are following you. According to a study released late last year, about one in five users were willing to add a complete stranger as a friend on social networks.

There is no doubt that the Internet and social networking has more good than bad! The speed at which communication takes place is incredible! We can instantly get in touch with our friends and loved ones, communicating and sharing unforgettable moments through text and pictures. But it is the obsessive nature and how it has altered our social behavior that is attaining scary proportions!

Today’s technology is so compulsive, so pervasive, so invasive and so intrusive, we seem to have lost total control over ourselves. One blogger compares people’s addiction to social web sites to “Pavlovian Dog Response”. The very sight of computing gadget makes us want to check our status on the social web site, just as a dog starts drooling at the sight of the food bowl or any other such stimulus. This response seems to be affecting people at work quite adversely!

Fred Stutzman, a software developer, created an application called “Anti-Social” to combat his “time wasting” habit. He realized that every time he wanted to check something on Wikipedia, one page turned into two to five to 10, and then end up spending hours learning about things but not necessarily getting his work done. When he came to know that many like him were suffering from the “time wasting disorder” and were desperately looking for help, he converted “Anti-Social” software into a successful commercial product.

Some people seem to be endlessly obsessed with themselves by posting pictures of self. Psychiatrists and mental health workers are linking excessive addiction to posting of photographs of self and addiction to “selfies” to mental health conditions related to narcissism (excessive obsession with one’s looks). Some experts are linking such behavior to “Body Dysmorphic Disorder”. According to an expert,  “selfie-ing” is a sure sign of how lonely the person is!

Some social web sites and other experts provide tips and guidelines on safe and ethical usage of internet and social web sites. But they will not tell you anything that would affect their business. After all, their business thrives on the number of users subscribing and getting “hooked” to their technology and applications. They cannot afford to scare away the users talking about bad things that could happen.

In one of her recent talks, a “User Experience Master” of one of the social media companies, says that one of the things required to design applications for the Internet is the “audacity” to believe that the thing being designed is what the entire world wants and needs, to live better lives! Simply, amazing! How can someone sitting in some corner of the world, know what the entire world needs? The plain truth is, most of today’s corporations just churn out stuff to get maximum number of people hooked to their applications and the number grows phenomenally. There is no need to attribute any philosophical justification behind it!

It is so frightening that our social behavior seems to be determined and controlled by few handful corporations. It is very sad, but with their so called “smart devices” and “cool apps” these companies have got us by the scruff of our necks, dangling like a “Puppet on a String”! They pull the strings, we dance to their tunes!

These are our new masters, the modern pied pipers. They play the tune, we follow them like hordes of mice. They tell us that it is cool to behave the way they design the applications and we accept them, we feed and gorge on their hype.

A new idea has been brewing since few years to connect “everything” to the Internet. It seems to be quite close to becoming a reality. As if it is not enough that they got us by our throats by giving us the smart-phone, perhaps now they want to get their hands on our television, our refrigerators, the coolers, the cooker and everything else in the house, may be even the combination to the door of the house and the “safe”. The day may not be very far when we will have a “numbered micro chip” embedded in our bodies to be part of the “things” connected to the Internet!

During the eighties, I watched a science fiction movie called “blade runner”. The story was about few “mega corporations” manufacturing genetically engineered “replicants” endowed with extraordinary powers. These “replicants” were so close to humans, it was difficult to distinguish them from humans. Only special police operatives known as “Blade Runners” could identify them through special interrogation techniques by monitoring retinal movements in response to questions.

While the very concept of that movie sounded quite dark and scary, today’s situation looks much more scary! The way they have been successful in altering the human behavior, could it be a grand plan of some mega corporations to turn humans into “submissive robot-like things”!! Considering the way we are ceasing to exercise our wisdom and our individuality and becoming slaves of technology, it looks quite a possibility.

From time to time the world has experienced and survived behavioral changes, some fascinating, some crazy, some abnormal and some outright scary. The world survived the hippies, their concept of “free love” and their LSDs, the long hair, the tight pants, the pointed shoes, the pedestal shoes, and the bell bottoms (I shudder when I see some of my old photographs! How did we wear those things!).

Can the world survive this so called “social” menace? Only time will tell….or will it, I wonder!