Madrasapattinam: Jan 1, 2075
Dear Great Grandpa
The world today is dramatically different from the world you lived in or even the world I grew up.
My grandma, your daughter, used to cook great dosas. Today cooking is for the uber-rich. The middle class lives on tablets. It isn’t that they are sick; just that there is one molecule for every type of food. It’s light on the purse. Like a generation was once shocked when frozen food replaced fresh vegetables may be you are shocked to know that frozen food has given way to molecules. Of-course people visit restaurants but it’s expensive. By the way, can you believe there are food-packets which have no expiry dates?
GGP, the “jeans” has survived. Calvin Rogers and Levi Strauss, who made the earliest jeans in 1873, should be complimented for conceiving a product that has stood 200 years. These days it is the cloth for all seasons and all occasions. The variety, if any, is in the shirts or the tops. Depending on the weather, the dress either cools up or cools down. Sweaters have gone out of fashion; and blazers are ornamental. As we grow older, the shirt grows bigger by itself. If my son wears the same shirt, it shrinks down. Dress colors automatically change with your mood. Dressing isn’t physical; a gesture of the hand will do. Women don’t wear jewels.
GGP, no one lives in concrete houses. You know something? A house can be redone, yes redone, at choice, week on week, as they are built on the modular concept. You can CKD (completely knock down) the home, wrap it in a box, take it from Madrasapattinam to Dilli or to Donedone (ha you folks called it London) and reassemble it there. Homes have sensors. At the anointed time breakfast is readied by a robot, the house is vacuum cleaned, you are bathed and the car auto drives the Missus to the nearby tea-kadai. The bloody robot can read you. When you feel hungry or the cleanliness level at the home goes down or when you suddenly decide to travel he steps in. Like that.
You can buy an expensive gadget that allows for virtual transport. You can travel upto 10 kms at a time in the blink of an eye. So, if you have to travel 1,500 kms it takes about 150 blinks. Vehicles do not need petrol; they run on air. Swanky cars are dead; the super-nanos are in. No traffic signals and no traffic cops. Cars talk to shops, buildings, and other cars; so there are no parking problems (and barking problems) and there are no accidents. The bicycle is the preferred mode of commutation. It can play 10,000 songs, it recognizes fingerprint, can go on its own, and is light-weight. Many vehicles ply at 500 feet above the road. They can alternate between the road and the half sky based on traffic.
E-mail is now a very 20th century product. The mobile is dead. Everyone has a UID. To talk to a person you have to read-out his UID; if he accepts the read-out, you can converse, hands free, unmindful of where the two of you are. Once the talk starts, you can see each other. Conversations are auto recorded in the clouds and can be called back in the case of a dispute. A small toy called the H-ASST is the key to everything. It operates the radio, television, car, house security, bank locker; is used to speak to people, helps you see what your children are doing and is super smart. It fixes appointments and schedules meetings. It’s the CEO’s new girl friend.
Pre-natal scanning gives warning signals on future diseases. Medicine is hence preventive rather than curative. Cancer, hypertension, diabetics, meningitis hit you only if you weren’t cautious. 80 year olds look like the 50 year olds of your generation. People are living healthily till 120. Home sensors monitor health; and in the event of a crisis the robot acts as on-the-spot family doctor. It also reminds you to take a pill. Surgeries are virtual; no scalpels.
You can upload your intelligence by downloading computer information directly into your head. Blue collared workers earn zilch. Those in the service sector are the new middle class. Specialty professionals are the super rich. Leading the brat race are scientist and lawyers. Architects and high-end doctors come second. Engineers and accountants are a distant third. People are working longer hours but mostly from homes. They go to office for recreation and socializing. They visit Mars and Jupiter for vacationing. During winter, they holiday in the Sun.
GGP, gated communities have replaced cities. Hospitals have become less sparse. People and machines can talk to each other and even read thought. Chips are implanted in people’s body to help pay for purchases. You can reload them. ATMs are dead. There are no physical banks. H-Asst is used to transfer cash and make payments.
Physical games are gone. It’s all virtual. Most things are one; one language, one currency, one government. Robots vote in elections. Everything now is so godamn different from your times. That’s why auctions are a big draw. Last week, Mahatma Gandhi’s walking stick was sold for 900 trillion dollars.
But GGP; one thing hasn’t changed. Men continue to marry women and vice-versa. Robots wed robots.