Loaded Driving, hic…

Driving around, loaded, had another connotation. It meant, driving under the influence, which resulted in a spell in the lockup. In many cases it is very dangerous for the people sleeping on the road side, as some Cine Stars and a few rich people with their fancy cars, are very well aware. But here, my subject is different. It involves the latest craze, driverless cars. Or rather, the heavy weight category, the trucks. Yes, driverless trucks!!

Yesterday the first driverless truck was put into service after umpteen trials, in, where else, the United States of America! And imagine what would be its cargo. Hundreds of bottles of beer!! Why would anybody take a chance with beer? Why risk invaluable beer for the inaugural driverless drive of a truck. I mean, they could have used some other cargo, as a bait. Maybe, useless stuff like vegetables or grains. But no, they had to transport beer. If, God forbid, the driverless truck had met with an accident. Then all the madira would have gone down the drain, to bestow unexpected happy hours to the denizens of the underworld. But surprise! The driverless truck had a smooth journey to its destination, 200 km. away at a very safe speed of 83 km/hr. The task of transportation without a driver is achieved by a placement of assorted cameras and sensors all around the outside of the truck, giving it a 360 degree exposure. The sensors constantly sense the distance of the truck from any other physical object in its vicinity and the cameras give it vision. In the inaugural journey there was a driver, who remained in a non-driving position well away from the steering wheel. His function was to take over, only in case of an emergency or in case the various auto functions of the truck went kaput. Ultimately, he was proved to be an extra where the hero of the day was the driverless truck, gently escorting the coy beer from the factory to the waiting hands of the beer-bellied denizens of America.

But I shudder to even contemplate about the same scenario in India. At least, such fragile cargos , like beer bottles will not be transported through the driverless trucks. For one there are too many desperadoes in the prohibition states who will find out all the weaknesses of such transport. They will immediately grasp the weakness that such trucks will stop in case they come in front of it. And by the time the road is cleared again, the beer bottles would all have been escorted out from the back of the truck leading to the celebration of the happiest hours by all the forced non-drinking drunkards. So let’s see how the driverless transport story unfolds in India.

Yatindra Tawde

A Dog’s Life

To study dogs smartness, owners learn new tricks, I read somewhere. So the world has turned a full circle, and instead of the dogs, the owners are learning new tricks instead of the other way round. Nowadays universities have Canine Cognition Centres and Yale University is one of them. Owners try to find out how smart their dogs are, so they push their dogs into participating in such centres. And these centres then grant diplomas to the participating dogs. And these diplomas are bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates. And the owners earn brownie points and bragging rights in Social circles.

My name is Rocky and I am not a human. I started staying with Sumaira’s family, in the USA, since I was a pup and she was a small child. She was and still is my best friend. When she was sitting in her pram, I loved playing with her and licking her face. In fact, I loved lathering the faces of all humans in my house, with my saliva. Her parents took good care of me and they too loved me a lot. I was served the choicest food, it was a tradition for me to sit below the dining table, eagerly looking for food morsels, which the family was kind enough to share with me. I was bathed every day by Sumaira’s father and involved heavy foam on my body, every two days. Oh! How I loved to play with the foam. And those walks on the campus were bliss. I loved to watch the falling leaves and being surrounded and petted by Sumaira’s friends. Sumaira’s father would throw a ball, and I would be off in a jiffy to fetch it for him. But surprisingly he didn’t like the ball, and would throw it again. But I did not like to lose it, so I fetched it again. This went on for a while, which made me lose my patience as well as my interest. So I would just sit with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. My days were very well spent in all such leisurely activities. Then two things happened, Sumaira started going to school and her father changed his job, now he had to go to further off places for work purposes. This made him tired in the evening, and he no longer took Sumaira and me to the playground. I started spending more time lazing around the house and disturbing Sumaira’s mother with my crazy antics. In the evening, I started hearing her complaining to Sumaira’s father that I am one dumb dog, how I don’t do any tricks, so on and so forth.

Once there was a get together at the house and Sumaira’s father’s friends alongwith their families had come over, and there was a great racket around the house and I really enjoyed playing with all the little human pups who had come along. It was a great evening spent after a long time. But through the corner of my eyes, I had noticed that Sumaira’s mother surrounded by other ladies looking at me and discussing something. But I did not take much notice and continued enjoying myself with the kids. Next day I was to discover!

Next day started early. Once Sumaira and her father left, her mother showered extra attention on me. In a sing song voice, she said, “Common Rocky. Today we are going to rock”, and then she took me in her car to a far off place, with a big lawn outside. It was a great imposing building with, what humans call, the Greco-Roman architecture. Upon entering inside, my paws were sliding on the smooth as silk floor. I just loved the feeling, and tried to run but was of course restrained by the mother. We then entered a room, where I was given some simple tasks to try out, by a very stout human. After every task, to my delight, I was given mouth watering snacks. I started looking forward to more tasks. After a gruelling session of 2 hours, the stout man told the mother that I was being admitted to the institution. Oh! How happy she was. The next few weeks, this became a routine. I was learning many tricks and my treats were getting better and better. How I loved this lifestyle.

The D-day had arrived. The entire household was now with me in the Greco-Roman building. But there was a difference. Here I was, sitting separately on a pedestal along with many of my own ilk. Whereas the humans were there, making up the audience. My head was held high, avoiding eye contact with the ordinary humans. Yes, ordinary. After all, we the blue eyed denizens of the doggy world, were today sitting on a pedestal in front of the human race. I was so proud when my name was announced, “The next winner is Rocky”. And what was then said, changed my life forever. I was “Doctor Rocky!”

Nowadays I get impatient very fast. After many days, Sumaira’s father took me to the grounds again. He started that stupid game of throwing the ball. Once or twice I fetched it for him, but then I thought, if he doesn’t want the ball, why should I bring it back to him and waste my energy. No, I wasn’t going to repeat such silly acts now. After all I am smart now. A doctor, Doctor Rock, not Rocky the happy go lucky dog. I no longer sit below the table. Now I try to grab a chair for myself, after all a doctorate deserves a higher ground. The family did not like it at first, but now they accept me as their equal. Previously, when Sumaira was back from school, I used to dance around her and make her pet me. But now, I have realised my foolishness and don’t make a scene of myself. I try to maintain my dignity. But when Sumaira or her mother or father, take out the box of puzzles , the IQ Treat box of puzzles, I love to solve those puzzles which are then followed by awesome treats. The family is now getting slowly trained to my new requirements, and I like to be given my space.

So folks, let your dogs remain dogs, don’t try to make them smarter. Or one day, you won’t get such a wonderful welcome once you get home, tired from work, by your loyal loving doggy. He will start showing signs of the Teenagers sickness, a know-it-all personality replacing a love-you-all personality. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, or you would start leading a dog’s life.

Yatindra Tawde

Smart House

Nowadays all builders compete with each other to offer smart houses to their customers. Each new smart facility offered, the customer gets burdened by one more crore. No house is now available below a crore or two.
One day a DINK couple, who were in need of a abode to call their own, went to a reputed builder’s office. Now don’t ask me what is a DINK couple; it’s DOUBLE INCOME NO KIDS, sillies! They were ushered into a plush office. Like a goat who is offered the choicest grasses to eat, before it is butchered, similarly the couple was offered the choicest wine 🍷. The DINK were impressed!
The Sales Representative of the builder, in impeccable English, floored them with the list of amenities, on offer. In addition to the usual amenities like a enviable club house, table tennis tables, badminton court, a tennis court, pool table, a fully furnished gymnasium, and a Olympic size swimming pool, what clinched the deal for the DINK, was the offer of the SMART HOUSE. They requested the sales representative to show them their dream house. That’s when the fun started!
When they, along with the sales representative reached the door of the smart flat, an energetic wave 🙋 by the sales representative, with a big smile on his face, opened the door of the flat. The couple was looking at him quizically, when he replied, “A scanner is installed on the door, which scans your smiling face and detects the wave movement. When you move into the house, all the existing master data in the scanner will be deleted, and your smiling face will be saved in the scanner. And we will teach you the proper wave movements”. Still reeling from this information, the couple followed the salesman inside. Once inside, the salesman clapped once and the lights came on. He gave them the information that, clapping once puts the lights on & clapping twice shuts off the lights. And when you want to just enjoy, like on weekends, you perform a jig, which starts the disco lights. We will teach you the jig, when you make the down payment.
The DINK couple was feeling flustered and a little hot under the collar. They requested the salesman to put on the AC. The salesman promptly went to a corner and winked! Immediately the AC came on. Then he showed them how to increase or decrease the room temperature… You twist your fingers in clockwise direction and the temperature will increase and anti clockwise to decrease.
Feeling a little weak in their knees, they looked around for a place to sit… there was non. The salesman sensed this, he extended his hand towards a wall and did a pulling gesture…a sofa started pushing out of the wall!! Seeing this, the couple just plonked themselves on the sofa. The man was thinking, “how I wish I get a cup of tea 🍵”. Immediately, from the direction of the kitchen, a shadow emerged! This was a robot, which was a cross between R2D2 and Chewbacca (Star wars fans will know). This contraption was carrying a steaming cup of tea! “This is the clincher in this smart house. Your own butler, who never sleeps and always at the mind call… You think of any requirement, and he appears like a genie”. The DINK couple is zapped… Both of them were thinking, what will happen if I have some romantic thoughts. They shuddered to even think about it.
Suddenly the man got up, and asked for the way to the loo. As he entered inside, the lights came on. OK, this was normal… But, then the pot cover went up and “Welcome! Please use water sparingly. After ‘download’, please delete your history. No one else should have access to your history. Thank you for using me”. On hearing this, all thoughts of ‘downloading’ vanished from the man’s mind and he rushed out. He asked the salesman, “can we mute the toilet?”. Unfortunately, this facility was not available.
After looking at the entire house, as they were exiting out of the house, the door ejected a very pungent odour. Confused by this, the lady asked, “now what is the meaning of this”. The salesman behaved as if he had not heard. So the man asked the same question again.
This time the salesman cleared his throat and answered, “The SMART HOUSE has identified you as very dumb, and rejected you as its owners”
So folks, say good riddance to SMART HOUSES and save your sanity.

The Smart Car

I remember an old movie named, “The Car”. It tells the story of a mysterious car which goes on a murderous rampage, terrorizing the residents of a small town. It was a Hollywood movie and I had loved that film.

But now it seems that the cars in America have turned over a new leaf.

Well, literally!!

Recently an old lady, driving a car in Florida got involved in an accident. Actually it was a hit-n-run case and this particular lady was the culprit. She was all set to drive away from the scene, but all her plans went awry… Thanks to her own car!! Well, this happens only in America and how! Now read on…

All thanks to the great American obsession to give even the minutest possible safety features to its citizens, a 911 assist facility is in-built in most new cars in America nowadays. And the lady in question was done in by this very facility.

It so happened that immediately, on impact, the 911 facility on the car – which was paired with the lady’s mobile- made a missed call to the police. When the police called back on the number, the lady did not answer. But hey, what’s the big problem? If the car owner does not answer the phone, then the car takes over. And so it did…

The car, via its Assist facility, connected with the phone, and taking the help of the GPS facility inside the car, gave the car number as well as the location coordinates to the police… in no time, the police were at the spot and arrested the lady. The lady was shocked by the sudden arrival of the police.

She had been unaware about all that had transpired between her own car and the police. I think, when she finally realises it, she will file a case on the car manufacturer for infidelity.

That’s the price a man has to pay if all his possessions are smart like a smart phone, a smart car, a smart watch, etc, etc… And he himself remains dumb!

Let’s see what happens when such cars are introduced in India…a certain movie director , who is obsessed with kissing cars, dancing cars, et al, will next introduce a infidelity car whereas another director will be too happy to blow up such a car, like he does in each movie of his.

Some movie stars, who are prone to car accidents, will never buy such a car whereas some people, who drink and drive, will pour their drink on the assist facility inside the car, so that it doesn’t tell tales on them.

But then this issue might never arise in India, since the calls placed by the car, will , in all probability, go unanswered…

Yatindra C1 Claws Club