A long time ago, in the bad old days, a vacation would start with a long queue at the Railway Station’s booking office. Filling up of forms, dim, dank rooms full of sweaty people standing in queues and pushing their protruding bellies into the unfortunate in front. The counting of bodies in front to try and determine how long before it is time. The triumphant moment of arrival at the counter after hours of waiting. The payment for the ticket in cash – “Exact Change!” – and the final relieved extraction from the dreaded chore by thrusting past the next fellow pushing towards the promised land of the ticket counter. The quick relieved scan of the printed ticket. The sigh of relief at the end of the ordeal. The mopping of steaming brows. The pat down of all pockets to make sure that the capable neighbourhood pickpockets were not having chicken biryani and beer at ones expense.
The Bad old Days.
Now we have the Internet! That amazing thing. Ya. That thing. That thing that solves all the world’s problems. Just click a mouse and the problems go away. That thing. Ya. The Internet.
Now we just pick up the iPad and tap at its glass face, telling it to tell the Internet to do things for us!
The Good New Days. Days of Convenience. No more rubbing shoulders with the sweaty hoi polloi. Of Standing in line. Of paying with Cash. Exact Change? Bah! Have Credit Card. Will travel. And pay with Exact Change down to the naya paisa! So there!
We have it Good! We tap away at springy keys or at glass panes reflecting our grinning convenienced faces back at us. Peering shortsightedly at small but full color Amoled screens while our fat thumbs peck at small on-screen buttons which the superb software running on our smart phones magically translate into the words we want to type irrespective of where our fat fingers actually touch. It is the thought that counts you see!
Now we sit back in our perfumed and air conditioned homes, offices and cars while we connect wirelessly to a magical world of convenience. If we run into problems like that of too many choices as is of course our right as modern, educated and wealthy humans, we simply call the Customer Care chappies who are always there to do our bidding, 24x7x365! Just Imagine! There is a chap, properly deferential of course, willing, able and ready to listen to us explain why we could not figure out the details of what we want from the multi-million dollar web site. Then this chappie is always happy to help us pay for our purchases using small bits of plastic that those fools in the banks gave us so we could buy all the stuff we really cannot afford but is our God Given Right to consume. He of course needs time to work his magic – even Harry Potter had trouble with his spells occasionally! Give the chappie 20 minutes to stir up the old couldron while we listen to that soothing music. He will cast in the electronic lizard eyeballs with snake entrails, bat dung, give it a good old fashioned stir and hey presto, the payment is made and we are in proud possession of that which our heart desires! Holy Cow! I am loving it!
Oye! That model sure looks good in that small photo in the middle of the web page, perfectly positioned to be clicked with that magic arrow that is my personal slave. And look there! They are showing me more options to buy that holiday to Sri Lanka I was looking for the other day! Ah! These computer chappies sure are geniuses! They know exactly what I want! It is like Magic!
A world of convenience! The New World!
Of course they do goof up at times. Who wouldn’t? Just imagine having to keep track of me and all my wants, that of my family and friends and the rest of those 1 billion plus teenagers posting selfies on FaceBook!
So what? Give them a break Man! They are always polite! They say nice things like “Sorry for the Inconvenience Sir”, and “Is there anything else I can help you with?”. And don’t forget that they always know what is good for me! Didn’t they sell me that beautiful new credit card and that insurance that will help me lead an oh so comfortable life when I am old? They know everything and take care of all my needs!
Very very Convenient!
That will be a convenience fee of Rs. 600/- per PNR please…