Sudden automation has made life easy for everyone. The physical effort which was put in everything has reduced to almost Nil. I am now a 60-year-old woman and my life is full of comfort. I need to put no effort in getting anything done. The automation and robots have helped us a great deal not only in household work but in all walks of life.
My kids are busy with their lives and they hardly get few hrs on weekend to spend with me virtually. My daughter has gifted me an automatic mini bathroom where the person inside doesn’t have to lift a finger to wash or scrub. It’s all automatic and one comes out fresh 😊 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UutFizcTpes
After freshening up, as usual, the coffeemaker makes a good cuppa of coffee for me. This is my morning routine. I was in my balcony one of the mornings sipping coffee, roads looked deserted with only few electric and solar cars. The sky looked blue, thankfully decades back the petrol and diesel cars were replaced by these cars which contributed to lowering the air pollution. There were also few drones flying to deliver parcels to their fed destination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le46ERPMlWU . I suddenly remembered that the grocery shopping list which was fed in to Alexa the last night needs to be ordered but she had already ordered at the exact time when it was scheduled. She is becoming an intelligent girl :). Within an hour my order was delivered at my door step https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHWciIxNK2c
It was office time and I logged in to my smart screen and we had a meeting with foreign delegates which went pretty well. I have a pretty satisfying job and I did not intend to retire soon. After placing an order for my lunch online and having it, I did my chores of putting the utensils in the dishwasher. Then, I programmed the bot to vacuum the carpet and thought of driving down to the nearest mart to get some remaining things which Alexa missed. I could have ordered them online again, but this time I wanted to go out of the house.
My car which was a self-driven car https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aaOB-ErYq6Y&t=78s out for servicing so I decided to book a cab . The cab which arrived was a driverless cab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfWjsKsEry0 . I hopped on and within minutes I reached the Mart. Picked up few essential things from the Mart, and as it was a cashless one, the charges got debited automatically without me wasting the time in the queue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9W5jvASCJs
On the way back home, I got a message informing about one of my cousin’s demise. Within a split second my mind took me many years back when we all cousin’s use to have a ball of our time during holidays.
Those were the years when phone was a luxury and technology was very basic. People interacted with letters and vacations were planned way in advance. Summer vacations were what we all kids looked forward for. One of the vacations I do remember was the vacation of the year 1990. The house was buzzing with kids playing in the corridor. The chitchat, the shouts while playing, the giggles, it all seemed overload of the senses in summer vacations. Grand moms, aunt, they were busy cooking the favourite food for kids, and special importance were given to mangoes, ice creams and sharbats. Male members were busy chitchatting amongst themselves and so were females while cooking dishes. Women can multitask as you know. 🙂 .
This cousin of mine whose demise triggered me these memories was a champion in playing carrom and we all fought to be in his team during a board game. Carrom was a favourite game with adults too and merely, having one board amongst so many people was a struggle. The tricks we played to get the board, the negotiation we did for getting our turn to play, patiently waiting for the afternoon time so that we could sneak in the board in the veranda, especially when most of the family members took a nap… was so thrilling.
Now when I come to think of it, the vacation time was a stress buster. We exercised all the range of our emotions and it was applicable for all the age groups. Emotions ranged from venting out, rage, talking on the face, to laughing the hearts out, giggles, sharing secrets, sharing precious things with cousins, lots of hugs by mom, aunts, grandparents, eating sweets, mangoes to our hearts content, grandma stories at night, lying down on the terrace watching the stars etc.. At the end of these vacations we all were fully charged to face the next year, looking forward for the next year’s vacations again.
Today sitting in my posh luxury house, where all my needs are fulfilled what I lack the most was physical interaction with another human being. Though I went out of house, but the car was self-driven and there was no driver to interact, though I went to the mart but there was no human to ask me for the payment, though I ordered food and grocery online, there was no human to greet and make an eye contact, though I had a meeting , but we never shook hands, though I spoke to my kids virtually but its long that I have hugged them.
The physical touch, the nearness, the face to face real interaction, hugs, the warmth was lost somewhere in making human life comfortable. In the race to get everything done automated, somewhere humans have lost the emotions to connect with another human.
At the end of the day human being is a social animal and we all need the physical proximity, a healing touch , a person to share our ups and downs(not social media), someone to vent on or someone who can vent on us 😉, someone who will wipe our tears in actual, someone who can hold our hand and walk with us. This underrated act which is called “human touch”, which was there in ample during my childhood, seems to be all lost in this robotic, automated world. Now every where there are just ‘button touch’.
This thought really shook me and I suddenly felt extremely lonely around these intelligent machines. I was desperately longing to have a human interaction in real sense. I knew my neighbour who was roughly my age. paid someone to come home and talk to her twice a week just to beat her loneliness. There are many college students who use this as an opportunity to earn some pocket money. Some are very genuine kids and love their job.
For a change I reached out to this neighbour of mine and requested her to come for a coffee at my place. She readily agreed due to obvious reasons.
As a tribute to my cousin, I dusted the carom board to play with my neighbour and did not play my regular virtual games. Today was the day to play real game with real people.