Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Madam, there’s a drone hovering in your backyard.


For all cyber junkies and Amazon faithfuls, the week couldn’t have started on a better note when Amazon announced its ambitious plans of turning into Dominos. Before you start counting the toppings on your pizza and your calories, let me clarify that it is the 30 minutes delivery or else that Amazon plans to emulate. The very concept that Domino lifted from your trusted Kalu’s kirana store that delivers Kurkure, 6 bottles of Banta and three unopened packets of Haldiram’s Masala peanuts, in ten minutes or else you call Uncle jee again. As for Chicken Makhani Tikka pizza, you’ll still have to rely on your neighbourhood Pijja corner.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the giant online store is developing a drone-based delivery service called Prime Air that will deliver orders half-hour after you click the "buy" button.

It is comforting to know that The Federal Aviation Administration operates at the same efficiency levels as its Indian counterparts and will take at least 4-5 years to sort out the rules and regulations for these commercial drones to be operational.

I feel, for Amazon to succeed in their ambitious plans they have to change their products’ profile. For instant delivery of books, we already have Kindle versions that take under 2 minutes to download. Why would I pay the extra money for speedy delivery of gadgets, shoes, toys when I can either walk down to the nearest store and pick it up instantly or be a little patient and save money!

It has to be a craving that demands instant gratification. Like when you’re stuck in a traffic snarl for over four hours, frothing like an over-fermented toddy; before you can scream – Saale, tere baap ka rasta hai kya, a drone appears in the horizon, snaps a pair of wings on your shoulders and off you fly away from this unholy mess and into your wife’s waiting arms, the car be damned. Or you’re climbing the Everest and longing for Maa ke hath ka khana or even Maa. In just 30 minutes you can head to the nearest cave and gobble up Rajma-chawal with your Maa beseeching you with – Beta, sweater pehno. You’re stuck in a dull meeting with your Boss’s screechy voice driving you up the wall and you wish he relocates to a Tibetan monastery and never comes back and voila Amazon drops the complete series of the Dalai Lama’s teachings on his head! Imagine you’ve been kidnapped by Maoists and are tied to a tree waiting to be executed, wouldn’t it be brilliant if Prime Air airdrops Arundhati Roy to mediate on your behalf! Instead of deploying the state police to stalk his lady love, a certain Saheb can use drones to snoop on her.


Since drones are notorious for more misses than hits and killing everyone but terrorists, every time Pakistan Army trespasses LOC, instead of waiting for our esteemed leaders to condemn the act, we can collaborate with Amazon to scare the shit out of them.

I’m thinking of Amazon drones in India. Will it be able to process complicated directions like, house no 42 in Gol aunty wali Gali behind the Gurdwara, in New Ashok Nagar only to be told this is new number 42, you have to go to old number 42, Drone uncle. Do you think those poor things will be able to survive the innumerable electric, telephone cables crisscrossing the locality! Given our nation’s proclivity for jo tera hai woh bhi mera hai, what are the chances that most of our enlightened citizens will not keep the drone along with the shipment.

Will Amazon take a cue from Indian banks and mobile operators and resort to employing drone recovery goons from Haryana?

But the thought of noisy drones criss-crossing over our heads is far from comforting. As if coping with unruly traffic, two-wheelers trying to act like stunt artists is not enough to drive you insane. How many of us will survive this multiple assault on our senses! What are the chances that one of us will not log on to Amazon and order chullu bhar phani to drown our sorrows in! 



Since Amazon’s Octocopter needs landing space to deliver your stuff, this service will be limited to the privileged ones with big bungalows and bigger lawns. What about apartment dwellers like us? Do we have to promise to meet the Octocopter at a lonely deserted stretch to collect our delivery! Or will we get a delivery slip that reads - kindly collect your package from your neighbour’s tree.

If Amazon aspires to be a genie at the click of a mouse, instead of pandering to the whims of a privileged few, it should consider delivering life-saving medicines, drinkable water, packaged meals to the deprived millions. Women could certainly do with a guardian angel hovering in the background for their protection. The police can use them for surveillance to ensure safety.

As for me, if Amazon Prime Air promises to deliver my lost moments and opportunities, I am willing to put up with a drone-acharya hovering next to my window, waiting for my outstretched hands to grab the delivery. 




Pic Courtesy - Twitter user @QuantumPirate


54 comments:

  1. The visual of collection agents from Haryana for drone recovery totally made my day. FYI I am sitting with ten files opened and document still not located, but had to read your post - I just had to.
    Back to the files, but now with a smile :)

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    Replies
    1. Your boss might fire me :D

      And thanks for reading. Ritu.

      Delete
  2. The drones are less likely mode of delivery as mapping challenges will not not change in sometime soon! Let the neighbors have all the fun:)

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    1. Every time I have a disagreement with Mrs Kukreja, I can have my garbage delivered to her backyard :p

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  3. Drone delivery is an exciting idea. I just imagined one landing in my apartment lawns carrying a lovely gift from Australia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes....look forward to half a dozen decent calenders airdropped in your balcony.

      Delete
    2. Noooo. I don't want calendars. I want that dress you are wearing in your profile pic. Lovely it is.

      Delete
    3. I'll hand-deliver it to you :p

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  4. This is probably consumerism in a jiffy. Caught and nicely trapped if you were thinking of cancelling the order. No Sir, you don't! Apne order kiya tha, ab toh lena hi padega!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Que sera, sera
      Whatever will be, will be
      The future's not ours to see
      Que sera, sera ~~

      Delete
  5. Your post brought the visuals of those affected in natural disaster and the food packets being thrown at them and people clamoring at each other to grab them. It may also bring about a drone - jam like traffic jam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Considering our mammoth population, expect a drone jam in the sky.

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  6. I don't think the drones would be so big that they'd bug everyone and would be able to manoeuvre in small streets in America. Also, I guess they're pretty used to the constant buzzing sounds of patrol choppers and police sirens. No wonder it would not work in India, we're too haphazard to do that.
    But the options that you imagined, do get them Intellectual Property protected, who knows you might earn royalty on it in the future ;)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...yes...if I see my ideas making money, I'll have proof that it first appeared here :-)

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  7. I plan to plant nets outside my home to catch the drones - mine and the neighbors'. ;)
    I can imagine UFO kind of situation! Superb read!!

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    Replies
    1. Wah..wah....what an idea, Madam jee.

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  8. HaHaHa. I am sure the sights of hovering drones would be an experience in its own. Good or bad? Time will tell. :) and noticed the IB award proudly displayed on the right panel. Congratulations!! Continue to make us smile.

    -Aparna Gautam
    www.aparnagautamwrites.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I didn't expect to win it but not that I have, might as well flaunt it.

      Thanks :-)

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  9. All said and done Drone uncles ( who else could have thought this but Ms. Ray!) would be good to see in action...I am pretty sure our smarty pant desi boys will re-program them to o try a botched robbery or two at ATMs using drone uncles or even use them to recover balls that have gone to that deadly retired Fauzi neighbor's property :) The possibilities are endless... let a thousand drones unleash..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The possibilities are endless and scary!

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  10. Somewhere I expected a post on this topic from you the moment I read about Amazon's drone announcement. Loved the entire post, but especially loved the paragraph about instant gratification a lot. Lovely fun post to read :)

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  11. Such a device will be against our culture and traditions. Hence we demand it renamed Dhrone with immediate effect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not Om? We are proud Hindus, no!

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  12. Amazone drone or a genie.. and a good idea that we place them on LOC.. at least we will be replying to what our counterparts within 30 mins.. which our esteemed leaders take months and years...

    Good one!!

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    Replies
    1. Especially useful in difficult terrains like Siachen.

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  13. It seems like such a bizarre idea but can be a huge godsend in times of tragedy. Though, how can anyone ever handle the jam in the skies is the big question. Who knows a few years down the line, no one may even bat an eyelid at such a sight :).

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Rachna. These days nothing seems impossible or bizarre.

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  14. Actually, the 30-min delivery promise is not the only page Amazon borrowed from Domino's book. They had a drone pizza delivery trial in the UK :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read that they are planning to deliver groceries in Africa.

      Delete
  15. Hehehe.. was having this discussion with a friend.. imagine a cash on delivery Droneservice specially made for India :P :P

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    Replies
    1. I don't think the Drone will have the exact chhutta :p

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  16. I knew I could trust you to brighten my day :) drone-acharya had me in splits hi hi

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    Replies
    1. Glad I could make you smile, Jaish :-)

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  17. Imagine those 'Kids in Knickers' flying kites..And this mighty drone comes in sight...Gets all entangled , screws up big time and crash lands...The 'Kids in Knickers' would be so Bloody happy...Here they were trading for Kites..Now they got themselves a freaking Drone...:)

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    Replies
    1. HA! What a vivid imagination you have.

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  18. Fantastic imagination.Everything in India will have to function in the Indian way-or go away.
    By the way your last line contains the title of my latest post-----jo tera hai wo bhi mera hai.Nice thought.

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    Replies
    1. Must read what you have to say about it :-)

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  19. I honestly thought this was your wonderful imagination till a fun program on NZ TV gave us the same news. Then the anchor added - Meanwhile, in tech news, NZ Post has just announced that they'll be introducing windows '98.

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  20. Khoty, you give me too much credit. It was Jeff Bezos who came up with this revolutionary idea to make some more money ��

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  21. I think I will be a loyal customer of Prime Air as I am for prime now....lately, I ordered quinoa seeds from Amazon and was telling hubby, if they deliver milk and eggs too, life would be so much easy ;-) and seriousky, the drone effect...lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so miss the home-delivery service that we took for granted in India.

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  22. Hahaha, You are so hilarious! I keep coming back for more and you never dissappoint !

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  23. ....my sunday dose of laughter!
    Besos will take another 10 years to start this in India after the drones are ready, just like what he had to do for Amazon. In fact, before India and its meshwork of politics and cablewires, he might start drone deliveries to astronauts...though not in 30 minutes:)

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    Replies
    1. The Astronauts could certainly do with some home-cooked food. Though, I'm wondering how they'll manage to put the flying fries and chicken in their mouth!

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  24. "Drone-acharya" indeed :-) I don't know about the future but the people are having fun with the drones for now. http://mashable.com/2013/12/02/amazon-drone-tweets/ Only time will reveal if Jeff Bezos will Drone in his sorrows or if the venture takes off successfully.

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    1. This link is hilarious! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  25. Haste haste pet phete galo je! I am imagining the climber on the Everest south ridge at 26000 feet, wolfing down his makki di roti while his amma sends back the drone to get the aam ka achar. :D

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    Replies
    1. Mummy ka pyaar is capable of moving mountains. So, what's a Rajma chawal for her dear son.

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  26. Hmmm....me thinks this is a very stupid idea. The Amazonians have been watching too much Futurama and Jetsons (these are cartoon series which I am pretty sure you have not and might never watch). I don't know....human stupidity is infinite. I mean what is their target market, how are they going to position themselves? Nothing but a stunt to gain short term popularity and it makes no sense.
    I just fail to fathom how this asinine concept gave the board of directors a collective orgasm that they voted "Aye".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stop pretending to be an Aussie, mate! Here, have a beer and just chill, man.

      Delete

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