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|