It all started when the delightful Pepper and the lovely Mint of PepperMint (http://pepperedthoughts.wordpress.com/) fame had come home for dinner one day!
Apart from the myriad of things we discussed (midst which both found time to listen to R and stuff) GPS (Global Positioning system) was one of them.
Pepper sweared she couldnt function without it in the US. Mint thought it wasnt a great idea. RD was pretty impressed with it. Me? Well, honestly I didnt even know how it functioned and what happened till they took the pains to explain it to me.
For someone who is geographically challenged, it seemed a wonderful invention. But I forget, that I am technologically challenged as well. So I guess for people like me who are motor mouths, stopping the car, and asking ‘bhai, yeh bhayandar kaise jate hai (How do I reach Bhayandar) seems to be the best option.
Anyways, I digress. Midst discussions, Mint mentioned that its a technology that makes you dumb. Pepper agreed but mentioned that for her it was the best thing especially in the US where she used to drive to places she was not familiar with. RD agreed to Pepper, saying its awesome technology etc etc.
Mint maintained his stand and then we drifted to other topics 🙂
And then, over the weekend.
Saturday, since my inlaws are leaving back for Cal next weekend, we decided to go on a small picnic with them to a place near Karjat. So RD takes out his phone, activates the GPS and inputs the points or whatever they are called and then decides to follow it.
I am bit skeptical saying, why do you need it when we both are here, and you know most of the way and we just can call up the picnic place guys and ask for the final directions.
Nah! lets do the GPS he says.
I keep quiet mostly because I dont want to get into an argument and honestly, he definitely knows better than me as far as directions are concerned.
All is well until we enter Thane.
He takes a turn and says oh I think this turn is wrong, (He knows its wrong but he is still following that GPS!!!)
Why are you taking it then, I ask him. But its too late. We are in trouble!
We enter the main market. There is hardly place for people to walk with both sides full of shops and vegetable fruit vendors, and the damn thing is taking us toward Thane station. This is really weird, I think, but keep shut, because the in laws are there as well and I dont want to create a scene.
As soon as RD takes the turn into the market, he says **** and says I shouldnt have followed the GPS. There is something grossly wrong with these directions!
and then RD is trying to maneuver between those shops when we just just behind a lady who is walking without looking back. I think the edge of our car touched her. RD brakes like crazy. The lady turns around, and looks at us, while I am trying to get out of the car (I had removed my chappals and was sitting comfortably in the back seat with MIL and R) She starts crying. Loudly. Howling. RD is panic.
I leave my chappals and jump into a huge pile of rotten vegetables mixed with mud (as seen in markets on rainy days!) and then go to the lady. She is not hurt but crying like crazy. RD is panic. We give her water and offer to take her to the hospital, house, whever she wants. There is a crowd but thankfully except one guy most of them realise she is not hurt. She stops crying while I keep holding her. She says she is fine and turns and walks around.
I get back to the car. RD gets back.
We are too stunned for a while. And then RD just starts the car and goes out of the market somehow.
The GPS is forgotten and its blinking or whatever because RD has taken a different turn or whatever!
In short, we stop just outside the market and the motor mouth me, asks for directions from a panwala nearby and proceed.
After our hearts have come back to normal, RD remembers the conversation we had with Pepper and Mint, and we recollect how the very smart Mint had remarked that technology often dumbs you.
RD knew he was getting into a wrong galli, and yet he took it!
Technology is good as long as you use the human brains along with it. I just hope we dont raise a generation of kids who are so dependent on technology that they fail to understand basic instructions. Sometimes I feel what Issac Asimov wrote is becoming reality.
So all, you GPS users, do use the technology, but ensure you all use your brains as well.
As far as the R household is concerned, we are looking at GPS with a lot of caution 🙂