Hindi… and the Apple Airpods…

Friday, September 16, 2016

“I speak Hindi… I am a Muslim…”

Raaja was born in Tumkur and had migrated to Bengaluru for a better living when he was 16… and somebody who gets into Bengaluru and lives in the city for more than 364 days gets indoctrinated into Telugu, Tamil and Kannada… in that order… and celebrates Onam for Austerity…

PS. For celebrating Onam, you do not, fortunately, need to talk in Malayalam…

Assumimg Raaja to be a true Bengalurian, I attempted my own skills in all the 3 Bengaluru languages with him… Raaja did not bat an eyelid when he told me about his religious faith… and wonderfully so woven with his linguistic leanings…

I am glad he did not say, “I speak Urdu… because I am Muslim”

Because I am from Delhi… I TALK in Hindi… I LOVE in Urdu… and I DRIVE in Punjabi… and I know the difference between the 3…

Languages are stainless steel utensils for all reflections of my Emotional State… visibly convex from outside, and a concealed concave from inside of me… and at 45 years of my life, for the first time, I heard somebody connect a language to a religion… unless I have been outright naïve or straight up stupid at the same time in those 4 decades and a half to have missed any seminal connect between religion and language…

Until about 3 years ago… when I was on the road on my way from Bengaluru to Coorg on a family vacation… Raaja was our driver…

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My car has a sunroof… not the one Raaja was driving that day in Bengaluru… but the one that I drive everyday… I paid extra euros for this sunroof…

Because in the fabulous sunny weather that we have in Mumbai in those two seasons called ‘Hot’ and ‘Hotter’… the sunroof adds as a jazzed addition to all those features that are not available in my car in India… for a price that is double that I pay in India… for the same car that costs half in Germany… and has double the features in Germany…

Now, actually… the car is not the contention… the sunroof is…

A sunroof sounds so sexy in Europe… when you can put a brick on the Accelerator… have your foot on the steering wheel… and stick your neck out of the sunroof… breathe in the fresh green air and clear out your lungs… whenever you can get the sun on your face… in a sun depraved Europe…

It feels good…

And in Mumbai…

You slide the sunroof back… first signs of hot air… gets humid after 20 seconds… a heady mix of air if you still got your AC on… the humid air brings with it the smells of the city… chemicals in Wadala… Hydrogen Sulphide in Malad… garbage dump in Govandi… and stale rotten crap in most other parts of the city…

And bob your head up, as Kavya – my daughter does very often… until that last time a year ago, when the wind and the smells took off her ear drops – the precious little pieces of jewellery that she wears… they just dropped… er… flew away, with the wind… off the sunroof…

——————–

And for the last 19 years ever since Jobs (Steve) found his way back into Apple and said… “The Products suck… there is no Sex in them”…

More so, for the last 9, ever since the first iPhone made its way out of Apple Inc. (which until then was Apple Computer Inc.)…

More specifically so, every couple of years the phone goes back to the wash area… some of my friends go into a frenzy…

I don’t know what they earn or where they squeeze… but my friends invariably seem to have a disposable 50 odd thousand rupees in small change for the “newer”, “whiter washed” version of Rin… er… iPhone…

My friends would tell me of the amazing newer features, added with each newer version… like – you don’t have a physical keyboard on this phone – you can really see your buttered fingerprints on the glass and preserve them for forensics… the glass surface cannot really break – unless you drop it on the grass… it streams videos much faster than all the other phones put together – irrespective of the networks and their speeds which are a legend since we know networks in India…

And finally – wonder of wonders – you can really talk on this newer version of the iPhone… the 7.0… and this time your dialogue may not just be with your friends and dear ones… but also with Siri… the program that works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator in Apple iOS…

While this is not to eulogise the Cupertino Cupids that keep striking the frenzied Apple fans with an alarming alacrity every year or so… this time, I guess they have really ruffled the fashion world…

After all… Apple is a Fashion Brand… Period… 

And Airpods are the Sex Sticks that promise to Rock your ears…

With the watch, Apple had brought computing on to my skin… and with the wireless pods, it attempts to get closer to my mind… well, quite close…

Finally… the 100 plus year old technology of hi-fidelity sound goes wi-fidelity… puts a host of audiophiles to rant about the jack going away…

——————–

And since this has happened… here’s the double trouble… call it disruption, if you will…

One – Kavya cannot be wearing the Apple Airpods when she bobs her head up from the sunroof… lest the wind blows them off…!

Two – Raaja cannot be a part of the newest revolution by Apple… Siri can’t talk in Hindi… not yet… with Airpods, or otherwise…

You see, Siri is not Muslim…

Happy Weekend…

Ravi Kodukula

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