Rage against/and with the time machine

Rage against/and with the time machine
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First Published: Sat, Sep 01 2007. 12 07 AM IST

Updated: Sat, Sep 01 2007. 12 08 AM IST
The husband has a road rage problem. An otherwise relaxed soul, something happens to him when he drives on Indian roads. He yells (in the closed confines of an A/C car where only I can hear him), wants to personally educate every driver who breaks a red light (and once, even did a Bollywood-style chase after a man who rudely cut lanes).
It used to drive me crazy until we negotiated that I wouldn’t teach all the waiters in overpriced five-star restaurants about service etiquette if he stopped training all the drivers in this country to overtake only from the right.
Now, all I need is a gadget that can transmit an electrical charge to shock the owners of cellphones that ring in the middle of a movie or just as a plane is about to take off. All you erring souls better watch out—during one memorable screening of Black Friday, I crossed the aisle, skipped down a few steps and towered politely over a chatting gent until he hurriedly whispered into his cellphone: “I’ll call you back”. In the interval, my father pretended he wasn’t with me.
But seriously, there are many people like me who would pay money to buy products that neutralize anti-social behaviour at the push of a button. And now, inventors are actually spending time and money coming up with such gadgets.
This week’s cover story (Page 12) is about the electronic vigilantes who use technology to improve our quality of life. So the next time you get a shock when you reach for your Nokia in a theatre, don’t blame the battery.
At MIT’s Media Lab, they even have a name for it. They call it “annoyancetech”. The No-Contact Jacket you see on the cover was designed at MIT. Every Indian schoolgirl who has ever travelled in public transport should be outfitted with one, I believe.
Of course, there’s more to life than being stressed by the barking dog in the neighbourhood or the airline passenger who won’t straighten his seat even during meal service. Chinese food, for instance.
Ever since Royal China opened in our neighbourhood at the end of last year (and Bandra is a place where a new restaurant opens every week), the husband only wants to go there for dinner. Day or night, he can consume unlimited quantities of their featherweight dim sums.
These days, posh Chinese restaurants are opening everywhere—Grand Hyatt in Mumbai and ITC Maurya in New Delhi recently launched theirs. Then there’s the sexy VongWong, which opened earlier this year in the heart of Mumbai’s business district; and the chains (Royal China, Mainland China, China Garden) are expanding like never before. Nelson Wang, the grand old man of Indian Chinese, who for so many years camped out in Breach Candy, now owns the largest Chinese restaurant in the country and has ambitious expansion plans. Read our story (on Page 14) and go eat Chinese. And please, dear reader, don’t order Chicken Manchurian.
Write to lounge@livemint.com
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First Published: Sat, Sep 01 2007. 12 07 AM IST
More Topics: Rage | Gadgets | MIT | Lounge |