It was the year 2004.

Was? Isn’t it 2004 right now, you would say. Well to clarify, I am just quoting a sentence from the past, which was actually based in the future at that point of time. oh well, let me not confuse anyone… this is one of the lines of a sci-fi story which was written god knows when, but was a part of the english text book in class 4th or 5th if I am not wrong. I remember being *really* intrigued with the very numeral 2004 as it striked me as so different from the 1980’s. In CBSE schools we used to have the ‘Gulmohar Reader’ for english then. The series used to start from class 1 and would continue till class 6th I think. I don’t think that they have it in the syllabus anymore.

There was this particular chapter which talked about the year 2004. It was really difficult for me to imagine at that point of time what the world would be like. The turn of the century and a new series was quite overwhelming for me. Add to it the fact that it seemed *so* far away since there was more than a decade to go. That was all I needed for my futuristic imagination to take off on a wild horse. I don’t remember much of the outline of that chapter but what stands out distinctly in my mind today is something about hi-tech homes. The kinds where you have the bathtub adjusting the water temperature when it senses that you are in the house and depending on the season or your body temperature whether you want a hot bath or a cold one. The kinds where your garage gate opens automatically, the car steers itself (you don’t need a driver), the house lights up itself, the door lets you in (by ascertaining you aren’t an intruder) and the automatic electric kettle whistles indicating some fresh tea/coffee brewing.

What strikes me as remarkable is the fact that inspite of it all being so unfathomable then, not only have we passed that fantasy of the author, but we have achieved more..maybe more than what the author was able to imagine in his apocalyptic view of 2004.

HG wells is considered as the man who invented tomorrow. The father of science fiction wrote of stuff that never existed in his time, but later we all saw the same stuff taking place in terms of advancement and technology (or deterioration) . Makes me think that a lot of hi-tech stuff does probably get inspired from fiction writers. I am actually expecting teleporting to be the in thing in a couple of years! Well this is just a ‘bhoomika’ for my next post.. an attempt at sci fi :P. I’ll be(am) back.

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