Rahul da Cunha: Google shoogle map shap!

Jun 10, 2018, 06:10 IST | Rahul da Cunha

I don't want to sound fuddy duddy — but crucially, I can't wrap my head around the concept of an app

Rahul da Cunha: Google shoogle map shap!
Illustration/ Uday Mohite

Rahul da CunhaSo, here's my thing. I'm fascinated by the idea of technology. Largely because I have no idea how to use it — meaning when a Millennial tells me, "I read books on Kindle" I want to say, "reading a book means you turn a page, and not scroll downwards." I don't want to sound fuddy duddy — but crucially, I can't wrap my head around the concept of an app. Meaning, I appreciate the idea of apps, which is to make life simpler, but when it replaces life itself, then thoda confusion happens.

Like, I'm interested — does the 'i' in iPad stand for idiot or intelligent? Do smartphones make people dumb or cleverer? And, therefore, why is everything an app today? I want to meditate, tune my guitar, feed my cat, talk to my dog, repair my car, change my shoe laces, go for a jog, or talk to my neighbour. Everything has an app for help.

There an app called DrinkMe. Meaning, the app drinks the alcohol and you get the high. Tim Cook, CEO Apple told me that they are developing an App called iBaby that enables women to deliver. So, if you download the app in your ninth month, it will have the child for you.

And yet, there are some apps, I definitely appreciate. Like Google Maps. I was a fan of the older version of Google maps which required no downloading. You just rolled down your window and asked a taxi driver: "Hey Bhaisaab, mujhe Oshiwara InOrbit mall jaana hai."

"Yahan se straight, pehla left, udhar ek chota sa bridge aayega, woh lena, second left."

So, now instead of that, you go Google Maps, and you see a fabulous map of the road in front of you. You can switch on a voice, a lovely lady who leads you, like a guided tour in your own city. And you have choices. There is a Meghan Markle accent for all SoBoites, a Kangana Ranaut type voice if you live post Lilavati Hospital, etc.

Yesterday, it was pouring cats and dogs — never understood that phrase. Mumbai was BMCing i.e. Brihanmumbai Monsoon Circus.

I went to Google Maps to lead me to an obscure location in Andheri West.

I switched on my lady.

She cooed into my ear, "You are going down the Western Express River. On your right, you may see the Santacruz airport. Take a left, uhm, is it a right? Uh, uh. No, left. Okay in 300 metres you will see Bobby paan shop. Okay, it was Bobby paan shop. Now it's Bobby paan shop floating away."

And then I did the unthinkable. I took a path different from her instructions. And lo and behold, she didn't tell me I was wrong. She still helped me navigate my own path, even though I didn't follow her instructions. She is the first ever woman not to tell me I'm wrong.I think I've found my life partner.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer, and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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