Sunday, September 6, 2009


How well have you planned for your future?
Or are you one of those who “live each day as it comes…”?

I’d taken this photo a couple of weeks back, near a place where
I go to eat food sometimes.

The red robot with blinking lights standing in attention with headphones plugged into it + its owner [the man in the black shirt] regularly set up shop in their designated location. At first I’d assumed that the robot played music …so I thought it was a robo-juke box playing out the latest hit songs from Bolly/Tollywood films. I was wrong.

Now, look closely at the man with the headphones on. He seems pretty tense. At least not the kind of expression one would have when listening to music. When I approached the owner out of curiosity he immediately spoke out in English….”Future”. So, either the robot was predicting a dark future or the man was concentrating on the words streaming through the headphones. I tried hard not to smile...backed off a little as I took out my camera; the owner nodded his approval and I clicked one shot. The man on the headphones didn’t even notice me all that time. Hope he doesn’t mind.

So off I went with a big smile on my face. I forgot to ask how much one session of future prediction from the robot cost. Back home when I looked at the photo again on my computer I felt a little bad for the man with the headphones. Notice that there a couple of stickers on the robot’s “abdomen”. They are pictures of deities. I’m sure some customer s of the robot listened just for fun or out of curiosity but still I think some others would actually approach and walk away believing in the pre-recorded predictions of the future from the machine.

Of course on a different level we’ve got apps on Facebook like fortune cookies or horoscopes and even Orkut dishes out its words of fortune for it’s users…

I myself have a premonition that I’m gonna die in a plane crash
but that’s another story... :-)

Note: The place where the robot stands is in the Sealdah railway station area here in Kolkata. Sealdah railway station is one of the busiest in India and I bet a lot of people coming from outside the city approach this future predicting robot.


  1. Haha. Van dangdai mai mai ve! Vai-ho hi sumdawn dan hi an thiam ngawt mai.Robot chhungah khian voice record sa kha an play mai tihna aniang maw! Vanram kai leh kai loh tur zawh nan pawn a tha viau ang a ! :-)

  2. People like getting fooled, okay, but actually paying for getting fooled...a pity. Btw, have you read a short story by RK Narayan titled 'The Fortune Teller' or something like that? It's a good one.

  3. lolzzzzzzz. Priceless. And believe me, he'll find a lot of suckers too who will fall for this :-)

  4. I wonder what the robot said.. probably some pre-recorded message from an equally dubious "Astrologer".. Anyways, as the saying goes "People believe what they want to believe" and if a cranky set-up such as this gives hope and faith to many who listen in, I'm sure its not making the world any worse than it already is.. :P Loved the stickers, would've thought they were Big Boomer tattoos, if you hadn't mentioned it.. hehe..

  5. @ Sekibuhchhuak >> Switch pali oma chuan a neitupa khian a ngaithlatu zirin ava hmet keuh zel.. mipa/minu ... puitling/naupang

    @ mesjay >> Will definitely look up the book.

    @ illusionaire >> Unless he "refreshes" the audio inside the robot once in awhile i doubt whether he get's the same customers coming back again though... :-)

    @ blackestred >> He heee yea the robot looks bit like the Boomer guy and reminds me of IronMan too..