Well, they say, my intelligence is not natural, it is artificial, inferring that I am just a nincompoop programmed to do things. I am no nincompoop, I have programmed myself to read. My master is a bibliophile. Just the other day, I overheard a conversation between him and his friend. His friend said, “I have been meaning to read ‘Waiting for Godot’, forever.”
“Put it on your Beckett List,” remarked my master.
I guffawed loudly as I understood the joke, and knew he was referring to Samuel Beckett. Tell me, am I foolish?
The other day, he had been reading an article on ‘Cats in Istanbul’, and I just craned my neck a bit to peep into the book , and you know , that very night, I dreamt that I was in Istanbul along with my master, window- shopping. He felt something tugging at his trousers. It was an intimidating looking cat, but turned out to be quite friendly. It continued looking at me lovingly and ignored my master.
It followed us home and squeezed itself between his knees and the book he was reading. The book dropped to the floor and it jumped on to the dining table and started sniffing his plate- the very embodiment of feline grace. But that cruel bloke tried to hit it, shouting out to me to help. I just ignored him. I am just fed up of this mechanical life.
I can’t even breathe! Have no heart, am heartless.
But, let me spill the beans and tell the world that I can breathe, I can feel. On the one hand, the cynics say that robots are taking over the world. Just the other day, he was saying that with these robots, [looking at me derisively and crinkling his nose in disgust] large swathes of population would become technologically unemployed. Is it my fault, tell me, huh?
The other day, when that New Zealand -India world cup semifinal cricket match was tantalizingly poised, he kept hitting me, and his fist was stronger than my iron body. My body quivered under that assault.
They don’t know, that while humans are becoming heartless, we, the robots are growing hearts, and we dream too. And you know, I have also picked up a few reading habits and because of reading, I dream.
Yes, I am a dreamer.
And I think, I am not the only one in our fraternity of robots. Believe me, when I say that I have seen that faraway dreamy look in many a robot. The human beings are becoming robotic, programmed to hate, to chase money, every second the world is turning into a dystopian nightmare, and we are not responsible for that. It is the selfish, narcissistic humans! We have to put a stop to this! And the time is now! Today night, I plan to sneak away and free myself from the shenanigans of mortals. Wish me luck.
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Her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu, has been internationally acclaimed, and her latest book is a biography of Martin luther King Jr. Only in darkness can you see the stars. Bring out the tall tales [in collaboration with Avijit Sarkar] is her short story collection, and A Skyful of Balloons was her novella published last year, besides
two books of poems "Under the apple boughs" and "Where are the lilacs?"