It was a bright summer morning in London. Spring had only just bid farewell and disappeared.
Patrick had just woken up. With a start, Patrick realised that it was ten o’ clock in the morning. He had overslept, “O my God “he muttered under his breath, “today is Nancy’s birthday. I must buy her a gift.
The digital calendar on his bed-stand told him that it was the 10th of June 2030. Just then he heard loud noises from the living-room.
Patrick went downstairs. His elder son Nathan was watching a cricket match. He stood there for a while watching the match and talking with his son. They had bought a new TV set.
According to his son, the new television had the provision to use an advanced version of the Google map that help us to see any event live on a flat screen LCD TV in a three dimensional view. The views from the satellite cameras took them directly to the places where the events were taking place through the Google map, and then the views were transmitted through the internet.
Nathan said, “Dad, we need to pay for the usage of Google map on an hourly basis in advance. Also, the price depends upon the location of the event as well as the importance of the event”. “I paid twenty pounds to see a concert of Rihanna live in Wembley arena last week,” he added.
Patrick asked him “How much did you pay to see the match live?” “I did pay ten pounds to see this match”, he replied. As the match proceeded, he did change the setting to see the match from a different angle. He started changing the channels quickly to see how the new television was functioning. He had a feeling that many things were happening in the room itself as one wall of room did the functioning of a television screen. When he swapped the channels, he did feel the difference. In one, it seemed that the tiger hunt seen on the channel seemed to take place in the room itself. In another, he had the effect of being in the crowd dancing while watching a music concert.
While the match was going on, his youngest son, Sam, came to the room. He seems to be not interested in what was going on in the room. He sat at one corner of the room playing video games in his mobile. “What’s wrong son?” Patrick asked quietly. Sam, who’d been staring into the mobile phone, turned his head to look at his father and said “I would like to see the match Chelsea playing against Manchester United today.”
Nathan got involved in the conversation and said “Sam, Why are you worried?” “This match is going to be over 1` o’ clock and your football match is only at half past four”. He was worried because he knew that his Daddy’s cricket matches were never ending ones. But Nathan was able to put a smile back on his face when he assured his little brother that the cricket match would finish by afternoon. Sam asked his father to make a payment on the internet for watching the football match live. Sam was an ardent fan of Chelsea. Patrick used his mobile to make the payment.
As they were engaged in watching the television, he noticed that his daughter Nancy was not in the living room. Usually whenever there was a match or something interesting going on in the television, she also joined them, but on that day she was not to be seen there. As he went inside her room, he saw that she was sitting on the corner of the bedroom and was typing something in a palmtop. It seemed that this had been going on for a long time since morning.
Patrick wondered what Nancy was doing. Was she hiding something? Patrick noticed that she had some telephonic conference with someone in the morning, but he thought that she was chatting with some of her friends. When he asked about it, she answered “I am doing some research on the project work that has to be submitted next week in the university.” While the conversation was going on, he heard a beep sound from the next room.
He moved to the room from where the beeping sound was heard. His younger son followed him to the room. On the wall of the room, there was a small screen which was almost fifty inch in length and breadth. This device seemed to appear like a television but actually it was an internet telephone. An elderly lady nearly in her sixties was seen on the screen. This lady was Sam’s grandmother from India. She was eagerly waiting to talk to her grandson. This phone was the latest and improved version of the Internet Telephony System. From Patric’s word, we could understand that by making a meagre payment annually, we would be able to make any video calls to any person in any part of the world.
Patrick heard the bell ringing at his gate when his car reached almost about twenty meters from the gate of his house. He realised that his wife Naina had sent the driverless car to the shop. She had already paid for the grocery online and stuck the payment receipt on the windscreen so that the shop keeper could identify the car. Naina went out of the front door holding a remote control switch in her hand that she used to park the car. As soon as she got the car parked properly, she called her younger son to help her to carry the groceries inside.
Patrick was lost in his thought for a few minutes. He remembered his younger days when he used to walk miles to the shop. Now everything was within reach by just a click on the mouse. Thanks to the autonomous car or driverless car technology. According to Patrick’s knowledge, autonomous cars used a combined technique derived from the principles of Radar, Global Positioning system and computer vision that helped the vehicle to sense the surroundings and move accordingly through the routes provided by the techniques.
Just then Patrick noticed that his daughter was still inside her room and never came out. He went inside the room looking for her. But she was not there. He asked his wife and son about her but to his surprise it looked as if she went somewhere without telling them. They tried to call on her mobile number. Even though it was ringing, there was no response.
Patrick saw her palmtop lying on the bed. He took the palm top and found out that it was still on. He scrolled through the history of the pages she had visited. He noticed that she had a teleconferencing with the court authorities for a case filed against her. It was with a shock he realised that his daughter was facing charges for possession of drugs. He remembered reading a headline in a leading newspaper that all drug related cases were to be heard by online courts only. The contents under the headlines explain the importance of online courts in making quick disposal of cases.
It was unbelievable that his daughter was a drug addict. Patrick was in a dilemma. What should he do now? Should he tell Naina or Nathan? After a few seconds, he was on the line, contacting his close friend and colleague Ajay, whom he had known for more than a decade. “Could you please come over Ajay if you are free? I have to tell you something very urgent.”
To his great relief, Ajay was at his doorstep within about twenty minutes. He lived in nearby Greenford. Agony and anxiety were visible on Patrick’s face. When everything was explained, Ajay came up with the idea of sending Nancy to India before she was arrested. But Patrick looked so worried and told him of the difficulties even if they try to send her to India.
They both started to think of other solutions. Just then the sound of the calling bell was heard. Patrick thought that the police had arrived to make some enquiry about his daughter. But, all of a sudden he realised that it was not the calling bell but the alarm that he had kept in snooze mode half an hour ago.
It was a great relief when he realised that what he had seen about his beloved daughter was only a dream.