Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Human automation

Many years back, during the Ganeshotsav celebrations in Mumbai, we happened to visit this mandap near our house which had some "electronics". So, we trooped out to the place in full regalia - me, my bro and my mom. The USP of this mandap was if you put in 5 rupees you would get a ladoo from a Ganpati lookalike. So, we cajoled a 5 rupee note from my mother and put money into the hundi and sure enough a ladoo came through. My brother, in all his attentiveness, shouted, "Hey, there is a person sitting inside there." And sure enough there was - his job was to see that a 5 rupee came through the hundi and pass a ladoo through a chute provided to him. Also press a switch which would let of a set of bulbs and some music to create the "effect".

As I have mentioned before, Mumbais manual tollbooths are faster than the electronic equivalents in many places (and there are some really insufferable manual tollbooths across the country). Mumbais suburban ticket counters are manned by men (and women), who are machines. And they are faster than the vending machines. Dont try to engage the ticket counter person in any sort of small talk - unlike you would do in perhaps an other country like the US - here will be quick to shoo you off.

After all it is a labour surplus economy or a place where manual labour is cheap. Thoughts that came to my mind, as I read about the assembly process for the Logan.


Kavi said...

Ah ! There was one Mandal where there were idols moved & danced to music.

It was later that we realised that there were people who were physically moving the statues to the tunes !

oh ! Yes. Some folks work like machines !

manoj said...

umm, u come to pune and see some of the toll operates ... surprises how a distance of 100km odd(vashi to Pune ) causes a quantum drop in the efficiency of toll operator.