Google is becoming the equivalent of the Star Trek Collective Borg. If you type in ‘what is sugar coated cashew sweet called in tamil’ and you have instant suggestion on, then you will find the following suggestion without the picture!
It is better than a very good transliteration. Like the Collective Borg, there is an interesting activity that goes behind the scenes. Be it fast search, look up, relation building or an efficient machine learning system, the effect of the wisdom of the crowds seems to be paying off.
My friend Nikki once promised me a delectable packet of நொக்கல் (nokkal) with choice cashew nuts from Gods Own Country. He assured me that it won’t be a cheap imitation. He emphasized it by saying that he will not give a packet of நொக்கல் நகல் (nokkal nakal meaning Nokkal Imitation).
Unfortunately Nikki never kept up his promise and after a while I gave up expecting the same from him. He went on to make his fortune and sought greener pastures amongst the clouds in famous place now known as Jaggery Village. It is there I found him with a help from other friends, Google and LinkedIn.
I quickly called him up and found he had not forgotten that promise after all. Like Obelix who once remarked, “I am not fat, it is just that my chest has slipped a bit”, Nikki too told me that “I have not forgotten only that I have put it off for a while”
Being the eternal geek he quickly went on to telling me the adventure he had had with the latest offering from Nokia mobile. I did manage to get myself into the conversation and gently asked him when the packet would come home. As Covey advised a while ago – “First things First” I was quite partial to my sweet tooth and a promise is a promise (though some try to pass it off as a toothpaste)
A few weeks later I was quite surprised to find a courier standing outside my house with three things in his hand – a GPS device that led him to my house powered by Google Maps, a handheld that let me put my signature to accept the package apparently written using GWT and of course the package itself. No marks for guessing the contents of the package.
A few hours later I got a call from Nikki, I am sure on his new Nokia, when I was standing at the street corner tea shop. He asked me in a sarcastic manner almost as if teasing me “Did you see the nokkal and lick it?”
At a later time I reported this call to someone with whom I had a little misunderstanding about killer genes –
“Nikki new Nokialai நான் नुक्कड़lai நின்றுகொண்டிருக்கும்போது நக்கலா கேட்டான் நொக்கல் நோக்கி, நக்குநீயா”.
Now I carry the mark of a knuckle sandwich on my right jaw.