Sandhya Bondriya warns about a world where mechanised emotions are the norm
Imagine a world ruled by the virtual where super-human systems regulate and preside over our thoughts and actions, where a little brain implant control our lives. Debutant author Sandhya Bondriya’s “Brain Seizure: Life at 2050” envisions a world where we struggle to wriggle out of the clasp of virtual space and super-human machines and struggle to be human again.
The novel, published by Panch Kalash, highlights the pitfalls of a technological over-drive and is also sprinkled with issues that bother the author. To Sandhya, who holds a masters degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering and is an Indian Engineering Services officer, science fiction was almost a natural step.
“I was all into science. At the time I started writing the novel my life was all about science,” says Sandhya, who now works as a Deputy Director at the All India Radio in New Delhi.
She began work on the novel after her graduation in engineering, almost seven years ago. “I just wanted to write. At that time, I was not sure if it was going to be a novel. I began by writing three-four lines and then it moved on to one or two pages a day,” says Sandhya about discovering writing. Fairly soon writing took over her life.
If I don’t write a page in the morning, I don’t feel content,” she says.
Page by page
“Brain Seizures: Life at 2050” piled on with the one or two pages she wrote every day over the past seven years. The book was released a few months ago by scientist and former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who called her up after reading the book, a copy of which she had sent him earlier.
“He called up and told me to turn to page 82, which had a poem, and read it out. He liked the poem a lot and also the relationship between Dr. Anant and Shilac, the super human intelligence Dr. Anant created,” recalls Sandhya.
As someone who grew up on the campus of the University of Jabalpur, letters, words and conversations with professors were integral to her growing up years. Though science regimented her life, Sandhya kept alive her links with humanities. The book too aims at striking a difficult balance between technological advance and core human perspectives.
“The way technology was going ahead disturbed me, and also the consequences of our dependence on technology,” says Sandhya. “Technology should never cross the boundaries of Nature,” she says. The book, Sandhya says, is meant to be a warning too. “It is a warning to the world. When technology intrudes into Nature, it is not good for humanity,” she concludes.P. ANIMA