by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Do Robots feel?

I thought Freedom and Liberty are Universal values as are Science and Fiction but if not, the way to retaliate is to Parody them. When Corjan de Raaf follows me on twitter, the parody has to be, what else, but a video?

When I read that Simon & Schuster / Paul Malmont have announced a contest on Science Fiction, I was thrilled and over the last 2 days had thought up a plot.  But today, on going through the rules of the contest, I found that it was open only to the legal residents of the United States.

Now as stated above, apart from Freedom and Liberty, I was under the impression that ‘Science’ and ‘Fiction’ were also universal values to be applied equally to all - but obviously, both of them do not think so.
Perhaps they took a cue from :
  • President Obama, who is worried that India and China are on the verge of overtaking the US in Science and Maths; and
  • That, if the US had one Madoff and Galleon scams, with people who made their money by selling fictitious notions, we Indians seem to be rocking with the ilk - with Commonwealth Games, 2G Spectrum, Oil Block leases and what not.
However, it was galling that for a $40 prize worth, such severe restrictions were in place.  Even the old adage. ‘don’t get angry, get even’ is not an option, since $40 is almost the money I pay my ISP a month for my Broadband connection, plus what I pay for my domain registration.  Thus giving away $40 worth is not a smart option.

So, it was time to make fun of them - by Parody.

The salient rules are:
  • the contribution has to be an original;
  • it has to be a story;
  • it has to be short story (less than 2000 words);
  • Stories must begin with the words “The robot felt”;
  • Stories must end with the words “In the end, the robot felt nothing. He wasn’t programmed to”; and
  • they must be voted high (likes) on FaceBook to qualify for final judgement.
Thus for a parody, I decided to violate every one of the salient rules (that I am not a US resident is given), by:
  • using three TV commercials, such that except for my creativity in splicing them differently, my contribution is not original;
  • not writing (the intended) story, and using a video;
  • a video of 45 seconds length - if ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, doesn’t 45 pictures make 45000 words?;
  • the plot will ‘END’ with the words, “The robot felt (Love !)”;
  • the plot will ‘BEGIN’ with the words, “In the beginning, the robot felt nothing. She wasn’t programmed to”; and
  • as this blog gets hardly 30 to 50 hits a day, fat chance of this post/video ever going viral.
And so, here is the composition -
What a ruddy waste of time.  Took me almost 8 hours off and on to try out the right tools and to cut, edit, splice the video; add the music and subtitle it.
Here are the list of tools I used:
  • Google Chrome, the browser of choice;
  • Free Video Cutter to slice up the video;
  • VideoPad to splice the video and delink, remove the original background music and add the new James Bond Theme; and
  • Audacity to edit the James Bond Theme.
The original videos are of course downloaded from, where else but YouTube - if you want to watch originals, just Google for Maruti Suzuki Estilo, ads 1, 2, and 3.

The James Bond Theme from

BTW I am keeping my fingers crossed so no stool pigeon rats on me this time, unlike last when I used a TV commercial of a Tamil movie in a post about Robonaut in “Here is R2, D2 where are you?”, and instead enjoy the good, clean fun.

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