Maya and her unique shopping facilitator


Maya had been a bit dejected these days. She was looking for a particular color of nail paint to go with her new linen dress but nothing available in any brand seemed to go with it. It was a very important event where she wanted to wear it and she knew that nothing but the very best will do. She had called up designers in New York, London and Milan and everywhere the answer had been that you do not get any nail paint which is a mix of sky blue, lemon yellow and baby pink. One had even laughed and called her a bit vain to be obsessed with a minute detail. Maya knew that in another era, she would have taken his comment to heart, tried to readjust her priorities, compromise with what’s available and gone with the flow. But not now.

It was the year 2030 and the entire world was at her beck and call. Technology, communication, lifestyle, science, arts and the entire human race for that matter had moved leaps and bounds and there was no way anyone could expect her to just ‘adjust’. So she fished out the business card that she had received at the last ‘creative ideas’ summit she had attended in Delhi. It was a summit where the best brains from round the world got together and spoke about changing the face of the civilization and the way life is lived. Since the time she first started attending this summit as part of her college research project 5 years back, she was hooked.

The smart business card with touch-phone functionality came to life once she took it out. She accessed the latest location and contact details of Mr. Robert Krishna or RK as he liked to call himself. He was truly a global citizen like many were becoming in the last few years, renouncing artificial boundaries of religion, caste, country and language and embracing a global mindset and outlook, hence his name was a combination of the east and the west. Maya smiled about how the world had changed in her 40 years of existence. From being fanatical and fundamental, where riots and attacks tore normal lives for petty issues and disagreements, there had come to be a reigning peace around where people loved and respected each other for just who they were. Maya was glad her children were growing in such a world, not the sort in which she herself grew up. She fondly looked at the project her son was making for his virtual school classroom — he had proposed yet another faster electric car model. Maya again marveled at the fact that petrol  diesel cars, plastics, chlorofluorocarbons, harmful ultraviolet rays and all that was a thing of the past and the world had woken up to the fact that sustainable living was the only way things could move forward.

Meanwhile, in her hand, the smart business card automatically connected her smart phone to RK’s latest location and made the call.

“Hi, this is RK.”

“Hey, RK! This is Maya. We met this year…”

“Of course Maya, my phone immediately recognized you and flashed your image, based on your number and current GPS location. Glad to hear from you! Tell me how can I be of help?”

“RK, you mentioned your novel shopping idea to me and asked me to try it out any time. Well, I think now is the time.”

“Sure, I’m glad. Tell me what is that unique product you want along with all its specifications?”

“Well, I want nail paint which is a mix of sky blue, lemon yellow and baby pink. It is a very particular shade that I have in mind and I know exactly what combination they need to be mixed in to get the exact shade I want. Also, I want a matte finish, not a glossy one.”

“Sounds great, Maya. I will contact my unique shopping facilitators immediately and one of them will contact you right away. In fact based on some key words we have spoken, they already have a call ready to be placed to you right after we finish speaking. They will ask you some brief questions on what you want and come back to you with potential buys within 24 hours. Once you approve of one product that you would want to buy, they will ship it to you within another 8 hours wherever in the world you may be.”

“Fantastic! Just what I expected. I really look forward to receiving the unique product that I have designed. Do tell me the cost attached.”

“Yes, well, like I had mentioned at the summit, there will be a slight mark up for custom making your unique product but in case we find other buyers interested in it, we will also share royalty with you. So not only, do you get a product exactly to your unique requirement but there is also a probability to partner with our associate company that makes this product.”

“Yes, I remember you mentioning all of this and it is very exciting. In fact this reminds me I want to discuss another unique product I have I mind. It is a toaster that sets off an alarm 30 seconds before the toast is ready so that it never ever burns, or pops accidentally into the sink or becomes hard staying suspended in the slot.”

“Great, I’m eager to hear. Tell me more and then I can connect you the appropriate unique shopping facilitator from the concerned associating company or perhaps they already have the call ready to be made to you…”

Epilogue: Maya got her unique nail paint, suitably called “Blynk”, within the next 48 hours and she attended the important function feeling extremely confident and supremely happy. The toaster idea is under discussion and they plan to make it for her within a week once they understand exactly what she wants. Taking lead from Maya, her friends Ajit, Sonya and Venkat also approach RK and slowly the concept of unique shopping facilitators supplying your requested custom-made product or service is becoming a sensation around the globe.

This post is part of the Ebay “The future of shopping” contest. They have also introduced a new Google Chrome extension.



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