Sonia smiled in sleep. It was 6 am. Her Wall Clock did a "Ting-tong" accompanied by a sweet Voice "Get up dear Sonia. It's a new day. The very first day of 2099."
Sonia turned in sleep. Within seconds, the curtains of her little "Capsule" were drawn automatically letting in the sun. The AC turned off and her cover was rolled down. Sonia rubbed her eyes and smiled to herself. She yawned and said "Good Morning Delhi. Good Morning 2099."
She stretched a little, and as soon as she got up, the upper part of the bed split into two. These "splits" turned 90 degrees to become a sofa seating, making the "Capsule" look more spacious.
She headed towards the washroom, where her daily morning quota of water was filled in the container besides the wash-basin. Her tub was already filled with warm water.
She had a quick bath and got ready. She wore a pink frock looked as fresh as a daisy. She drummed her fingers against the wall with the book shelves on it, and the wall shifted and turned to make way for a kitchenette.
Sonia fixed herself a salad and squeezed fresh orange juice for her breakfast.
"Good Bye Home", she said as she dialled in the password to lock the front door of her Capsule.
These Capsules were the energy efficient living spaces which occupied not more than 40 sq meter. They were powered with solar cells and her motion sensors. Since they were made of prefabricated panels, these capsules could be dismantled and moved to a different area. A flexible lintel band ran across a series of capsules to help them hold together during event of earthquake. A considerable technology had gone into their formulation.
To Sonia these series of capsules looked like a beehive from outside. With one window peeping out from each capsule in the front as well as the back. Keeping these cross ventilated.
Downstairs, Sonia fidgeted with the keys of her tuk-tukk-e. The tuk-tukk-e were three-wheeled vehicles which were more like covered tri-cycles. The fun part was that you could either cycle your way or use battery to cycle for you. Many times, you could simply cycle to recharge the battery. These Tuk-Tukk-e became popular since the 2060s and were now becoming increasing better with new technology. Sonia drove (cycled) her Tuk-Tuk-e with pride and waved and at the fellow passersby, who were either on foot or drove similar Tuk-tuk-e .
Just as she was about to reach the gate of the school where she taught, a shiny blue car raced by. It was an odd sight. Sonia was a bit distressed.
She parked her vehicle and proceeded towards the staff room. A boy of tengot out of the blue car. He haughtily climbed the steps of the staircase and shouted as soon as he got in the classroom.
"Why the hell is the AC turned off?"
An intelligent looking girl answered nonchalantly "Alex, the temperature outside is just optimum. We don't need AC, so it got turned off."
"Why? At my place AC is always on. Also, I don't understand why he have to use staircase to come up to second floor. The lift is reserved only for elderlies and ill. What nonsense. To add, we have quota of water to use in the washroom each time. Unbelievable. "
Alex then sat down and pulled a small transparent sheet of fibre from his pocket. He tapped it lightly, various icons appeared on it. He touched one of them and started playing games. The girl who had spoke to Alex earlier stood up and said "Alex, these fibre-tabs are not to play games at school. We are here to study."
"Study?Oh, come on. They only teach us to lead a frugal and miserable life. This is no fun."
"Is that what you think?" asked a grown-up voice.
Everyone looked at the door. It was Sonia. She then drew out a fibre-tab from her purse and touched an icon which projected the screen of tab onto the thin air between her and the students. Words "NEW DAWN" were flashed.
"Students, today, I shall tell you the story of New Dawn."
"New Dawn? What is that?" asked one of the kids.
"I will explain. The world as you know today did not exist the same way during the 40s and 50s. By 50s the number of cars at Delhi and other major cities in the world had reached zenith. There was air-pollution all around. People usually survived on preserved food and turned obese. The rivers and wells had started drying out. There was scarcity of water!
And all of this did not happen in a day. It was a cumulative effect of years of exploitation of natural resources. The average age of Humans had come down to 50. Those who survived past 50 had breathing problems or some kind of vitamin deficiency. It was high time. Something had to be done. It is then, that a new dawn arose and the people of the country decided not to sit back and suffer but to make things better for the next generation. People pledged to use only the bare minimum resources. They pledged bring a shift in their living habits. They now ate fresh. They now preferred walking. For each tree cut, four were planted. Government worked with people to find out alternate sources of energy. Smart techniques were developed. "Go Green" was the mantra.
Children, it the by the efforts of the past generation that they we can envisage living on earth for another century. Or else how would we have survived in a densely populated city like Delhi?"
Children listened all of this in rapt attention.
Alex spoke softly. "Ma'am, I did not know any of this. This is a matter of grave importance. I will now be energy efficient. It's a new dawn for me."
And Sonia smiled affirmatively.