funny bone

Why is it taking so much time? The universe is expanding: Biswa Kalyan Rath on time-travelling taxis

It would be more or less like the present day. Except with the addition of quantum physics.


Self–driving cabs are somewhere in humanity's not-too-distant future. But look further into it, far beyond the possibilities of physics, and mankind might have access to time-travelling cabs too.

The arguments and absurdities would remain the same, with the added bother of quantum physics. Instead of where are you, the question posed will be: "When are you?"

A sample conversation:

"Can you come to August 15? What are you doing on the 12th? August 14 has a traffic jam so you can take a u-turn on the 16th and come here."


While going, it had taken less time. You are taking a longer route.

No, I am not. The universe is expanding. 

That's what Mumbai-based comic artist's Biswa Kalyan Rath's latest short is about. Starring other stand-up comic artists like Sumukhi Suresh, Vaibhav Sethia, Utsav Chakraborty and Sourav Ghosh, it's conversations between the time-travelling taxi driver played by Rath and passengers of the future.

Can't you go any faster? 

I am going at the speed of light. If I go any faster, won't the mass increase? Then don't say our driver increased our mass, warped our dimensions, destroyed our life so we will give him one star. Don't need your feedback.

Self-driving cars and taxis aim to prevent accidents. As do the time travelling cabs.

You should cancel the trip. 


I am just returning from your accident. 

Can you cancel it? I don't want to lose Rs 30. 

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Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

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In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.