Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Sienna tales_episode2_Mirror_Mirror_on_the_wall

2030: Sienna Tales: Episode 2:  The changing face of retail with 3D printing as the primary method of manufacturing. Be it fashion or medicine, its the only truly personalized method of delivery. How mixed reality has brought art closer to medicine than ever. In 2030, Sienna’s journey across the landscape of the future continues.

As Sienna walked back in, Abhijit still had the magic glasses on, and he was looking at her quizzically.

“Who called Sienna? You went out in a hurry. Am I disturbing your work?”

“No dadu, friends calling about the scene tonight.”

“Stay away from the ‘Loose Boys’…” He warned. He was referring to her group in college. All boys and all of them trouble.

Sienna bristled from inside, but she laughed. “I’m going to listen to a band Dadu. These guys help me with the music for my work.”

“Aaah your new fangled careers today. In our time music meant party and work was well, boring work.” He laughed. Sienna also laughed out loud and the moment was gone. Dadu could rub her the wrong way so quickly, but he was adorable!

The afternoon flew by quickly and Pratish, the third from the brat pack and a rider sauntered in the door. He was leather clad and had ridden to the hospital that was clear from the helmet and gas mask he was carrying. Dadu looked at the helmet with chargin and scowled.


“Its Ok Dadu, the gas mask was on all the time, even in the safe areas. Chill.” He looked at him and said. But he was smiling while he hugged Sienna. “Hey didi, you must be tired. I’ll take over now I’m here for the night. “

“Hey Monu…Howdy doody. When are you taking me for a spin on that fat baby of yours?” She gave him a fond peck on the cheek but made no move to leave. It was still 4:30, she could hang around here for some time.

“Now. But I don’t have another gas mask, we’ll have to buy it from the store downstairs.”

Sienna looked at dadu who looked positively horrified at the thought. He was ready to kill Pratish. She was shaking as she laughed. And maintaining eye contact with him said. “No Monu, I think today is a little dangerous, we still have the effects of stroke to battle. I don’t want to give him anther one at the thought of both of us on the bike at the same time. Another time baby…” Her eyes were shining with mirth as she teased.

They all had a good laugh as Pratish took off his jacket and boots, but the relief on dadus face was plain to see. He placed them in the cupboard and then entered the chamber himself and lifted his hands up for ultraviolet fumigation. Once relaxed, he sat down next to Sienna on the large sofa cum bed that would change shape at the press of a button on the wall. It would also serve a wake-up call if any predictive monitors went into red. Shaking in SOS pattern until he woke up.

But dadu was eager to show Pratish her work so he asked Sienna to ‘show the thing’. He handed the magic glasses to pratish who allowed them to calibrate to his eyes and shape of face. Sienna showed him some of her healing patterns and then took some time to explain the effects of each on an autistic child’s spectrum of cognitive or motor issues. Pratish was amazed and awed.

“Didi, you’ve always been a rockstar, but this is super awesome. In fact I have friends who have autistic kids from across the spectrum, who cannot afford the corrective therapy. I’ll recommend this to them. Wow!!”

Abhijit called both of them over and hugged them. He kissed Sienna’s forehead and said. “You come back home tomorrow…. Your dadu needs you now.” Looking deep into her eyes, imploringly.

Sienna tried to shake off the wise hypnotic gaze and looked down on the bed as if counting the threads on the hospital bed. “I’m happy alone Dadu. I have so much research and experimentation to do in my studio. I can’t move all the equipment and stuff so far.”

“I know what equipment you’re talking about Sienna, I saw that all your dad’s paintings were missing from his shack. Do you even have enough space in that tiny appartment to store all of them?” He said peevishly.

“Yes, every inch of my walls is covered.” She locked eyes with him and continued… “I have picture panes that serve the ones that I need the most. In fact I use them as part of my research. Its how I stumbled on the healing patterns. I was playing around with them digitally and trying to make some music that matched. The music maestro – my digital music coach recommended that I try it out on autistic children. His use of color and pattern matched those which autistic children like to spend time in. Even the music that the machine made to match was similar in cadence to the kind of beat they respond to. At first I didn’t believe it. The maestro keeps making these recommendations, to try a dance step with a piece of music, or dispensing random trivia, like this one belongs to three bars of an old hit song etc. I thought it was one of those things. But the recommendation kept getting stronger as I tried more music with the patterns. So I sent one to a pediatrician specializing in autism. She was very excited and wanted to test it out with one of her patients who was having trouble understanding that his parents had to hand him over to grandma to go to work. He kept having seizures and fits whenever grandma came near because he didn’t want his parents to leave him. Nothing worked and they could not afford the corrective therapy yet. They both needed to work and save enough money for it. They tried some sessions with me and then tried to have a conversation with him about it. And the rest is history. It works best if I do it live with the child as the maestro keeps giving me feedback on the child’s reactions and I keep tailoring the moods, colors and patterns so that its custom defined for every child and slightly different each time. But it works! We’ve even figured out patterns and colors that I can customize to the child’s exact symptom manifestation. Like focus, or understanding or motor skills. They all have a different effect.”

As she went on, Abhijit’s brow furrowed further and further. “Do you think your dad was autistic? Somewhere on the spectrum?” His eyes widened at the thought. Instead of losing his son, he could have gotten treatment or corrective therapy for him? The possibilities were staggering for him who lost his son to what he thought was a strange kind of madness bright upon by substance abuse. CASPR could not find the genetic variation responsible for his psychoses and that was their theory. When he got that fixed by tricking him into it, he started to lose his creative capabilities and it made him even crazier.

“No, I think he was empathetic to the extreme more than autistic. When he travelled to paint, I think he met some autistic children and vibed with them. He may have tried different patterns at that time with some success. I found some patterns labelled ‘Motor Skills’ or ‘Cognitive Understanding’ behind the easels. This was later when the pediatrician came to my studio to see them. She was browsing through them and found the labels. “

Abhijit had tears in his eyes. He looked at Sienna and was crying frankly. “I have his diary, he called them, god’s children. I think it was Italy where he was bunking with a buddy from college. Both his kids were ‘special’. Thats what the diary says. But it did not say Autistic. And I thought he was under the influence when he wrote it. That everyone who was high was ‘God’s children’.”

“Do you have a digitized version of the diary? Can I read it?”

“No. Come over tomorrow, I’ll give you the physical one as soon as I get home. My safe will only open if it recognizes my digital signature and has the key.”

“Yes Dadu…I’ll come over in the morning when you get discharged.” She reached across to hug him tight. She was glad he was able to see his son in another light, rather than the lens of success & failure that he had always used to look at him.

She got up to leave. “I’m going to go home Dadu, I have to get ready, but I’ll see you in the morning. “

She had stepped out into the acre of green around the hospital with a light heart. Today was really turning out to be a good day. Although her trusty car came around momentarily to meet her since it sensed her departure from the room, she gestured for it to follow and decided to walk to the gate. It wasn’t very often that you got to breathe in pure natural air in this town.

On her way home, Shiela pinged her to say that a drone delivery of flowers has arrived but it would not deliver until he plays a message only to Sienna. She was beaming when she got out of the car outside her building. The drone threw a shower of rose petals as soon as she exited. Surprised, she looked up and saw the silhouette against the sky. There were two more, hovering around waiting for people to arrive and take their deliveries but only one was carrying flowers. She ran up the patio steps and entered the super fast lift that took her to her 30th floor appartment in a few seconds. She could see the drone following outside the super strong PMMAglax walls. They were translucent today since the sun wasn’t so harsh. The outer shell of the building was made so that there was zero consumption of energy to heat or cool the building. Whatever small amounts were needed were generated by the shell since it had nano solar panels floating in the liquid crystal centre between the inner and the outer shell.

As she walked inside her apartment, he was waiting outside her delivery window. Bobbing cutely. She took the flowers from him and gestured towards the digital panel beside the window. This gave him permission and the drone started beaming to it. It was Sid with a smile on his face.” Dimples to die for, she thought to herself.

“A beautiful woman should always start her day with flowers. Sorry these got a little late. I’m a late riser.”

Sienna’s eyes twinkled. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were stalking me. At least your drone was. What’s up?”

“Nothing, got up thinking of you so sent you some flowers. Hope you liked them.” He beamed back. He was online and had been waiting for her to accept the delivery. “See you tonight!”

“Yes, a couple of hours from now. Now shoo. I have to get ready!”

Sienna spun around and asked Surekha to put the flowers into water and ask the harvester to come up and harvest some seeds from the pods for her hanging garden. She didn’t have petunias in her flower patches…

Sheila had seen the bunch of petunias and had taken out a summery slate grey georgette dress with red and pink bunches printed on it. Sienna grabbed it and rushed into the shower to scrub out the hospital smell. Especially the subtle aroma of burning which stuck to your clothes when you came out of the fumigation closet.

When she came out it was already 6 PM. She quickly put on her make-up after picking a style suggested by the mirror, her favorite and most recent IoT accessory. It was suggesting her mom’s mother of pearl, petunia shaped, earrings as an accessory. She tapped on it and they slid out into the accessory dispenser. They looked perfect. Her mirror was a relatively new toy but it was quickly learning her style. She could pick a dress from an online catalogue, wear it virtually and see the matching accessories in the suggestion panel. They were a single click buy for her. Super easy to shop now. Not that she did it too often. She was a priority self serve customer. She only had to pick a style and the material cartridge would be shipped to her. Her 3D printer would print it in her exact measurements for that material. Sheila also made some style adjustments with her approval sometimes. That way it was always the most current size & style for her. But she was more content to explore the variations that she could create by mixing and matching separates from her wardrobe. She also had a whole section full of her mother’s stuff that she liked. Very turn of the century fashion. She wanted to explore wearing them.

By the time Sid arrived and pinged, she was all ready to go. She sprayed on a floral essence of petunias formulated and printed just for her and walked through the cloud towards the entrance patio. The lift opened and Sid was standing there. His eyes widened at the sight and smell of her. Pentunias were his favorite flower. Sienna wondered if Sheila had overdone the petunias tonight. She walked in and kissed him on the cheek. He slid his hands around her waist and gave her feathery one on her lips. Pulling her close.

Sienna’s knees melted. He was so tall and she fit right under his chin. She shuddered and pulled her wrap close and pulled away. He let her but retained his hand on her waist. They walked out of the lift together. It was going to be a good night!

Original Story published on:

Sienna Tales: Author Speaks

Episode 1: Saved by CASPR

Episode 2: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Written By

Ekta Rohra Jafri
Design Director-Group Manager at IBM Interactive Experience
Ekta is an HFI certified Usability Analyst, IBM Design Thinking Practitioner, Designer & Strategist with expertise in creation of content & products. A story teller who works to translate your vision into a usable, monetizable product. With a stellar 22 yrs of experience out of which 13 yrs in design & user experience of digital entities, she has managed and delivered design projects on platforms from web to mobile to TVs, short form text to 3D reality. An outcome oriented expert who can create, diagnose and repair experiences through research led analysis. She has successfully driven product innovations to drive monetization, guided product strategy to match business goals. Adept in all kinds of the observatory and generative research from contextual studies to traffic or social analysis, she is also a mentor & team builder who has set up & led UX teams for COEs. A Design Thinker who loves to bring people to the same platform in terms of thought and action and a futurist who reimagines the future every time she designs.