Archive for June, 2008

we are not alone :-)

June 26, 2008

Warning: my blog title is uniqideas and subtitle is ‘mungerial’ 🙂

I have always believed that there are definitely various forms of life; not just on planet Earth but at many places in the entire Universe …

I mean, the universe is soo vast … it maybe true that many of the places – that we humans have explored till date – are not conducive to normal life forms … but all these ‘facts’ involve so much of subjectivity

Just consider —

a) how ‘much’ of the universe have we explored?
b) do we ‘forever’ monitor the places we have explored? (remember? the universe is so dynamic!)
c) are we the ‘ultimate’ authority to decide what a conducive environment means?
d) also, can we say for sure that we are ‘accurate’ in our understanding of ‘normal’ life?

Well, I can go on and on … I even have a mindboggling creative question for you to ponder on — why do we search for traces of water/ice when we look for sophisticated life forms — maybe extra terrestial (ET) life is using extra terrestial ways for support (OR even strange – they do not need anything, for that matter, as support!)

I assume that you do not want me to go further on this lines … still, you may ask — ok then, if there are various life forms in so many places in the universe then why don’t we come across them?

I myself have thought a lot about it … I kind of explain to myself that maybe it is just matter of time, we will probably cross roads, sooner or later …

Above picture is from one of the news item that I came across a while back. It states that there are more than 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide (on this very planet earth). We human beings are ‘civilized’ enough not to intrude in their way of living and simply ‘study’ it from a distance (Maybe, the aliens I am talking about are too advanced and equally decent to let us ‘suffer’ in our own primitive ways!)


Another piece here mentions about finding glass-tulip-like ‘new’ species of life in extreme conditions! If we have still not spotted all the existing life forms on our very own planet earth (right in this 21st century) then how can we be so sure about the universe?

I know, I have not proved anything (I don’t intend to, anyway) but I just wanted to take you along with me on the journey of my whimsical thoughts. I am glad you gave me company 🙂

Before I close this, I would also like to share a thought I had long back heard from a lady comedian on ‘Saturday Night Live’ TV show – she said she definitely believes in ET and further added that “what else explains so many missing people? It is like the way we pick up fishes from the ocean (or somewhere) and put them in our acquarium for entertainment, these ETs pick up different humans and make them pets!” 🙂

ha ha hi hi

Now, don’t blame me if you were taken for a ride in this totally non-scientific way of thinking (not backed with any ’empirical’ data or ‘hypothesis’ based PhD style of reasoning) … I had warned you at the onset – isn’t the name of my blog big enough a disclaimer to pour out my offbeat (which i market as ‘uniq’) thoughts that take up space in my fully activated illuminated whole brain. This outflow has further freed up some more space for even better ideas! 🙂

WOW! – our Universe is soo beautiful !! Click it to see the full image on NASA page –>



June 21, 2008

I often come across something that works well in one context and wonder why it cannot be ‘copied’ elsewhere?

While I visited Amsterdam & Rotterdam during my 5 weeks study module (as part of the 1 year MBA), I was amazed by the way people have adopted bi-cycle in their daily routine. They have ‘invented’ creative solutions to every bottleneck that comes on their way in using a cycle.

Now, some good guys in the US have come up with a wonderful business concept based on these bikes (or trikes to be precise). They have even named it after Amsterdam – they call it New Amsterdam Project.

What is NAP? (from their website)

NAP provides human-powered pick-up and delivery services for local businesses, organizations and universities. They provide your business with full service route delivery- inclusive of drivers, fossil-fuel free vehicles, and unparalleled marketing opportunities for business on their unique, environmentally friendly trucks.

What am I wondering?

Can we not replicate this in India? I know, human powered rickshaws are already in use but they are not put to much of commercial use. The NAP-type trikes can certainly be a good idea in today’s busy metros. Hey, BM (designate) at ITC, does this count as Eureka? Would you give me (or anyone who takes this up) contract to replace your fleet of ‘deisel/petrol-piyakkad’ delivery vehicles 🙂

How to make the Metro quieter?

June 20, 2008

Before I post my next idea (the entry is already half way through!), let me throw here a problem for collective creative solution formulation.

I am not sure if it is just me or is Delhi Metro truly noisy?

I happened to travel by it recently (yeah, I know it has been there for quite some time … but I got a chance to board it just recently) and what I observed is – it is irritatingly noisy 😦 … no, its not because of the crowd – the biggest noise pollution is created by the repetitive recorded announcements (and it is never ending – more due to frequent arrivals at various stations)

I understand that the announcements are necessary for security reasons and for information of people who are not frequent travelers and that the information tickers (running on the electronic displays in English & Hindi) along with various posters/symbols are not enough but still there has to be some way to reduce the annoyance.

No key decision makers in DMRC may be reading this (who knows?) but let that fact not demotivate us from thinking what could be possible ways to make it a quieter ride.

FM radios in the cell phones (or even iPods) have come handy to few (or many?) commuters as an easy escape route but could there not be a solution at the system level?

I was wondering – maybe the rail cars should have head sets (like the handle bars for people who are standing) along the walls which can be used by travelers interested in tuning in to those mundane shrieks OR speakers (capable to create noise only locally) spread across the coaches that can be put on/off at will. However, these alternatives do not sound great to me. Can you think of any better resolution?

PS: I now recall that the trains/metros in the Netherlands too were equally noisy due to announcements (or somewhat less – because they did not bother to repeat the Dutch announcements in English! and maybe the stations were bit far apart). But, maybe I was too excited picking up few foreign language words to bother about the decibels.

PPS: Thanks to everyone who has posted their comments on the ideas shared so far. It is good to learn about possible pitfalls/shortcomings of the proposed solution. It broadens my understanding (and probably will refine the ideas to follow). धन्यवाद॥ 🙂

Idea #1.23E+4 – Financial Innovation?

June 16, 2008

Those who read my last blog might recall that I promised to share uniqideas more frequently.

Here comes the next one —

This one has its origin in my quest (dream?) of creative solutions to day-to-day problems. (I feel one of the major bottleneck to innovation is that we get used to workarounds and take the roadblocks as inevitable)

Without further bla bla bla – I think if any bank (or similar entity) comes up with providing credit/debit card terminals (swipe machines) to all the auto/taxi-walas in metros then it is going to be a big hit!


– Increased penetration of their debit/credit cards

– Increased subscriber (I am sure most of the auto/taxi-walas will not have bank a/c.s) base

– Increased branding/reach

Problems solved

– No more issues of paying the right change

– I think, it should not be a big problem to design the device in such a way that it can print a receipt with date/time/fare/vehicle number (is this too much?) – which can further resolve problems of employees faced while claiming reimbursements (and of employers who are worried about lack of supporting documents)

With today’s technological advancement of ICT, i do not see any major implementation issues (please correct me if you think I am Don Quixote 2.0) …


Now, can you visualize the next ad. from MasterCard saying – “Auto richshaw to pick up your girlfriend – Rs. 19.50 … Taxi to movie theater – Rs. 47.50 … Movie tickets for 2 – Rs. 250 … 3 hours of wonderful time together … priceless :-)”

Is Mr. COO & team @ FINO listening?

BTW, I found the Vodafone idea of ‘Chota Credit’ very creative way of marrying microfinance with their existing business … what do you think?

World Environment Day – is Khadi a solution?

June 5, 2008

When I chose the ID for my blog, I thought a lot and came up with uniQideas … universal & uniQue ideas

I have always considered myself a bundle of unique creative ideas (or wild dreams – that makes up the subtitle – mungerilal?) … but never have I shared any such thing here … why so? maybe I am too secretive … (maybe I am greedy for cash or credit or BOTH!)

Not any more … I think I am ready to let the ideas flow …

Ghandhiji\'s Khadi

Here comes the first one (and this may also give me cash, credit and some carbon credits too!)

I have formally (or rather verbally) tied up with an Ahmedabad based Designer and launched Khadi based line of clothing — I believe, though small in size, this is a step in the right direction (my bit for the mother nature & Gaia i.e. Earth)

I am just helping him market through my networking. Everyone of us can do a bit — want to know more? Read on at

Let’s make the world a better place, meter by meter 🙂

Love, Peace & Khadi

finally, the book is out!

June 3, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul

Yippee! ‘Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul’ features an article based on my earlier blog –>

I have received the cheque as token of appreciation & a copy of the book at my home address! (I have neither seen the book yet nor deposited the cheque) 🙂

You can buy it online here (I do not get royalties, though 😦 )