Only mad ideas can change the way we think!

Only mad ideas can change the way we think!

‘Phew! What a day it was,’ said Specky as she entered the house, ‘what is this world coming to? Jam. Jams. Jams. Everywhere.’

Obviously I wasn’t paying the sort of attention I should’ve been paying as I asked her, ‘jam? You want to have toast and jam at six in the evening? Not a good time to have that. Better wait for the maid to come and prepare an early dinner.’

Specky looked at me for a while and gently asked, ‘Are you in the middle of writing a poem?’


She smiled and said, ‘Complete it and then we’ll discuss something radical.’

Now ‘radical’ is a word that makes me forget words and poetry and everything else. No, not the distant cousin that is a part of the chemistry family… I’m talking of the sort of abstraction that is a part of every soul that has a few DNA that dance at the thought of becoming a revolutionary!

‘Any new idea for a revolution in the Directorate?’ I asked tentatively.

‘No,’ she answered, and then continued, ‘the traffic jams that I faced while driving through Jantar Mantar do not bother me as much as the reason for which people were out there in large numbers, protesting.’

I had fortunately spent some time reading the papers and helpfully answered, ‘Ah! You mean that rape case? The Nirbhaya episode?’

‘Yes,’ she said, ‘and I really wish there was some brilliant idea that could actually help us all reduce the number of such incidents inside buses.’

Idea 01

We went up and down the idea highway and finally finalised this one:

A bus that STOPS when it senses a crime being committed… or just drives into the nearest police when it’s sensors detect eve-teasing, molestation, pick-pocketing etc. Wouldn’t the Delhi Police be really fascinated?

The idea is get CRIME DETECTORS installed in buses initially… maybe in other forms of public transport later if the idea is successful.

Now the truth is that one idea generally stimulates and catalyses other ideas in succession… and this is exactly what we did that evening. No, there was no evening coffee, no evening biscuits and cakes – it was just a feast of ideas that we gorged upon that evening! ‘Now, what is vital is that we need to think of radical ideas that are going to benefit humanity.’

Specky excitedly chipped in, ‘And they should be the sort that conventional scientists aren’t really capable of inventing. Which would make us the most revolutionary thinking geniuses in the world!’

Ah! The dance of my DNA on hearing the word ‘revolutionary’ is always a treat and I love Specky for ensuring that this giggling genetic dance went on and on throughout the evening.

‘What bothers you most?’ she asked me.

‘I said, ‘All those nincompoops and dolts on the internet who do nothing but copy. They irritate me a lot!’

Idea 02

‘OK,’ she announced, ‘ let’s then conjure up some unique PLAGIARISM JAMMERS.’

It didn’t take us very long to actually decide upon the finer details of the way our jammer would work and the final result was:

‘Plagiarism Jammers’ that disallows the machine/device of plagiarists to function until the ‘apology’ button is pressed! This will be a public apology that goes all over the social networks and is even recorded on the connected jammer website. This innovation will be mandatory for all new laptops and other communication devices.

‘Wow!’ I said with a nearly satisfied grin on my face, ‘This should take care of all those tweet pirates at least!’

It was at this point in our scientific incursion that we were terribly disturbed by loud music being played somewhere in outside. And we looked at each other and smiled. The thought process for the third brilliant and innovative idea had just begun.

Idea 03

The third idea then was the creation of our fantastic COCOON PRODUCER which would save us all from unnecessary noise and help us be creative all the time.

A laptop that creates a zone of silence around you and jams every sort of noise — to help you concentrate! Will prefer to call it the ‘cocoon producer’ and it will be heavenly to sit in your private cocoon, detached from ambient sounds and other noises… and working peacefully. Should be a boon for offices where they are cramming people in the restricted space they have, expecting creative output from everyone.

‘I really like the idea of this cocoon producer,’ I said, ‘if this were really invented I’d never ever have to wish I were someplace else when I had the urge to write in solitude.’

This was the moment when we felt hungry and also realised that it was almost ten in the night. ‘The maid has disappeared,’ wailed Specky.

‘And we now have only ideas to eat!’ I said, and then stopped, ‘wait… there is another idea. What if we had a Tablet that could search the internet for recipes, and pop the prepared versions for us at a mere tap?’

‘Charming,’ said Specky, and asked me to come into the kitchen to help her prepare some spaghetti for dinner.

Idea 04

Well, we did have spaghetti that night but not before I had clicked a picture of it on my iPad and then had myself clicked eating some real stuff with the virtual version peeping out as you can see in the picture in this post.

Thus was born the idea of a FOOD TAB and the idea is simple enough:

The Tab needs to have a direct access to the kitchen via the internet and the right set of commands will set the automated kitchen cook the dish of your choice and through a conveyor belt get it to wherever you are within the house. The Tab would also have a picture sent to you that you can tap with your finger to get the dish served to you in real time!

‘Wow!’ I said, ‘that was delicious!’

Specky looked at me suspiciously and asked, ‘What? The dish or the idea?’

We knew what we were thinking, and so let the question linger without giving it an answer. After dinner the two of us had gone to our Study and the first thing Specky noticed there was the huge pile of books on my table.

‘How many of these books have you read today?’ she asked, ‘You know you have a backlog of almost…’ She went on to count the thirty odd books there and gave me an expression of shocking disbelief! She went on, ‘At this rate your friends at Blogadda are going to be terribly displeased.’

‘It’s only one book from them,’ I protested… and that was when the idea struck!

Idea 05

‘You’ve seen note counting machines?’ I asked.

Specky looked at me and said, ‘I know what you are going to wish for. You’re so predictable. All you want is a machine that will read your books and complete your reviews for you. You’re such a lazy fellow sometimes!’

I gave her a victorious smile and laughed out loud, ‘No, the idea isn’t as puerile as that. There is much more science and a deeper level of ideation there.’

I then went on to explain my idea of a BOOK CHEF to her:

My BOOK CHEF will look like a money counting machine and indeed its mechanical arm will do just that with a book. Imagine flipping an entire book in a few seconds. But from here on it becomes full of bytes. The analogue signals are digitised and through EEG bipolar leads or electrodes and these digitised signals are then transmitted into the hemispheres of the brain through subliminal convection. The book is thus read, understood, and assimilated in a few seconds. The review is then a matter of all the creative impulses that I generate after that difficult part is over!

‘Well,’ said Specky, ‘your Book Chef seems real fun and pretty useful too.’

‘And if we really do manage to invent some such gizmo,’ I said, ‘we’re going to be millionaires for generations!’

Do you think we went off to sleep that night? No… we remained awake, churning idea after idea and what a night of idea harvesting that was!
This post is a part of Weekend contest at in association with Chanakya’s New Manifesto


Note: This post is a journey to the land of fantasy! However, the problems are real… and the idea blueprint is discussed in detail.


Arvind Passey
03 February 2013