Jugaad is the quintessentially Indian custom of inventing quick-fix ingenious solutions to all sorts of problems. We all do it. Like when we lose the remote cover and just tape up the batteries to keep them from falling out, or when we cover our boxes with foil when we can't find the lid. We are all guilty of jugaad, but there are a few (read: few too many) people who take this ingenuity overboard.
Like those who come up with this kind of DIY projects.
Or, those who'd rather do this than get a new remote control.
Nonetheless, this custom has got us international recognition. Indeed, it was a proud moment for us when the word 'jugaad' was added to the Oxford dictionary last year.
According to the Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary, jugaad is a noun which means:
"the use of skill and imagination to find an easy solution to a problem or to fix or make something using cheap, basic items."
Though Oxford Dictionary paints jugaad in a positive light, the fact is that there is a price to pay for quick-fixes. One can't deny that there is a lot of creativity and innovation that goes into the various jugaads we come up with.
Like this cool way of dealing with space crunch.
But if you really think about it, how many of these jugaads are truly sustainable? Sure, they fix the problem at hand, and make you feel like a genius for coming up with a solution, but can you live your entire life changing the TV channel with a stick?
We have been using jugaads for our convenience for years. It has become so ingrained in us that we don’t realise how it is holding us back.
Think of it like a drug. It gives you a high when you get your fix, and if you do it often enough, you get hooked to it. It is hard to let go, to think of the long-term when in the short-term, you are able to do what you need to. Jugaad is at the root of our country’s chalta hai attitude.
Look at this guy. Who needs a rear view mirror when a hand mirror can do the job?
"Jugaad, or working around difficulties by hook of by crook, is a thoroughly Indian way of coping, but it is predicated on a difficult or impossible business environment. And it encourages an attitude of shortcuts and evasions, none of which help the quality of final products or sustainable economic growth." - Raghuram Rajan, Governor of RBI
Jugaad keeps us stuck in the developing stage, where we have no incentive to come up with reliable and permanent solutions.
"In the field of innovation, India's image is bad across the world because of our tendency to have 'jugaad' (to do something in a make-shift way), which means getting less from less people. Somehow cost is the only consideration and not the safety in India.” - Dr Raghunath Mashelkar
Moreover, how many jugaads that we come up with are actually safe?
No. Just no.
We certainly don't care much about our personal safety, but our "chalta hai" attitude has led us to put our children in jeopardy.
But we don’t ever learn. Even if we know that jugaad is bad, we will still take the fast lane. You will forget the words in this article the moment you close the tab, but maybe you’ll remember the guy in this video:
Masthead image has been sourced from desinema.com
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