Dave sez, "I'm an American who blogs about life in New Delhi. I recently published an essay about 'jugaad': the semi-untranslatable practice and philosophy of jerry-rigging that is one of the prides of India. Once you look for jugaad in India, you see it everywhere: water pumps converted into cars, wrappers converted into rope, and so on.
This essay also explores the broader implications of a culture that embraces jugaad. Jugaad is how so many people can survive with such stoic patience in conditions that would drive Americans like me crazy. "
No two jugaad vehicles are the same, because each one is an improvised solution using unlikely parts. These vehicles are the purest representation of this spirit of ingenuity, and everyone we spoke to swelled with pride at India's capacity for jugaad. "We are like that only," my boss Murali would tell me when describing solutions to situations that would send most goras scurrying for the nearest five-star hotel.
The variety of solutions to seemingly intractable problems we saw supported this patriotic esteem: motorcycles chopped in half and welded to carts to create centaur goods haulers. The way families would fit mother, father, and three kids onto a single scooter. The clever repurposing of used water bottles as cooking oil containers. Rope spun from discarded foil packets. Cricket wickets made from precariously balanced stacks of rocks. And, as Anurag sardonically pointed out in a political statement I don't understand but assume to be insightfully hilarious, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government: a duct-taped coalition of thirteen political parties.
As one blogger put it when describing those diesel water pump trucks, "these vehicles reflect the true spirit of innovation in rural India."
(Image: Jugaad in action, a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike photo from Chromatic Aberration's Flickr stream)
It’s called Cayla, it’s about a foot tall, and it can be used to listen to and talk to the child playing with it. But who is doing the listening? Anyone in Bluetooth range, reports Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). An official watchdog in Germany has told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla […]
The Stower Candle Charger, in addition to being a basic emergency stove, powers USB gadgets with fire: put a fuel canister under it and it’ll transmute heatrons into juicetrons as described in the Codex Ifritanimus. One canister will charge a smartphone twice; actual wax candles will presumably not stretch so far. When power outages hit, […]
The GPD Pocket is a wee laptop with a 7″ high-dpi touchscreen display and an enticing $399 price tag. It’ll be light on power, with an Intel Atom CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, but promises about 12 hours on a charge and two USB ports, one of them type C. There’s a […]
Python is immensely popular in the data science world for the same reason it is in most other areas of computing—it has highly readable syntax and is suitable for anything from short scripts to massive web services. One of its most exciting, newest applications, however, is in machine learning. You can dive into this booming […]
Learning new skills is a great way to improve your resume and stand out from other candidates. Especially in a workforce in which many job-seekers have a wide variety of qualifications. With lifetime access to Virtual Training Company, you won’t have to choose a specific focus. You can pick up new expertise whenever you deem it […]
Instead of throwing out all the empties after your next party, why not transform them into some new DIY glassware? Cut back on waste and add some home ambiance with the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter and Candle Making Kit.The Kinkajou is designed as a clamp-on scoring blade to make precise cuts. Just slide a bottle in, tighten […]