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Word: Jugaad


  • Originating in languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi and Urdu,
  • The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a flexible way of tackling issues through the utilization of available resources in a creative way”,
  • While the Harvard Business Review describes it as “the brave technique of overcoming difficult limitations through making do with the scant resources available.”

The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, with temperatures and weather patterns changing in many parts of the world.

These alterations in the environment are having a drastic impact on the environment, leading to extreme weather events and a rise in sea levels.

Furthermore, these changes are resulting in a reduction of biodiversity, as some species are unable to adapt to the new conditions. All of this is contributing to a destabilization of ecosystems, which could have serious repercussions for humanity.

The idea of capital punishment has been a contentious issue for many years. It has been debated whether or not it is a justified form of punishment in today’s society.

For some, it is seen as a form of justice, while to others it is perceived as a cruel and inhumane act. No matter what position is taken on this topic, it is clear that the subject of capital punishment is one that will continue to be discussed for many years to come.

The argument surrounding capital punishment has been ongoing for a lengthy period of time. The discussion about its validity has been a part of the debate, with some viewing it as a form of retribution, while others consider it a cruel and unjust act.

There is no definitive opinion on the matter, however it is certain that the conversation concerning capital punishment will persist for years to come.

Jugaad is a creative solution for overcoming a difficult situation with limited resources. It is a way to get “a lot from a little,” as someone who attended Delhi University put it to me.

This concept of creating something out of nothing is a common occurrence amongst college students all over the world, such as creating a meal out of instant noodles.

It was the summer of 2008 and I was interning at a Delhi magazine called Money when I learned the Hindi word Jugaad from a friend who lived in another Indian city.

We were both interlopers in the old country and had a fascination with words, having read Indian novelists like Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth.

Jugaad was a term that we had already been familiar with, understanding it in the context of our parents who had taken idlis on road trips as a preservation measure, or having utilized keyboards instead of pianos for the obligatory music lessons.

We understood that our parents had a knack for efficient assimilation, being able to cut corners to get from the aisles to the center.

At my job in Delhi, an informal jugaad policy was implemented. Companies, instead of readers, were what kept the business afloat.

Alcohol firms, airlines, and clothing stores paid for advertisements, and in return were given positive reviews, even though they were out of the ordinary.

I told a Texan man who had accompanied me to India about this correlation between the expression my friend had learned and the misalignment at my workplace.

My friend eventually married the Indian guy who had taught her the term, a young man from Bangalore.

I married the American youth whom I had taught the phrase to, whose skin was so pale that people would stop us in the street during our stay in India to tell me how fortunate I was.

In India, the term jugaad is often associated with men and vehicles made of repurposed parts, typically trucks.

In 2010, a British think tank conducted a study of Asian entrepreneurs and discovered that Indian respondents credited an abstract quality as being essential to their success.

This same year, the Harvard Business Review wrote an article about this concept which they called “frugal innovation,” an idea that involves creating effective solutions with limited resources.

Jugaad was exported to the western world and seen as a valuable commodity, similar to gold or water.

When you go, you sleep on a couch, you rewire your mind, and a noise in the kitchen reminds you of a past and an imagined future.

A relative queries, “Why would you leave a wealthy man who let you do whatever you wanted?” The other one says, “If you had only learnt the recipes that could make him happy, he may have acted differently.”

Your friend, who trained you in jugaad , she did learn those recipes. She arose with the sun to chop vegetables and press shirts.

A star student, the valedictorian of her college, married a B-minus kind of guy–but he had such an attractive smile! What an assertion to room! Yet she left as well, relinquished the saris that were bought by the boss in the kitchen, a mother-in-law who appeared to only love her son.

She wanted no reminders, no gold, no silk, regardless of how attractive. Limited resources, alright. Ready to make something out of nothing.

(Sometimes the weight of the silk comes to her as she arranges clothes in her leased room, back in America, and she does feel nostalgically.) You, on the other hand–you that is–shiver on the floor, too sick to even climb up a ladder to a space-saving mattress.

Your visions are of a large bed with folded blankets and the mother-in-law who felt like a mother when your own was gone, whose love was so tempting, home so comfy (so centrally located) that you understand why a son may remain a boy.

Mom with the Texas accent and the entitlement to space–mom you partially married, back when you thought maybe you could be Texan, maybe your kid could fit in. Past is past, you tell yourself.

You handed out the presents, left the big bed, and went to stake your own claim. You meet a lawyer in a midtown office who talks about resources. “I have women in here all the time just like you,” she says, and you rejoice at the sound of a woman in charge, “who say they don’t want anything.

A year later, they understand they could have used some fuel to move them to the next part, to make the next hack easier. In the end, they lost some on that last one, on life with a man.”

Describing what you desired, only to be told that the opportunity had already passed. The gas had been left on while you were asleep, leading to all kinds of strange occurrences.

There was only enough space for one child, and that space ended up being taken by the husband.

So where were you left in all of this? You hadn’t meant to say all of this, but then this lawyer stepped in, who had been recommended by an ambitious friend.

They had been colleagues during their days in a big firm until your lawyer chose to go a different path, eventually getting a yoga certification, renting office space in a co-working building, and thinking of emotions as she worked.

She smiled, this lawyer who had chosen her own way of life, showing her age with her naked ring finger, and her belly. “Anything is possible,” she said. “This is New York.”

The social theorist Cynthia Enloe coined the term “womenandchildren,” referring to the tendency to group the two together in a single imaginary space. This is where jugaad, the Indian term for creative problem-solving, can thrive.

People can conjure up armies from plastic and beaches from sandpits as an example. Women can defy social expectations and use new products to alter their appearance, such as Asian women dyeing their hair blond and Slavic women opting for brunette.

It is possible to create something from nothing, to bring life from an idea, to construct a placenta from nutrients, organs from air, and even a factory from a womb.

In 1927, the Cyclone rollercoaster was unveiled in Coney Island while an inventive housewife in the vicinity was perfecting an economical pleasure.

The icebox cake, made with graham crackers and canned cream, was a result of her ingenuity. Preparation of this dessert did not require an oven, making it suitable for times of war.

Perhaps some of us enter into matrimony in order to craft something out of nothing: a local, white, Bangalorean, affluent, secure, male, protagonist? It is possible to harbor the feeling of insignificance, and the world may also promote such an attitude.

Nevertheless, in certain situations, this notion can be articulated differently. “You can produce babies without men,” the lawyer declared. “You can make something from nothing.”

The availability of food is something that is in plentiful supply in many parts of the world. It is something that can be found in abundance and is often taken for granted.

Nonetheless, there remain certain areas of the world where food is scarce and the population struggles to make ends meet.

Consequently, it is vital that these areas receive the aid they need in order to guarantee the people a steady supply of sustenance.

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