Jugaad, such a powerful word and who knows better than we Indians. This is one word in the Indian vocabulary that sums up how innovative we are at fixing everything. We start being Jugaadu as early as our school days and this behavior takes onto every aspect of our lives; constantly working on using it to repairing some shit or the other created by circumstances. Trust me on this, when we are being Jugaadu, we tend to scrape up numerous ways to achieve the end goal. No wonder this attitude has got us on the global map with the tag of being one of the most innovative “Lott” when it comes to achieving deadlines the wrong way. This sickness is just so deeply en-grained into our DNA that when we have ample enough of time, the task at hand is never our priority. It’s only when we are reprimanded, we find all the freaking ideas and tricks to get the job done to perfection in like 1/10th of the time allotted and in a way that’s never been done before!

So, why are we this way? Well its lot to do with the kind of people we are. We tend to take it easy most of the time and let that get the best out of us when the need arises. Life is already tough. Why stress oneself kind of attitude is what makes us so innovative at being deadline fixers. Is it bad? well it depends on how you compare it with the task at hand? Let’s just sum up our Jugaadu skills with the current political and financial situation in the country and see if that’s worked well for us.

India, after Independence has been largely under the rule of the Congress. There has been growth and yes, we did make a thriving economy bla bla bla, we also managed to amass huge chunks of money off the books and thereby helped create a parallel economy called The Cash Only Market. It’s would cease to amaze you how big this industry is. For eg. A big part of fashion business is totally a cash only market. Purchase of fabric, coloring, karigar (embroidery), the master (tailor), the shopkeeper selling it, even some of the high end designer’s work all on cash. There are numerous such businesses which work only on cash. So what do you do when Indians are so good at being jugaadu and always manage to find ways to beat the system, you got to pull the plug. Do a hard reset. Mr. Modi just did that!

Baap of all Jugaads!

Once the announcement was made people started shitting bricks; hawala guys started dumping money as they were unable to handle huge loads of cash. People panicked. It was utter chaos. As the dust settled down, it was time for an uprising. The good old national sentiments of cutting corners rose from the ashes and the millions of Jugaadus got to work. Here comes the biggest scams of our times, courtesy we Indians.

You and I, we all know someone or the other who is working a way around to beat the system as we speak. People are buying Gold; govt. woke up and smelled the rat! So gold is off the books now. Jan Dhan Yojna accounts were used to stash black money, so Govt. put up a notice on them. People went on a booking spree over high value Railway tickets. Govt. smelled that trick and issued a no refund policy on such bookings. People were visiting banks over and over; Govt. started marking them with indelible ink. So, next what!

We have ants in our pants; as the saying goes, we have to find a way out. We are such slimy cheaper; we just can’t hear No for an answer. So we tell our family members and relatives to deposit our black earnings into their accounts. So cheap are we that we even ask our house-maids to use their accounts to help us for as low a commission as 1000Rs in return. Good lord, how low can we fall. We tried begging at petrol pumps, general stores to exchange the old currency; since that has stopped as a source, a new jugaad is underway. Wine shops are converting your old currency in this amazing formula, for each 1000Rs old note, you get 500Rs worth booze and 200Rs cash in return. I mean hadd ho gayi yaar! Jugaad ka koi toh limit hona chahiye.

As a common man, I have heard, read and experienced some of these kinds of jugaads that are currently underway. I wonder bade log aur bade companies kya khel khel rahe hai. Someone that I know works at a big IT firm and was paid in cash for the month. Well, I guess that’s the kind of jugaad Corporate are finding to get rid of their black money. From the looks of it, I don’t really see how this culture can be stopped. On one hand we have so many industries that are surviving on Cash Transactions and those have been hit hard, people are suffering as they have not been paid. But then who has to be blamed? For sure it’s not the Govt. It is we who have to own up to our mistakes of being shortsighted in our approach towards moving to The Cash based society.

For sure our Jugaadu nature has bit us back this time, hard and deep! If you know of any more innovative ways that people are using, do comment below.