Flash back to the year 2002’s I find myself in a foreign land as part of a team where I am the lone Indian. We are visiting a remote site for project evaluation.
One of the foreign team members has a digital camera and I am quite enamoured by the technology.
On my part I am carrying a roll camera. I click pictures and they would have to be developed and printed on to a photographic paper before they can be used.
My foreign counterpart is merrily clicking pictures so that he can use to create the project report or email them to everyone.
I am fascinated by the technology, My colleague is gracious and lets me handle his tech toy. He explains the features and tells me how technically advanced it is. In the evening on our way back we are greeted with rain and thunder storm.
There is a lot of moisture in the air. My foreign colleague is merrily clicking pictures of everything around.
The next morning when he turns on his camera it just would not come on. There is just a blob of wetness in the areas of the display screen. The non functioning of the camera makes him panic. After all it has almost 3 days of pictures related to work that he would like to use in the project report. Just to calm him down a fellow colleague jokingly said looks like you camera caught a cold. But this did not amuse my colleague. Luckily his camera came with a phone support option. He called up and had a long talk. The support guy took him through a number of steps but did not get any success. Finally he reached the conclusion that the camera would have to be sent back to the factory for fixing. Either they would fix it or give him a new one in case it cannot be fixed as the camera was still under warranty. However in either case the photos stored in the cameras internal memory would be lost. That particular camera had an internal memory storage which could not be removed or backed up in a non functional camera state.
This meant that all the work would had to be done again.
This news caused a lot of panic in our team. There were frantic phone calls made to the office as a result our team was told to travel back again to the site to complete the report and the evaluation. This is the last thing that we want to do but what could be done? With heavy hearts we started packing ….
Then my Indian mind came up with a very Indian Jugaad
For those who do not know what a Jugaad is, it is a hack or an innovation.
I told him that I would like to make an attempt to fix his camera.
Rightfully he seemed doubtful about the outcome of my attempts to fix the camera. I could not blame him for his doubts. He was the technology expert and it was his country with access to so much technological advancement. Even the tech support team had given up on fixing up the camera over the phone and in all probability the photographs had been lost. Yet here I was standing in front of him sans any tools or technology offering to help him fix his camera and perhaps even recover his photos. Reluctantly he gave me the camera. I inspected it and took it to my room. Outside my room it was quite sunny. I could feel the warmth of the sun and that is all I needed to fix the camera.
I took a polythene bag and put the camera inside. I then hung it outside my window. The camera hung there in the warm shade not under direct sunlight, I let it remain there for about two hours.
Then there was a knock at the door I opened the door and found my colleague standing there he was curious to know how my attempt was going along. When he saw his digital camera hanging outside my window in a polythene bag he was quite petrified and I saw his jaws drop. I accompanied him to the window and carefully took the polythene bag holding the camera in. I unwrapped the bag and tried to turn on the camera. With a flicker of red light the dead camera came to life. I handed over the camera to him and he frantically scrolled through the pictures saved in the memory. They were all intact. I suggested that he should back up the pictures. It was an advice he promptly followed.
So that day when some of the best technology had failed an Indian Jugaad had saved not just the day but also saved us from a lot of trouble at the office. From now on my tech savvy colleague began to see me in a new light. I became the new tech expert, the expert of Jugaad the Indian way of looking at and solving problems. I am not the only one wherever we Indian’s go we make our mark. People around the world take note of our talents and try to emulate them bit.ly/2oQTj8q