जुगाड़ गाड़ी

I remember the first lecture that the Director of our institute tossed our way in a jam-packed auditorium. Ofcourse he did use the obligatory powerpoint presentation as he went on to tell us first year undergrads about the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead us. But soon he realized that the fancy bullet points and animated slides could only do so much to leave anything worthwhile in the minds of his students, let alone help them in using any of his teachings in day-to-day life. And hence, he used a very crude but logical example to get the crowd excited.

He took a paper clip and asked a girl what she thought the manufacturing company of that paper clip made in a year with this little piece of, ‘technology’, so to speak. The girl was a bit stupefied by the question and our Director noticed it. And so, letting the girl relax and lay back in her seat, the Director of one of the premier technology institutes of India let out a word that made almost the entire auditorium chuckle to its tune. He said, that it didn’t matter what the exact turnover is or the cost of manufacturing and selling was in regard to his question. He only wanted to demonstrate that this ‘jugaad’ was what was reaping millions for the company. And then he told us that our job, rather our responsibility, as engineers was to found the most effective, efficient and feasible solution for a problem in an engineering layout. And that optimum solution is what us Indians have always relied on- ‘Jugaad’. This is what would make Indians the next gen inventors and innovators, and this is what would take us ahead on the path of new creations.

Not to brag about myself or anything, but as our respected Director Sir was saying the last few words, images of a little win-win story were flashing in my mind. They belonged to my High School days and given the amount of jugaad we put in for a science exhibition project, I could seriously believe then that I would become a great engineer, going by his criteria for the same. (But Alas, there are other useless things too like Mid Terms and Grade point averages to ruin the day :p ). Anyway, here is our lovely High School project story-

Back in the day, the science fairs at my school were scarce and the liberty of doing something really innovative was lacking or lukewarm. It was in such desperate times that our group of six football-playing, cricket-breathing boys took the mantel of making a Canon to be put on display for the project. Internet was scarce but we could still find the relevant data from the lovely sources we call ‘teachers’ (the real ones, mind you. Not the google teacher). We were able to sort out a basic, commonly used reaction for the same, that employed an adorable compound called Calcium Carbide. Bah, I wouldn’t bore you with much of the Chemistry here. Suffice it to say that you can get a handful of it for Rs. 10 in any car repair shop. And the jugaadoos that we were, we bought much more than a handful.

Next, we used a thick piece of  PVC Pipeline left astray around my house for the initial testing of our canon. We sealed it on one end using the obligatory quick-fix (another synonym of jugaad? ) Fevi-quick. And Lo and Behold, we were good to go. The trick was simple, seal the other end with a ball, put a piece of Carbide into the pipe, add some water and give it a spark through a top hole. And SHAZAM… You have a fire emitting dragon of your own. We called it- ‘The Destructor’ (We really did, those were the days !! ).

We used a mean, fire-breathing barrel !!

The technique was spot on. What remained was the showmanship. How to make it look like an actual canon of the days of ‘Kranti’? No matter what my friends tell you, it was MY IDEA that we would actually install the canon body on a tricycle axle that I had seen so many times lying around at one of my friend’s house. It was a complete home-made, Ghar-ka-Vaidya recipe !! We took the axle-wheel combo from that tricycle, got a little encasing to hold the canon body welded to it, and our own mobile canon was infront of our eyes. In all its glory and might, it looked like a bazooka. But we did not stop there, another friend who had by far not done significantly much to the project was given the charge to paint up the canon. And we wanted it in Jet Black (Because… Batman). Given his love for the job, he was happy to oblige. And within a few days, we had ourselves our own batmobile.

No we didn’t BREAK any kid’s cycle. It was lying around already broken. We gave it a new life okay?

The day the teachers of the school were to inspect the level of ‘safety’ of the project, there was a slight hiccup though. We were till then using a small hole at the top of the barrel to feed the carbide piece, water and matchstick. But that allowed considerable gas to escape and even fire could throttle out of the way. The teachers labelled it potentially dangerous but we couldn’t be stopped. Because the Indian Jagaad Gaddee had to survive. We then proposed using the general kitchen lighter with a spark button to initiate the blast. Oh wasn’t that a masterstroke, it kept the gas and fire in check, and even a little Kindergarten girl could now initiate a blast (And one actually DID. BOOM).

Oh don’t tell me it was an easy guess. It was an awesome idea to use a kitchen lighter as the trigger.

The exhibition was a success ofcourse, and while a silkworm cultivation farm was the clear winner, ‘The Destructor’ was what drew the most people to our corner. The Jugaad Gaddee, had run wild once again.

This and many similar little cute and cool stories of my life keep me reminded that while India keeps growing in its technological flair all over the world, its ‘desi’ innovative ideas are catching the attention of one and all. Even the large global conglomerates and institutions are recognizing this unique ‘Indian-ness’ and accepting that this growing global influence of India is one to be celebrated. Look at Lufthansa, the largest European Airline, recognizing and celebrating the same in this uber cool advertisement of theirs, stressing how it is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.


Oh and the celebration doesn’t stop here. Have a look at the amazeballs website of theirs, acknowledging and adapting the Indian way to do so much more for themselves. Visit here if you haven’t already hit the link- Take me to awesomeness. 


Impact of a contest: The story of Tubla Khan

He was a force of nature. Only he didn’t know it or rather chose not to. When he was completely out of his shell, you could see a man who would well become a leader someday. But he didn’t show this part of him to all, kept it dragged away in a corner with chains and locks and used to hide the key from everyone, even himself. This is the story of this guy, but I can’t tell you his name. We’ll call him Tubla Khan.

So once it happened that Tubla Khan decided to participate in a fierce contest. It was not like he hadn’t faced such odds before in his life but that by seeing the competition, he decided to underestimate himself and over-estimate the others. Given this, he went a bit down on things even before he could begin to surmount them. Maybe he had the fear of crumbling down under the weight of the bigshots; maybe he thought he wasn’t himself one. It was then that he decided to recall what his father had taught him.

He remembered how he had always been fascinated by the books his father read, and by the sheer taste he had for art that was much ahead of his times. He remembered how he had asked his father to give him a book to read and knowing that Tubla Khan was still a boy in his early teens, he had given him ‘The Godfather’. He remembered how after finishing the book, he had asked his father why he made him read that particular one, gauging the maturity of the readership it was actually intended for, thanks to its stark, gritty tones. At this, his father had told him how he wanted Tubla Khan to learn the great lessons of life, family, friendship and power much before than he did. Then he showed him a passage, and this was the passage that he once again opened to inspire him in his present predicament. It read-

“He had long ago learned that society imposes insults that must be borne, comforted by the knowledge that in this world there comes a time when the most humble of men, if he keeps his eyes open, can take his revenge on the most powerful. It was this knowledge that prevented the Don from losing the humility all his friends admired in him.”

When he had finished his little trip down the memory lane, realizing what his father actually meant to tell him through the passage, he got up and went to work. He knew that he had seventy two hours ahead of him and that he could turn the world thrice in this time. For the next three days, this was all he knew; he knew no sleep, no food and no fun; just the grit that the task at hand demanded.

When it was all over, the world knew he had won but it didn’t know his story. This is why I am telling it to you.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Navigation through a brain- crash

How to keep your head when everything around you is going downhill?  Or how to come out successfully from those obstacles which seem insurmountable? At times like those, instead of brainstorming your way out of the predicaments, your brain just crashes. It’s easy to talk about inspirational and motivational BS to try and get a person out of that but when it really hits out, no amount of self-help book lines can change a thing. At those times, you need some sort of easy mechanism to cope with the brain-crash. Here are a few things that can help. A cautionary note might be attached here in that these ways which I mention aren’t things that I claim will improve things in a normal situation but those which may help in taking the mind out of the strain that it is experiencing-

Take a walk to that street-food stall you love:

Taking a trip to the said stall isn’t about the food; it’s about giving your brain that much needed deviation towards the less simple things in life. But there will be food right? Absolutely, and once you have cleared your mind a bit on the trip to the stall, you will be surprised as to the added flavour in the masalas that the guy has put in.

Communicate: Talk the living hell out of your friends

It is almost better if you talk to some negative sort of person than a peppy, lively thing. It may sound contradictory but it actually works better this way. When you talk to a person and he tells you that life is such a wonderful thing and he tells about that big thing he is working on which is going to make him the next big thing, you may feel even worse than your actual state. Talk to some guy who will tell you are going to die and you will laugh your back off. Doesn’t that help?

Drink (non alcoholic i.e.)

The best think is lemon water with glucose; the worst thing is a soft drink. Anything that and in between is allowed. Anything out of this window is strictly out of the question.

Where chocolates don’t work, Ice-cream does :

“No matter how many chocolates you eat, some tensions are such you can’t lose them”- was a Life in a Metro quote I loved. However, the character should have tried her hands on ice-cream which is actually a better thing to have so as to calm you down and sort of restart you.


I don’t recommend heavy metal and all sort of weird stuff like that but if that is still your thing then go on with it. My point is take up any sort of music which soothes your strained nerves. As for me, listening to the 5th symphony outdoes most of the other points mentioned (except the first, I love Chow mein ).

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Music to the rescue

There is an age in everyone’s life; an age that doesn’t judge nor thinks too passively about things. While one may not necessarily experience all of this at a particular time, he/she does love some of the flavours of the different tastes that this age offers. Having said that, in the age that he is, the raunchiest music that your author prefers is the sizzling item numbers genre (No judgemental comments please). And these numbers aren’t only good for those desi wedding dancing. They can prove instrumental in gearing you up to attend even the most boring of lectures at college. Wanna know how? 

So there I was with a buddy of mine experiencing Monday on a hellish Saturday. Somehow, the college authorities saw it fit to shift the Monday schedule to an early Saturday because of a holiday on Monday. Oh the things that be!

Thankfully, the teachers were in no particular mood either to lecture on a weekend day and so some of them had flunked classes. But Alas, the last class of the day, the 4 to 5 one was still on and we had 2 to 4 free. I believe, my empathetic reader, that you would understand how difficult it gets motivating yourself to attend such a class. You need some rock solid inspiration to do that. On that cursed day, your author got exactly that- a Raunchy, sensuous, seductive, sizzling,- inspiration. Those two hours were spent tuning into some of the best item numbers of Bollywood. Here is a list of 10 of the top ones, in a definite order of my liking.

10- Chamma Chamma (China Gate)– 

Robbers, ex-armymen, conflict and what’s the high point of the film? Urmila dancing with Amrish Puri in this sizzling number.

9- Chal chhaiyan chhaiyan ( Dil se)– 

Malaika Arora and Shahrukh dancing to the sound of a train was something as bizarre as the genre has ever produced and yet the music of Rehman made its tune so enthralling that audiences couldn’t help but take away this one out of the already rich soundtrack that ‘Dil Se’ had to offer.


 8-Mera Naam Chin-Chin Choo (Howrah Bridge)– 

Helen was the pioneer of the genre of songs we now know as item numbers and this one started it all. Reason enough to be in the list right?



7- Choli ke picche (Khalnayak)– 

If it’s notorious, is it not famous? This classic number proved to be just that with its over the top controversial lyrics but it still rocked audiences with it’s composition. It is said that people watched the film multiple times just to watch this song on the big screen.




6- Chikni Chameli (Agneepath:2012)– 

This song shows how far Katrina Kaif has come in Bollywood and how she has been able to do so without any acting talent. With no intention to undermine the actress’s star status, it shows the sheer professionalism and caliber of a foreign girl giving her all to a desi masala number which was such a huge hit that the Producer of the film, Karan Johar,went on record to say that the number was the main reason for the film’s groundbreaking success.




5- Ek do teen (Tezaab)– 

The song that began Madhuri Dixit’s journey to the pinnacle of Bollywood. The song also proved to be instrumental in Tezaab being a Golden Jubilee Hit.



4- Munni Badnaam (Dabangg)-

Had it not been for Salman’s legendary cameo in the song, I would have put it even higher. Having said that, I don’t mean to undermine Salman Khan’s presence in the song but want to convey how the immense popularity of it wasn’t merely because of Malaika Arora Khan but a huge chunk of it belonged to Salman which wasn’t exactly Item Song material as it found a way to link to the storyline.


3- Kajra re (Bunty aur Babli) – 

The song that brought the genre back and the song that brought the trend of top Bollywood actresses coming in for special numbers, ‘Kajra re’ had it all. There was no need of the song in the movie, it was seductive as seductive can be and pretty much defined an item song as well as the look of the lady of the moment.


2- Fevicol se (Dabangg 2)–  

When Dabangg 2 came out following the exact same model of the original, there were doubts as to whether it would meet the high bars set accordingly. However, in one category, it did and even surpassed it. Kareena Kapoor in her most sensuous avatar till date made up for putting down ‘Chikni Chameli’ and proved to be so iconic that she was able to carry the whole song on her shoulders with little help from Salman as opposed to ‘Munni Badnaam’. The result was the best item sequence of the millennium.




1- Dilwalo ke Dil ka (Shool)– 

Which better than the first official ‘Item number’ of Bollywood? When Shilpa Shetty sashayed on the tunes of ‘Patli kamar matkake’, she robbed more than just U.P. and Bihar. 


This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Cleanathon.. The Cleanliness Drive

2015-09-30_23.01.511st October,2015; Shivaji College;After the successful implementation of Adapt – The Plantation Drive, the premises of Shivaji College were once again reverberated with the Calls for Cleanliness.
Yes…The Cleanathon Drive , an initiative by ‘Leaders For Tomorrow ‘,which had managed to secure even larger masses , was commenced at 10:30 in the Sports Complex of the College on the 30th of September.
The enthusiastic volunteers of Leaders for Tomorrow,under the guidance of their core team heads were headed by the college head and the co-college head. And it began…
“Sun beat down to match our rage”.. Oh yes…! In the scorching heat, clamoring in unison the words ” Clean India, Green India”, “Swachha Bharat, Swastha Bharat”, the team went into the slums and along with the support of the MCD team, started the procedure of cleaning the rash.
Along with this, the College head delivered a detailed speech about the importance of clean surroundings and the threats posed by communicable diseases. The team had to face some arguments from the residents, because, of course, nobody is ready to take the blame. But the event was an undisputed success and an extraordinary experience for the most of us.