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There has to be a jugadu in every class

By: Toothless Posted Sep 27, 2012 General 1630 Views
(Updated Sep 28, 2012 08:51 AM)

I was reading a post on “Jugaad” by a friend on MS, as this word had a significant impact on my life while I was studying; I decided to share something with you.

If I can remember right, I never really had heard the word Jugaad till I made it to high school. Even in high school my mates and I were a serious lot and never took to short cuts. We did our homework/ assignments /project ourselves and we were proud at whatever we had accomplished. College was a different story – especially an engineering college where you are required to attend 8 hours of lectures each day and the dog eat dog world begins to bite your bottom.

I did settle down with college life very soon, made some dear friends however life was not a bed of roses anymore. I was enrolled into computer engineering which in India does not mean I will study computer engineering. Instead I and the rest of the class had to study just about everything there was from the curriculum developed by Chanakya in 320 BC till modern times.

Having graduated from a school where there was no concept of Jugaad, I took this bad habit to college too and prepared my assignments on my own. I was also one of the few kids who had a computer and a PRINTER. As I lived in Delhi and travelled to Haryana to attend college, I was also close to the Hot Spots – Nayi Sadak(book market) and Nehru Place(computer market). I knew my photocopy guy very well and he charged me only 40 paise per copy compared to the rest who charged 1 rupee per copy.

My friends realized the potential in me; they now saw something more valuable than a friend in me. They saw a gold mine, a fat hen that lays golden eggs, a fountain of youth, a magic wand; they saw the Kamadhenu cow in me. This meant two things – 1) I had to work harder than anyone else 2) I was the most popular kid in the class as without me – everyone fails.

This made me the ultimate JUGAADU for the class, no bloke spoiled his relations with me and all the damsels talked to me with the sweetest tone. I would charge my friends for the photocopy I did for them, however I never charged for the printouts I took from my printer. My friends too acknowledged this as printer ink was very expensive at that time and they would only very rarely ask me to get a printout.

With my current status in the class, our home phone finally got some work. It was seldom used before, but now, it wouldn’t stop ringing especially before the exams. All the while I continued to prepare my assignments/ projects on my own for two reasons: 1) It was an old habit and tough to change 2) No one else would prepare it ahead of me as they were all waiting to copy my work, which also meant the entire class made the same mistake I made in the assignment. This “working alone” habit of mine – whether good or bad had a positive impact on me when I came to the US to study further.

My college days in India went on a fast track, the amount of work I did was astronomical compared to the others who just sat around and ate bread-pakoras. I do admit that I did enjoy all the attention and love I got from my mates and my professors. The days taught me a lot; my chores went from photocopying books to getting JUGAADU software from Nehru place to assembling and troubleshooting computers in the JUGAADUEST possible way. I learned how useful it was to make the shopkeeper your best friend and the power of slick talking.

Now when I look back, I don’t have any regrets – I enjoyed the “you’re Highness” treatment I got and I was happy to top the popularity charts among friends.

Would I do it again? I definitely will NOT.

I am against this concept of Jugaad the students follow in India, although I myself was once at the core of it. There is no room for original thinking, everyone has only one objective and that is to clear the exams by hook or crook. The curriculum is equally to be blamed as it does not allow the students to do anything on their own. So the best students are those that write answers which are as close as possible to what is printed on the text books. On the 4th year of college everyone passes but in the end, it is up to you on whom you chose to become and that matters a lot in life.

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