Creativity and Innovation – The Thirsty Crow way

Let me take you back to the age old story of ‘Thirsty Crow’.

Once there was a crow. He was very thirsty. He went here and there in search of water. At last he saw a water pot. He looked inside the pot. There was very little water inside the pot. The crow saw some stones nearby. He thought of a plan. He picked some stones and started putting stones inside the pot one by one. The water level came up. He drank the water and flew away happily.

This story was amongst the first few I was told during my childhood. The then moral of the story was ‘‘Where there is will, there is a way’’ but life is all about exploring and evolving constantly. Going with that we human beings are the certainly the most accommodating and we instantly look for solutions. I have been observing people, reasons vary – the pressure of circumstances, peer pressure, family expectations and what not. Everybody loves short-cuts and ‘Jugaad’ for that reason is picking up fast. It is no more a way of life…it is smart strategy. The solution and results matter at last – for my driver, the maid, the friends, the colleagues and almost everyone around. If someone bangs the idea of ethical ways – people just disregard the philosophy and feel that you are not aware of how the world works. How to get the job done is no more a concern, to get the job done is what matters.

To share an experience – few days back I had gone to meet my Uncle at Aligarh and on the way back my car broke down. I was around 25 kms from the city. I called my cousin to help and in half an hour’s time he came to the rescue with a mechanic. He checked my car and told me that it needs to be taken to workshop. I told him I can’t spare that much of time as it was already 3 pm and I had an urgent meeting the very next day. He said in Hindi, “To iska koi jugaad ker deta hoon” (“He will do something”- Read it as temporary arrangement) so that I can reach Gurgaon. He connected some wires to the battery and asked me to test if the car is fine. I checked and my car was working perfectly. I thanked him and started my journey to Gurgaon and in around 4 hours I was there at my home in Gurgaon. Next day I went to a nearby service station and got my car repaired.

Defining Jugaad

‘Jugaad’ is a word which is used very frequently in day to day life. As per Wikipedia, Jugaad means an innovative fix or a simple work-around, sometimes pejoratively used for solutions that bend rules, or a resource that can be used as such, or a person who can solve a vexatious issue. Both concepts express a need to do what needs to be done, without regard to what is conventionally supposed to be possible.

Indovation, Chinovation, Hack, Kludge are some of the words which are used as synonyms to Jugaad. All the concepts express need to do what needs to be done without taking the same old beaten path.

And The Thirsty Crow was the first to travel ‘the Jugaad way’ and now I know the current moral of the story is to use possible means, creativity and innovation whichever can help human kind to live a solution driven life.