MAKING DO TO SURVIVE
Reader's Digest India|August 2020
Famine, floods, poverty and now a pandemic— Indians have faced it all. So what keeps us going? Often, it’s a clever little thing called jugaad
Devdutt Pattanaik

If you have no resources, a government that pretends to care and a non-existent system in place, you have to make do with what you have and align whatever forces within access, to get what you want. To do so, is to do jugaad. And jugaad has a lot to do with yoga.

My mother, like many Odias, Bengalis and Assamese, pronounced yoga as jogo. It also meant providence, the alignment of stars. The connecting not just of mind, breath and body, but also of seemingly unalignable forces to get things done. Those who did that helped childless women get babies or ensured a good harvest despite bad rain. They were the jogis, the sorcerermystic-occultists of the Indian countryside. They were what my mother would call resourceful people—jogadua. Someone she admired—the go-getter, the one who gets things done, no matter the odds. The jugaadu was not the trickster many an elite person made him out to be. Or maybe, it is precisely because they were elite that they could afford to mock the jugaadu, see him as a fixer, who works through the systems—like Ganesha’s rat—breaking every obstacle, finding a way.

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