Duct Tape Driving

So, I joined a start-up in Ahmadabad some time back. We are trying to do something for the rural sector…and no, it is not going to be another N.G.O. Anyhow, marketing basics taught me that if I am to make you interested in what I have to offer, I have to know what you want, directly or otherwise. So to get our marketing inputs, we keep making trips to the countryside, where our customers are.
During our last trip, we had done a particularly torturous route of 50 km on village road, before hitting the wonderful highway. So within moments, we were doing around 150 kph and still cursing the car to go faster and make up for the last stretch. Then IT happened. The front tire blew up, and took the fender panel out with it. In a breathtaking manoeuvre, we managed to stop the car without any accident. After a few oh shits and thank gods, we got to the damage assessment. We had the following situation at hand –
1 car with a blown tire, no right fender or indicator and hanging electrical wires.
1 fender without a car with broken unknown scraps instead of an inner panel.
4 ‘mechanical engineers‘ with a wtf look on their faces.
1 spare tyre, a jack, some duct tape, tools and bolts we didn’t know about.
We got to work. Well, they got to work and I watched. After they replaced the tyre, they started looking at me. No matter how much I hemmed and hawwed, they made me work on the fender with them. After a considerable amount of time, we ended up taking pics or smoking because the damn thing wouldn’t hold. And then, the genius hit me. India runs on jugaad. So can this car. I took the duct tape and taped the wires and the fender. True, I used up a big tape completely but the fender was in place, a true ta-da moment.
Well it ends on a happy note. We reached a mechanic soon who ripped us for the repair works but we had a satisfying dinner. We made it back without any further incidents and my conceited ego got inflated by another 100 PSI. I realized my superpower of jugaad and decided that this super hero could have his great powers without any responsibility.

6 replies on “Duct Tape Driving”

What’s so great – before Maruti came, we had two makes of cars that rattled so much that they appeared to have been held together with duct tape. Everything in the car made noise except the horn!!
One of the makes had Mark I, Mark II Mark III etc The difference being in Mark II you got an ashtray and in Mark III the grill changed. That was the innovative status of our automotive structure during licence raj, because more money was spent on netas and babus to deny licences to other manufacturers. One story why one of the manufacturers did not change the car, even till now is as under:
There is an interesting story as to why the the Amby remained what it was since the 1950s, except changing the grill or adding an ash-tray. The paterfamilias died and reached the gates of heaven. His name was however not on the list. He tried the time honoured under the table method used by the licensed udyogpatis but this failed in heaven. Then Chitragupt asked him to state what he had done in the world for God. The car-maker claimed he had built temples. But Chitragupt pointed out that these were named after him and not any god. Then the car-maker pointed out that he manufactured the Amby car. When the car left the factory all the workers invoked God’s name, praying that nothing should happen to it. When anyone bought the car he also invoked God’s name and anyone in any other car also invoked God’s name when he saw an Amby approaching from the opposite direction. Chitragupt considered this and said – yes, millions believe in God because of your car, you may enter. Immediately the car-maker made a call to his son and told him – don’t ever change anything in the car!!

@ T.R.Ramaswami – LOLZ!! Really nice. That does bring back memories of an era before liberalization. This car, however was a Maruti Esteem which was roughly 15 years old.

Hello ankur!! nice to have bumped into
your blog!!! Good job 🙂 keep it going!!
and am the crazy girl who came to your office for a case study!! does it ring any bells!!

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