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Indian Frontiers

For instance, the most fascinating of all things that we find are: ‘Jugad’. It is found in many northern parts of India. – Jeremy Clarkson thinks the East German Traban is the weirdest vehicle on four wheels, some stupid British company imported Ambassadors to England because they thought they were cool and they wanted to run them as taxis. We had an American friend who wanted to take an auto back to America. Yes, all these three vehicles are weird, ugly, falling apart and serve no form or purpose other than taking people in all discomfort from ‘A’ to ‘B’. But we’ll guarantee you: you ain’t seen anything yet until you see the JUGAD.

In Hindi language Jugad means ‘a makeshift arrangement’, or to be more precise makeshift arrangement in the easiest way possible. This means a Jugad can be anything from a bullock cart to DC modded sports-car, but there are two common types of Jugads.

The first is a three-wheeled contraption somewhere between a Bullet and a bullock cart. Firstly you won’t know why the heck this three-wheeled madness exists in India, in nature do you see animals with three or five legs? Then why can’t man learn a little from nature before building an auto? But still auto technology is miles ahead of Jugads.

Now that the chassis was sorted out with some reused metal rods and the three wheels were stolen from one and a half bikes, they needed something to power this scrap mobile. A few years ago Enfield introduced diesel Bullets, you would think it was a terrible flop because none of them are seen on the road today. You are wrong, because all the engines were stolen from their respective bikes and used in these Jugads. The front end of the Bullet is stuck to the rear end of the bullock cart, then a chain connects the front sprocket to the rear fixed axle. Oh forgot to mention, the rear sprocket is hand cut, this has to put every motorcycle fabricator to shame. For the final touch the front is fitted with a few hundred lights, we not talking about little led lights, these Jugads probably nicked the lighting from a Pink Floyd concert.

According to an owner, his machine returns 30 kilometers to a liter of diesel and that’s probably cheaper than running a P150. What more? You get more attention than when you are riding a super-bike. Being so good, why isn’t this machine the next big thing? Why isn’t it India’s answer to the American Harleys and the British Triumphs? Well there is just this one reason, the Jugad gets better than this!
Yes, this next Jugad is as good as it gets. It is the Aston Martin of village technology, it is the coveted ride of the ‘who is who’ in every village, it is pinnacle of personal customization. It is a machine that sources its power from a Crompton & Greves water pump. You would spend time staring at this machine wondering which planet it belongs to. It is so captivating, when you are in Fatehpur Sikri we are so sure that you would take videos of Jugads instead of the Bulland Darwaza. We have also spent time looking under the hood…amm…actually there is no hood, but anyway here is a brief description of how they are made.

Couple of years ago in one of the old five year plans the government gave all the farmers water pumps to improve the states irrigation facility, even now farmers can buy them dirt cheap because they are all subsidized.

In America a man called Donvesco had a jet engine sitting in his backyard so just like what any American would do, he strapped it to his car and broke the speed record in it. Now, half way around the world in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh one of the guys got inspired by that and thought to himself “I don’t have a jet engine so I might as well try with a water pump.” And that is how the Jugad tradition started.

The body of this Jugad is also acquired free of cost or almost free, you just need to cut down your neighbor’s tree when no ones looking at night. Cut the tree into a few planks and there you have the platform of your ride. Now mount the engine in front, mate that water pump to a jeep gearbox (you’ll get extra points if that is also stolen). To get the front wheels you will need to steel the front steering assembly from a tractor or a jeep and for the rear wheels anything will do, even roller skates. For the gas tank you can use any old drum or metal pot, and that will double up as the drivers seat as long as it’s not too rusted.

Okay, by now all the engineering is sorted out. We need to think about the most important thing in an Indian automobile, the horn. The problem with the Jugad here is there is no battery, the engine is cranked to a start and unlike the three-wheeled Jugad this one doesn’t have any lights. Again here the solution is simple, with about Rs 10 a day you’ll be able to hire a kid to hold a torch at night and swear at fellow drivers so that it works better than a horn.

Yes, now your very own, do it yourself Jugad is finally finished and its time to take it out to the dragstrip on a Saturday night to do a little showing off. Now that your racing the quarter mile, it will take a little getting used to because water pumps just go on and off, there is no variation in RPM. So all the torque will be unleashed almost instantly and there is no redline.

And with Jugads becoming such a fad, all the parts on every other vehicle is not safe. Like think of the poor farmer who went to town to buy groceries, when he came back to his tractor it had one less wheel. At least the dude who needed this wheel for his Jugad was kind enough to leave three wheels so the farmer