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Filmmaker Anandana Kapur tries `Jugaad` and succeeds

New Delhi: What is `jugaad`? As shown by young Delhi-based filmmaker Anandana Kapur in her documentary, it is a typical Indian euphemism for quick thinking and innovation and a metaphor for the will to survive against all odds.

"The Great Indian Jugaad" is an intelligent narration that brings together many stories. What`s more, the documentary itself was a product of jugaad, says Kapur.

"At the end of the day, most filmmaking is all about `jugaad`," Kapur told IANS.

"The film`s production and design crew comprised former classmates, former colleagues and friends. Nobody charged professional fee and worked in lieu of goodwill, travel fares and good khana. The equipment provider and editing team were equally excited about the idea and I have worked on the most discounted rates possible purely because everyone saw their stories in it," Kapur said.

She says her film is almost on the lines of `uski chachi ki nani ko phone lagao!`

Her first story about the spirit of innovation is on an indigenous vehicle called Jugaad - a quadricycle made of wooden planks and old jeep parts. One of the cheapest means of transportation, it is seen plying on the roads of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana as well as on the outskirts of Delhi.

"A chance discovery that Slice of Italy sells a pizza named `Jugaad` made me call their office for a meeting. That I was a regular customer was my calling card. I was introduced to Tarun Chaudhry, the owner.

"Tarun is from Uttar Pradesh and said the vehicle Jugaad was a common sight in his home town and the next thing I know we were being escorted to the state by his cousin Mr. Anil to the hot spot itself. That entrepreneurial success is based on low cost, high effectiveness spectrums couldn`t have been explained better than by Tarun`s gesture."

Jugaad is usually described as doing things by using any means. In the documentary, Kapur, 26, has tried different interpretations of the word by talking to farmers, school students, housewives, writers like Varun Mitra and Pankaj Molekhi and business honchos.

The entire production cycle took about six months and her work took her to places like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Asked how the idea of making the movie came, she said: "I was helping a friend fine-tune his presentation for admission to a business school in France wherein he proposed that the foundation of Indian businesses is jugaad.

"As I helped him collate visuals and presentation strategies, the idea of a narrative kept occurring to me. The sheer versatility of the word and the instant comprehension it evokes across the country made me want to explore this unique `Indianism` in depth."

"I was also looking to extend my repertoire as a filmmaker and wanted to make a documentary that looks at a pan Indian cultural idiom," said Kapur, the daughter of an air force doctor and an educationist. She lived in several places across the country before finally settling here.

There has been no official screening of "The Great Indian Jugaad". "I am in the process of sending the film to festivals and am looking for a release partner in Delhi though...(jugaad anyone?)," she said.

"I have developed teaser and pre-release trailers but will have to use an online display option as opposed to a TV. Since the documentary circuit works on a referral system, I will need a screening before more can be spoken for."

What was the budget of your film?

"We overshot the budget twice over. What was to be an under Rs.50,000 film became a larger piece as the production cycle unfolded. Initially, it was meant to be a joint venture but eventually took shape as an independent film by me," she said.

Her previous work has been on sexuality and gender rights, environment conservation, education and cultural diversity.

IANS

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