That piece of gutter had been annoying me for years. Ever since we had the conservatory built at the back of the house I was not able to get to clean it and after a while it had got dirty with algae and moss. I had sat and stared at it for years from the garden bench, pushing the problem round and round my head. I could not get the ladders close enough to wipe the gutter and when I had used a mop I just couldn’t get the pressure it needed to make a difference.
But now it is sorted. Where it used to be black it is now white again and in the end the solution was not that complicated. It has really made my day. After all these years I am chuffed.
I was telling David about how I had solved my guttering problems and he said it sounded like a case of Jugaad. This was a new word for my lexicon but one I expect we will be hearing a lot more of. It comes from Hindi and means finding low-cost solutions to problems in intelligent ways.
It reminded me of Diamond’s book, ‘The world until Yesterday’ where he described how children in the western world were given toys that were already built while children in the developing world often had to make them. This made the children more creative, more adept at finding solutions and more inventive in their play. Sometimes the box is more fun than the toy.
In our modern lives we look for complicated solutions to problems where, with a bit more thought and a lot more ingenuity, a cost effective and simple alternative solution could be found. This is what had happened to me. I had considered scaffolding, abseiling over the rooftops, various scenarios involving ladders and ropes, as well as hanging out of the window. I had thought about paying someone else.
In the end I used an extendable pole, an old paint roller and (another) pan scourer rammed on the end.
Simples? That’s Jugaad.