How India Learnt to DIY
For years, there has been the frequent lamentation that India and Indians, have no DIY culture. NRIs in particular, in their annual sojourns to the homeland, have found this absence of DIY, most acutely irksome.
Do-It-Yourself has been the way of the first world, celebrated in its literature, cinema and across all pop culture.
From carpentry, children’s toys and car repairs all the way to home improvement, DIY has been seen as a manifestation of first world progress and the skilled development of its people.
There has been the self-saving comment from the third world – perhaps best summarised as “I have a chap for that app” suggesting that labour surplus third world economies, avoid DIY to generate employment and this approach, serves them well.
Yet as Amazon the app, grows larger than the eponymous river, all manner of tools and DIY kits infiltrated the upwardly mobile in the third world. Relax – don’t look over your shoulder reading a sentence that had both tool and kit in it.
All this created an illusion, but not much more, that the upwardly mobile in the third world, could now dance the first world dance to the DIY tunes. Yet for long, beyond tokenism, not much changed – the third world always relied on the chap for the app. There are even apps to book a chap, that until recently called him a “clap”.
Then came COVID19 and the lockdowns and the consequent stress on the health system, and the Mucormycosis of the economy – all revealing a government that strongly believed in Karo-Nil (do nothing).
But as the old adage goes- never waste a crisis – and the resourceful people of India, even without any formal certificate from NSDC or Skill India – went about becoming overnight champions in DIY.
From simple things like DIY Kaadhas, Jaldi Haldi recipes and Jugaad Pranayam Cares initiatives, India’s DIY revolution took off to stratospheric heights, showing the potential of reaching Mars, this time, even cheaper than a cycle-rickshaw.
The game really changed when Indians were given just the right amount of nudging by their elected overlords, who by selflessly pretending to be incapable of any useful action, carefully curated the miserable circumstances, ripe for unleashing the hitherto unharnessed potential of a 1.5 billion Indians, to embrace and outperform, at DYI. The West be warned – DIY Vishwaguru Awaketh.
Predictably, like every other masterstroke that preceded this, within 4 hours, the country stood transformed.
For seventy years, the lazy, pampered, unskilled, inert people of this land, (who only recently memorised Vande Mataram– in case it comes down to a life-or-death recital at a toll both), had been taking it too easy. True Nation-building needs sacrifice.
So every house gave up someone, many more than just the one. Some were lost to the lack of ambulances, others to shortage of beds, many to oxygen and ventilator scarcity, but who was the real killer? It was only when the Radio spoke, that the masterstroke revealed itself. It was the lack of DIY that piled up the bodies, what else.
What we thought was Jumlah, was actually an Aakashvani – AatmaNirbhar Bharat – was really meant to mean DIY Bharat all along! Genius…like that meme from 200 BC said about beards…Some Men Build a Legacy, Others Grow One. Nailed it!
By doing nothing, when doing so much was possible, walking the peacock instead of walking the talk, the ball had been set rolling for DIY Bharat.
And lo and behold – suddenly India was DIYing everything.
- Auto-Ambulance – DIYed
- Car-Seat Hospital Bed – DIYed
- Oxygen Langar – DIYed
- Life Saving Drugs – DIYed
- Vaccination Appointments – DIYed
- Cremations & Burials – DIYed
Not just the individuals, this teaching moment, was sagaciously used to drape the entire nation in DIY culture. So the States too were told to pull up their socks and pull down their shutters.
- Lockdowns – to be DIYed by States
- Unlocks – to be DIYed by States
- Vaccination Procurement – to be DIYed by States
- Unpaid GST Revenue Shorfall – to be DIYed by States
- Economic Collapse Management – to be DIYed by States
- Central Vista – no no no…don’t go there. There’s a chap for that app..he’s listed in essential services. No DIY needed. Just the money that could’ve vaccinated 60 crore people or used to set up 13 new AIIMS, will do.
So there you have it…Hard Work has yet again beaten Harvard! Job well done.
Petty squabbles may happen over the numbers of the dead, from Dainik Bhaskar to The New York Times. But the dead be damned, send them down the river, for all anyone cares. Think of the living! What a time to be alive!
To quote the great poet, (but using his stage name) Spineless TRPjeevi once said – “the unexpected nature of the move, the unpredictability of the move, the fact that there was no warning of the move” – has transformed us, at once, into a DIY Powerhouse.
Because in the times we live in, the people live in the RamBharose hope of charity from God, while God is living in the hope of having his own temple, crowd-funded.
Millions are dying but hey,
EVERYONE is DYI-ING!
That 5-star stoner was prescient – “Kabhi Kuch Na Karke Bhi Dekho” (Do nothing)
Minimum Government Maximum DYI..
Bring out the calculators and add the 2AB, Agli Baar, Char Sau Paar!