Jugaad is a colloquial Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi word, which has various meanings depending on the situation ...

Though its meaning differs from place to place, person to person, and situation to situation, some of its widely accepted meanings are 'make do', alternative arrangement, approach, an attempt to get a thing done ... it could also refer to an innovative fix or a simple work-around, a solution that bends the rules.

Nagesh, a young man I conducted an interview with in Bihar, used the term Jugaad to describe how men creatively navigate complex societal norms and traditions to venture from friendship and socially accepted homosocial intimacy to exploring their love and sexual desire for men.

It became the working title for the project I am currently working on:

Through portraits and interviews I explore the traditions of intimacy and friendship between men in India, and the intersection of friendship and love; how these traditions and norms have been exposed to pressures like colonial rule and continue to change with the embrace of western culture, gender identity politics and stigma –such as homophobia–is of particular interest.

Jugaad is a also a personal dialogue:
As I work on Jugaad, my own notions of the romanticized beauty of intimate/trusting friendships–something I longed for as an adolescent trying to come to terms with my own sexuality–are being debated by my growing awareness of the different kinds of struggles faced by those navigating friendship and love, amidst their desire for more.

Challenging inherently Western notions of masculinity and intimacy, the work explores and celebrates the multitudes of expressions of friendship and love between men in India.

-Jugaad is ongoing-

Goal and Chandan stopped on their bike commute, Sahibganj, Jharkhand 2017
BW photograph from Negative
Transcriptions and translations of informal interviews conducted in March/April 2017