To Market in an Indian Mercedes

To Market in an Indian Mercedes

In Abhaneri Village, located in eastern Rajasthan, a unique, homemade vehicle known as a jugaad or chakdi, aka Indian Mercedes, plies the roadways. In Hindi, jugaad means an innovative fix or work around. An apt name for this low cost transport. They are usually made from an old diesel agricultural irrigation pump mounted to an equally old car or truck chassis. A hand crank starts the engine and someone jumping off with a block of wood is often the way to stop it. Simple, cheap and iconic in much of rural India.

And, no the photo is not as old as it looks. I took it recently while in Rajasthan and processing was done, for the most part, with Lightroom and Perfect Effects 8.

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. The effects make the photo look interesting.

  2. Priceless! I love the guy in white up front – and I’m sure I’d be equally apprehensive! Ron, did you hear what the chains are for (other than decoration)?

    1. Thank you Meredith. The man in white may have been more apprehensive about me and my camera than the ride he was getting. Don’t know about the chains but I suspect they may just be decorative.

      1. Oh dear, a man wielding a huge third eye – a menacing presence indeed! 🙂

        1. Ha! I never thought of myself as a seer.

  3. Great image; Indians certainly know how to make the most of what little they have. I’d be interested to see the pre-filtered image

    1. Especially so when it comes to transport. But this may be the most creative I’ve seen. Thanks Jean.

  4. All the different vehicles you can see in India…. Insane place!

    1. Insane yes, but you have to give them credit for their ingenuity. Thanks Cardinal

  5. Excellent shot. There are so many little details in the photo!

    1. Yes, the image is full of little details and the rider’s poses are priceless. Thanks for you comment Ruth.

    1. Thanks Carol. The scene seemed like something out of the past.

  6. A picture perfect postcard!!! That ingenuity goes missing as soon as they get elected to office 🙂 Perhaps because they don’t need to work anymore

    1. When I took the photo I, given the appearance of the vehicle and the traditional dress of the riders, thought little had changed there in many years. Hence, the postcard effect. Thanks Madhu.

  7. Such a great shot and I love your editing on this one.

    1. Thanks Lynne. I have been enjoying the additional processing lately.

    1. Thanks Sylvia. India is so timeless in many ways and I imagined this scene could have happened 50 years ago as easily as today.

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