Long before the usage of electric drills made it to the mainstream, Indian carpenters used handmade drills with a pedal mechanism or bowstring action to turn the drill chuck. In most of the Indian villages, this practice of using the hand-powered drill is still followed daily. Here is a sneak-peek of this ancient Indian technology:
Recently, a short video shared on Twitter has started going viral. The video footage featured an Odisha-based carpenter who was using a bowstring drill to make delicate holes into a piece of wood. The Indian carpenter looked like an artisan who was working on a miniature model of an Indian temple complex. The model consisted of tiny wooden temples fastened down to a piece of plywood.
No electricity? No problem. Check out this carpenter drilling holes the old fashioned way. Raghurajpur, exploring Odisha.@odisha_tourism @AboutIndia #Odisha @incredibleindia pic.twitter.com/w78ypP6R32— Philippa Kaye (@PhilippaKaye) February 13, 2020
Since the Indian carpenter is working on a delicate and miniature artistic model of Indian temples, he chose to ditch the powerful electric carpenter drill and used the Indian drill instead. The workaround that the carpenter applied is a classic example of Indian jugaad. The drill that the Indian carpenter used was similar to a spinning top – which many kids who were born in the 1990s and earlier would remember from their childhood toys. If you did not know about such a device, it would appear like the carpenter was playing a weird violin that makes holes. The Indian carpenter took only seconds to make the holes in the piece of plywood, with his bare hands.
The Indian jugaad that was used by the carpenter, not only helped him finish his work but also did the job without using electricity at all. Twitter user @PhillipaKaye captured and shared the footage of the Odisha-based carpenter who was working with his traditional Indian drill, on the popular microblogging platform. The video enriched Twitter by highlighting ancient Indian technology and carpentry practices that are still being used during the 21st century.
Many users responded to Phillipa Kaye’s tweet with positive reactions and were proud that the country still remembers and practices the old traditions in the world of internet and electricity. Some even mentioned about how some of the carpenters’ toolkit still contains these hand-powered drills for emergencies in cases of no electric supply for powering electric drills. The others just cherished their childhood memories and dived into nostalgia on seeing the ancient Indian technology and the hand-powered drill being used by the Indian carpenter.
I remember myself intently watching this happen in childhood. We would even try hands in absence of elders and the carpenter. Ruined things and getting bashed after caught. Nostalgia...🤣— Vinod Sharma Bansi (@Vinod_Bansi) February 13, 2020
I remember this as a kid we use to watch carpenter at our home using it . Thank you for reviving old memories— b (@patelboy143) February 13, 2020
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Carpenters still carry this tool with them in case of emergency.— BluePassion11 (@bluepassion111) February 13, 2020
It's known as Burma....was an essential item in the toolkit of a carpenter.— SUJAYA KAPOOR (@sujayaca) February 13, 2020