Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Truck Spotting

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I don’t mean the English way of truck spotting. I mean a more interesting version à la mode India. Our trucks are whimsically decorated and often have amusing slogans.

Unfortunately, the slogans don’t translate well, but to give you a sense of how much more fun truck spotting is, compared to the English hobby, I will make an attempt.

A popular slogan that is definitely older than I am says, “Buri nazar wale, tera muh kala” i.e., one with evil eyes, your face be black. This one has given birth to many naughty mutations. For example, consider the following which even rhymes – “Buri nazar wale, nasbandi kara le” – one with evil eyes, go get a vasectomy. Then there are ones that are educational and funny, “Do ke baad full stop, biwi rahe tiptop” – no more that two kids keeps wife in tiptop shape. Or “Be Mr. Late not Late Mr.”

Where do these slogans take birth. I imagine a brainstorming session, late at night at a truck stop after a couple or more glasses of desi liquor. Sort of like how Monty Python’s Flying Circus was conceived albeit at a different scale. Maybe not but you get the point. If Michael Palin’s encounter with a truck decorator at Peshawar is any indication, the decorators themselves are indigenous artists who are highly respected in the trucking community. Decorations speak of the pride in ownership but the slogans carry greater oomph. They also connect the truck walas to the Tata walas. Sad will be the day when the truck will be covered with ads and slogans originating in big marketing offices from fancy financial districts.

Written by Som

July 1, 2008 at 5:58 am

Posted in Delhi, India

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. In the mountains of Himachal : ‘Go gently on my curves’


    July 13, 2008 at 10:04 am

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