Of Trucks.....

January 6, 2009

Trucks, in India, as elsewhere, are vehicles in which the drivers (and “cleaners”, who are those people who clean the vehicle and assist in the driving, often without a valid driving licence) spend a lot of their lives. So they are decorated to the hilt sometimes.

truck decoration

Just look at the detail of the paint work, it’s really beautiful!

has given me this link to other photographs of truck decoration. Most trucks (or lorries, as they are known), carry messages around the rear number plate (well, if you like, the backside of the truck!) There is usually one of these... blow horn You are supposed to blow your horn to ask for clearance to overtake. Most trucks also usually carry the "O TATA K" sign: Photobucket That actually means, "Tata" (signifying either Tata Motors who made the truck, or "tata" as in "ta ta bye bye" ...I have seen "Tata" on plenty of Ashok Leyland trucks, so it must be the latter) which is set in the middle of "O.K." Why the truck has to inform you that everything is OK, I don't know, especially when the vehicle is probably belching black diesel fumes at you as you follow it. The instructions to sound the horn, are to ensure that the truck, on hearing the horn, will move aside and let you pass. What hopes. Most trucks will die rather than let another vehicle pass! But still, the instruction to blow your horn is there, and also the instruction, that just after blowing it, don't immediately start overtaking, do "wait for side". These three words mean that you must wait until the truck pull over to one side, and then overtake. In Assam and Meghalaya, recently, I found a whole gamut of variations on this theme. (The lorries, however, as you can see from the licence plates, are from many states.)It's funny to find that the word "Horn" has been so assimilated into the language (probably Hindi) that it appears with other Hindi words.... horn do That doesn't mean, "Oh, please sound the horn, do!" "Do" means "give" and that sign literally says, "Give horn"...that is, "sound the horn" (in an imperative form, without the respectful form of the word, "deejiye". That truck also proudly carries the words, "Maa kaa Ashirwad" ("Mother's Blessings"). Sometimes the word is translated to "Awaz" or sound: awaz do Please also note the profound philosophy on that lorry...God is oen. Is the study of God,in that case, Oenology? Sometimes "karo" is substituted. Now this is very funny because "karo" in Hindi means "do" in English, so we are back to "Horn do"! awaz karo Most trucks also carry the message, "Buri Nazar Waale, Theraa Mooh Kaalaa" ( If you are looking with an Evil Eye, may your face turn black....obviously, with the diesel fumes.) The concept of the evil eye, or at least the negative vibrations of someone who regards the truck (presumably a symbol of a successful transport business) with jealousy or envy, is very prevalent. I did, once, see one truck with the message, "Buri Nazar Waaley,Theraa bhee Bhalaa" (Even if you look with the evil eye, may good happen also to you) but most lorries are not so forgiving. Occasionally, I think the painter runs out of space, and a letter might be eliminated... awaz kro This results in the birth of a strange bird, the Awaz Crow! Most truck and van drivers take great pride in their work; this is obvious from the fact that on the driver's door is usually painted, the word "Pilot" (or some variations) pailot For some reason, many of the lorries I saw in Shillong had calming, soothing messages, though the trucks were from different states of India. One asked me to Be Calm... be calm Another exhorted me to Stay Cool... stay cool The message underneath sounds as if the driver is putting out his tongue and giving you the raspberry, but is probably a nice message in the Khasi language! Possibly, afraid that the driver behind would overtake rashly, this one asked us to Hold On.... hold on lorry 181208 shillong When an Indian wrestler won a gold medal in the Asian Games, the trucker's pride showed: Photobucket Some of the buses, too, outdid themselves. Just look at the facilities this one offers! video coach facilities In case you can't see it, let me enumerate, starting from under the ladder: 1. a/c and heater (as the seaon requires).2. Fridge. 3.Reclining seats. 4.Individual lights. 5.Stereo...and just to remind you that you are, after all, in a vehicle, 6. Security brakes (what are security brakes?) Let me close with this most polite message, which says "Khublei" (Khasi for "Thank You") and expresses the wish, "See You Again"....! khublei see you again shillong 181208 Whoops...update...I forgot the best one of them all; all over Meghalaya, they seem to have a different expression for "Blow Horn"...here it is: popohorn guwahati to shillong 171208 Do they also have Mom-o-horns? So, one need not have any wildlife to look at....our journeys themselves are so full of interesting things!