About 30 years ago, I saw one comedy stage play called “Bakra Kishton Pe” (A goat sold in installments, (a famous Pakistani play ) in which the main lead role of Professor Nazami played by ‘Omar Sharif’ (Not the Hollywood legendary actor from Egypt) is having a poem/slogan competition with his neighbor Mirja and advises him to follow the poetry written on the body/tailboard of trucks and buses as this poetry is far more practical and interesting than the poetry written by famous poets. When I observe such poetry and slogans written on the body of trucks and buses on Indian roads I often remember this scene and advice. Some of the slogans are very humorous, practical and related to human behavior. I have seen many billboards and inscriptions which will bear testimony to my observations. These slogans are generally written in Hindi or the state language, though some slogans are also written in English also. Following are the interesting topics and examples;
On Time and Destiny.
- “ Samay se pahle aur bhagya se jyada kabhi nahi milta.” Translated in English it implies,
“ You do not get anything before it’s time and more than your destiny.”
On Following correct Speed.
- “Dheeray chalenge to bar bar milenegay, Tej chalenge to Haridwar milenegay.”
“ If you drive slow then we can meet again, but if you drive recklessly then we shall meet only in Haridwar.” (Haridwar is an India city on the banks of river Ganga where the ashes of the dead persons are immersed in the river water, the couplet implies that rash driving would lead to death only).
On exhibition of Love in Public.
- “Public mein Chuman lena mana hai.” Translated in English it means,
“It is not desirable to kiss in Public view.”
On Girlfriends and Girls.
- “ Take poison but do not believe in girls.” Another interesting slogan is
- “No girlfriend, No tension.”
Advise to those commuters who ride on outside of buses either on roof or hang behind.
- “ Latak mat, patak doongi, Andar aaja majje doongi.” Means
“ Do not hang behind me, I shall throw you away, come inside and I shall give you pleasure.”
Now couple of Slogans aimed at people feeling jealous of others. Such slogans are inscribed in many trucks and buses.
- “ Buri Nazar wale tera moonh Kala” implies
“ O one with the evil eye, may your face be blackened.”
- “Buri Nazar wale tere bache sau sal jiye, aur tera khoon piyen” Means
“O Evil eyed one, may your kids live for hundred years and drink your blood.”
Now an interesting one on overtaking and giving pass,
- Dum hai to cross kar, varna bardashat kar.” Implies,
“ If your vehicle is better and you have the skill then only overtake, otherwise stay behind and lump it.”
Well I can go on and on but you got to come to India to see for yourself the kind of slogans, poetry and graffiti which is written on Indian trucks, auto rickshaws, cabs and buses. Similar is the trend in India’s neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Most of the commercial automobiles are full of such slogans/poetry and are painted with many fascinating colors and scenes.