Ours is one hell of an interesting country. It seems like the entire race of Indians are oozing witticisms. The proof of this can be seen on the back of cars, bikes and auto rickshaws on roads.
The most unimaginative and conventional ones are ‘Bittu te Pinky di Gaddi’, which fail to make the cut. A gentleman driving a car with names of all the children of the family diligently pasted diagonally on the rear pane at break neck speed whizzes by, and we know that there’s a Chutki, Sunny and Nonu waiting at home. Some proudly flaunt their surnames and castes, like ‘Jatt is Guts and Guns’, ‘Singh is forever King’, ‘Give Dil to Gill’ – revealing a lot more about themselves than just family name! The iconic ambassadors used to come with a cautionary ‘Keep Distance – Power Brakes’. Their blatant honesty in warning us to stay away from anything remotely ‘Sarkari’ does deserve lauding though. The cars with messages like ‘Lose 5 kilos in 2 days. Call on 98140xxxx’ intrigue me the most. I solely blame these cars for never renewing my gym membership!
Recently I was driving down to office during morning rush hour. The constant honking, over speeding buses and the snail-paced horse carts were getting on my nerves. The chaotic Indian roads can be quite an intensely distressing experience. Just then I came across a delivery van, carrying huge containers of milk. Behind it was written – “Dekhi yaara langh jaan de, Kitey dudh da dahi na ban jaye”(Let me pass through my friend, else the milk will curdle). At least for the next ten minutes, I was in splits. While I got busy clicking its picture and sharing a laugh with my Facebook Friends, the traffic got cleared in no time!
The witty one-liners behind trucks win hands down. Most of the times, they suggest simple life rules. ‘No Girlfriend, No Tension’ is a common one, and mostly endorsed by the heart broken Romeos, who’ve had enough of both! Some trucks come with morbid messages like – ‘Dheere chalega toh baar baar milengey, tez chalega toh Haridwar milengey’ (Drive slow, then we’ll meet again. Drive fast, we’ll end up meeting in Haridwar). Though they hardly adhere to this one, but most of them write ‘Use Dipper at Night’, forewarning the fellow travellers to refrain from using high beam light while driving at night. The less meticulous ones end up writing ‘Diaper’ instead of ‘Dipper’, thereby lending a whole new meaning to the sentence! Some are philosophical and set you thinking. An autorickshaw had a couplet written at the back – ‘Bhukki maran v na de, te aggey wadhan v na de’ (It doesn’t let me die of hunger, nor does it let me prosper further). ‘It’ meant for the autorickshaw, the sole source of his bread and butter. Another popular one is ‘Uttey Rabb te thalle Jabb he Jabb’ (There’s God above, and Grief below). Don’t we all relate to this ultimate philosophy of life?
In today’s times of ‘intolerance’ and vote-bank politics, it is heartening to know that a few Indians still haven’t forgotten their sense of humour. Wherever they go about, they carry it with them and spread smiles. Isn’t that the need of the hour – some wisdom, a dash of humour and countless infectious smiles all around?
Hi! I'm Seerat Gill (nee Sandhu). I stumbled upon writing just about two years ago, and realised that besides a sinful bar of chocolate, penning down my thoughts brings about instant gratification!
An engineer and an a academician by profession, writing is something I'd never thought I'd do! My writer mother is glad though. I hope I can live up to the 'Lekhak genes'!
What began as scribbling on paper, has now become a part of me. I couldn't be happier to share it with you all.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them! Come and join me in my journey!