Driving from Chennai to Pondicherry - we witness the generosity of colors that is India. Houses that look like cupcakes-with-white-frosting, large advertisements on walls everywhere, decorated trucks on the Tamil Nadu highway - nothing is ever quiet about the colors there.
Of them all, the decorated trucks are the most striking. From end to end, the trucks are illustrated with vibrant motifs and hand-painted decorative fonts. Some trucks are even more heavily accessorized with large images, bright silk tassels, colorful garlands, posters and stickers.
The vibrant motifs come in many themes. You can see the Indian flag, religious symbols, deities, animals (e.g. tiger, bird, cow), flowers, and vernacular Indian patterns - adorning the trucks from front to back.
Slogans, mantras, advice, poetry (in the local language and sometimes in English) are expressed in decorative fonts. Most can be found at the back of the trucks, making them interesting "back-side" reading materials on long journeys!
A common element at the back of the trucks is the variation of that single, common directive/request "Horn Please". Some examples are "Sound Horn" and "Blow Horn OK".
Each truck's deco is unique. Each, is its own psychedelic painting on wheels. And if a painting is a reflection of an artist's thoughts and feelings - profiling a trucker based on the bright, colorful and at times, ostentatious deco on his truck, is just inevitable.
We Two, Ours One - I saw this written in English at the back of a truck.
"What does that mean?" I asked Vee.
"I think it's India's family planning tagline. But isn't it We Two, Ours Two...?" She mused.
Then, she asked Raj (our driver) in Tamil.
"They changed it to We Two, Ours One. Only then, people would stop at three!"
LOL! The things we can learn from a truck's "back-side"...
Safiza is a Travel Blogger, Common Reader, Book Hoarder, Art and Nescafe Tarik Lover.