Pakistan is a culturally rich country. There is more to what eye meet; more than just it being graylisted, or the terrorist attacks and protests and political instability. What Pakistan lacks in security and defense, is more than made up by amazing tourist spots, rich culture, and beauty it carries.
One of the prominent features of Pakistan’s rich culture; which Pakistani people take for granted and don’t give a second glance to it, is an artwork available on roads. The trucks which ply the lands in length and breadth. Pakistan’s culture is internationally denoted by the magnificently decorated trucks.
From reflectors to paintings, the embellishment is more than just a symbol of beauty. It is the symbolic representation of the colorful minds Pakistani people own. For the truck driver, the truck is his “bride” and all the decorations are carried out to beautify the bride.
For them, it is not just any vehicle they own on which their livelihood relies, but it is a part of their family, their “fakhar” (their pride). The showcase of the artistic skills on it is dope. From breath-capturing sceneries to political affiliations to flora and fauna paintings, it is all a matter of personal interest and emotional fusion between the driver and the artist.
In addition to the graphics, the more appealing artistic touch is the ironic poetry and self-invented quotes. If you ever stuck in a traffic jam in sugarcane harvesting season, you can easily pass time by reading and getting amused by the hysterical verses written behind the trucks. Which sometimes, while being full of satire also gives you a harsh reality check and you are forced to pause your train ongoing train of thought and start a new one.
Some of the quotes I read while I went on a road trip to lower Punjab are shared below:
Gul gaye, bulbul gaye, sookhay patty rehgaye..
Yaar jo thy mitgaye, ullu key pathyrehgaye..
(gone are flowers, gone are the birds, only fallen leaves remain..
Gone are my friends, only fools remain..)
Faslarakhein, warna piyar ho jayega..
(keep your distance, else you will fall in love.)
Haran ahistabajayen, qoum so rahihy.
(blow your horn lightly, the nation is asleep.)
A piece of wisdom:
Take poison but do not believe on girls
These lines (and others which I fail to recall now) made my trip lit.
In the end, I think truck art is a major part of our cultural heritage and measures should be taken on a national level to ensure its preservation. Also, people should be made aware of its history, by arranging an exhibition to showcase the ambient art.