Return of the Truckers

Manas Ojha's tribute to the Indian truck (June 2009)

Manas Ojha's tribute to the Indian truck (June 2009)

I was a bit taken aback at the response to my earlier story on Truckers’ ditties. The responses on email, SMS and comments directly on the post have been overwhelming.

Some may have read the comments, most of which were in Roman script. It is more fun to have these in Devnagari, don’t you agree?  And those responses in emails and SMS to me.

So I decided to write one more post on the topic, just a compilation of your contributions.

The first contribution is the pic on the top of this post, my 12 year old Manas Ojha’s. He cheerfully spent twenty minutes of his time off his PC games to scribble this one for the post. Thanks,  Manas!

And now for the readers’  contributions:

Trucker as a social reformer:

दुल्हन ही दहेज है. (Contributed by Narendra, Singapore)

(Your bride is your best dowry, seek no further!)

And once you are happily married, the friendly trucker is your family- planning counseller:

दो के बाद फुल स्टाप

बीवी रहे टिप-टॉप (Anvar, Hyderabad)

Aid your wife in shape to remain

Beyond two kids, please do refrain.

And for the Bhojpuri afficionado:

latukla ता गईला (Sudeep, Seattle, USA)

I can’t, despite trying for the last 30 minutes, get the L word correct on Devnagari font. लटकना is Bhojpuri means hanging. And this slogan warns all free-trippers: Do not hang on to me, you shall go! Gone you shall be!

The public health counseller:

संयम और सुरक्षा

AIDS से रक्षा   (Amit Das, Camp: Gujarat)

And the incendiary mixed up one:

“Highly inflammable Nation on the move.” (Ashutosh Ojha, Chennai)

This slogan was found on the back of oil tankers those days. Hence “Highly Inflammabale”. In the propoganda era of Energency it was compulsory to post  “Nation on the move” slogan on all public transport. I remember a joke about a foreigner who visited India in that era. He was sipping the famous (and cliched) ” sweet milky tea” in a highway dhaba and wondering after a lot of trucks had driven past him carrying the aforementioned slogan.  “Strange”, he said, “Back home in our country we call it a truck, not a nation.”

The playfully naughty one..

हेमा के गाल,  रेखा का धमाल,

मचल गए हम.

फिर भी धीमी न हुई

हमारी चाल (Amit Das, Camp: Gujarat)

Hema’s cheek would remind many old-timers of Laloo’s famous promise about transforming Bihar’s highways into surfaces as smooth as Hema’s cheeks. Unfortunately Laloo got flattened out himelf in the recent Lok Sabha elections!

And this from the trucker’s kind soul:

बुरी नज़र वाले, तेरा भी हो भला ! (Cdr Debashis, Jamshedpur)

Which gets edgy at times:

बुरी नज़र वाले तू जिए,
और तेरा बेटा बड़ा होकर तेरा खून पिए!  (Cdr Debashis, Jamshedpur)

And the philosophical:

नेकी कर और जूते खा

मैंने भी खाए हैं, तू भी खा  (Madhup, Melbourne)

Be kind, and ye shall get kicked,

You too shall live, the way I have lived.

The God-fearing one:

राम बोलो, दरवाज़ा खोलो (Ashok, Pune)

The name of the Lord opens all doors!

And this classic and ever-lasting gem as the concluding piece:

ना कोई बुरी नज़र,

न किसी का मुंह काला

सबका भला चाहता है,

12-63 वाला.

The noble soul driving truck with license number 1263 wishes well for all

OK, Tata, Bye!


3 Responses to Return of the Truckers

  1. sharad nayak says:



    To say the least, the blog was beautiful. Hope you continue to stay at bangalore.


  2. Amit Das says:

    Thanx for addition..Infact it was my favourite passtime, when I was on my way to Ahmedabad from Valsad by road during my recent Gujarat trip….
    It became so interesting, even the cab driver was spotting the ‘Shayari” and was drawing my attention to them..Good fun…Kudos Manas !..the pic looks cute..

  3. santoshojha says:

    Sharad and Amit: Thanks!

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