The truck art, on which I have already written two detailed posts (links given at the end of the post),is very unique art applied on the buses and trucks in Pakistan and makes these buses and trucks moving art galleries on roads of Pakistan right from the port city of Karachi to the northern areas of Pakistan.
And what is peculiar about this art is that it is done by almost illiterate roadside painters who choose the theme and type to be painted on the clients' vehicles. And when done, it gives an adorable look to the smiling driver's vehicle who drives off gleefully and proud of his colorful possession.
Coming back to the Volkswagen Beetle and the truck art. I came across this marvel of artwork outside a famous eatery in F11, Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Although the car is not in use anymore, it is parked in the parking lot lot to show off its vivid colours and various inscriptions written over it. So while my son went to buy something to eat, I took a number of snaps of the Beetle with my mobile phone camera.
The inscriptions are in Pakistan's national language Urdu and one really enjoys these as these are perfectly rhymed. I will translate these, but my friends who do not know Urdu may not enjoy the translation as translating these simple messages into English or any other language may not be possible to keep the charm.
Even if there is no passenger, let the Prince go with speed 190
Go with safety and under Allah's protection
Prayer of a mother is like a breeze from Heavens
The number plate reads: Please come back while dispatching my request (to my lover perhaps)
I go flying along with the blowing winds
Sweet heart of Gujjar ( a clan in Pakistan)
Come someday to me heavily perfumed
The vehicle is no less than a bomb, but the fare is very less (could not translate it any better) - but in Urdu it makes one smile as it is perfectly rhymed
There is no price of one's hobby
Now this inscription is my favourite: Looks like Doli, but speeds like a bullet
Well yo may one day come to Pakistan and see for yourself its roads with moving truck art and enjoy the simple yet attractive colours, artwork and beautiful inscriptions. And by then you have learnt Urdu, your joy will be multiplied manifold.
The art has lovers internationally. In 2002, the Smithsonian Folk Festival had a truck brought from Karachi to Washington and got it decorated right there on the National Mall. As a talent scout for the festival’s Silk Road theme, truck aficionado Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, an anthropology professor at the University of Michigan and a top us scholar of Pakistani culture, chose the pair for their versatility in incorporating the country’s disparate styles of truck art. Their finished masterpiece, a 1976 Bedford, is now part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.
One bus was also decorated and plied on the roads of Melbourne Australia to participate in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. Back in 2010,a Volkswagen Beetle was painted for a road journey to Germany. I wonder if this is the same vehicle!!
Truck art - the ever rolling indigenous folk art
Amazing Truck Art of Pakistan