The Dulhans of the road
I realized today that I never needed a reason to be happy. Or unhappy for that matter. I swing from completely irrationally ecstatic, to absolutely pointlessly tragic in minutes. And it’s the lack of reason behind these mood swings that scare me. I’m hyper when I’m miserable and oh-so-blah when I should be prancing around strewing lilies on the footpaths. Oh well. At least I’m unpredictable.
Currently, life is all about truck art. I’ve learned to seriously appreciate our dulhans of the road…and the men who spend more on decorating their princesses than in purchasing them. You see, a bus driver or truck driver spends most his life in his vehicle so it becomes his home, his wife, and his baby. And for some reason, though these men let their actual homes, wives and babies go to the dogs, their trucks and buses are loved, and decorated and gaudied to bits.
Chamakpatti (the colorful stickers used for decorating the sides) for example costs 60 rupees per meter and there’s at least about a hundred meters you use on an average bus…coupled with the paint, the workmanship, the jhaalars and the metal bars and the reflectors and the lights…they buy the truck for 12 lakhs, and then spend up to 6 for decoration. Usually the drivers purchase the trucks, leave them at the decorators for a month, pay a certain amount depending on the amount of decoration they require, and let the artists have full sway. Of course sometimes they do give suggestions (like having a picture of Saima in the rear :P). A bus or truck that is decent, or minimalist, is an unloved bus or truck. Vive le chichorpan!!!
I can’t help wondering though; a bus is the driver’s flower (guls), his shehzadi, or his dulhan… So there’s not much place left then for actual flesh and blood women, is there?