When the immortal Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean”, he may easily have been thinking with clairvoyance, way ahead into the future in general and inscriptions on the back of the ubiquitous auto rickshaws in Bangalore in particular!!
One needs to just spend a few hours in the perennially congested and perpetually clogged roads in Bangalore to comprehend the gist of the aforementioned theory. The indispensable three wheelers abound in great numbers ferrying a multitude of passengers every day in India’s Silicon Valley. Other than their sheer numbers, this medium of public transport is also very unique because of the phenomenal and mind boggling inscriptions/quotes written/inscribed at the rear of this mode of conveyance. Ranging from the sublime to the silly, from the mad to the macabre, these are definitely worth a second look and a repeat read!
Since I am also one of the millions of commuters who utilise this medium of public transport I have had the opportunity of sighting many a unique quote that has left an indelible mark not only on the back of the vehicle but also in my mind. While it may be impossible for me to recollect all the ones that my roving eye might have set its sight upon, there certainly are a few gems, real collector’s items that have been etched with a lasting degree of permanency in my mind. Hence I thought it apposite to pen them rather than allowing them to degenerate into oblivion in tandem with my memory (though I hope that it would be some years before this particular deteriorating process commences!).
So here goes the roll of honour:
PS: These quotations are not ranked either in ascending or descending order of their importance or on the basis of my preference. They have been set out in the sequence in which I have been able to recollect them from memory. It is for the informed reader to choose the best one and bestow upon it the pride of place in the ranking process:
1. “Love is rose;
Rose is red;
Red is danger”
This person seems to have been acquainted thoroughly with the wrong side of love. Possibly a jilted or a scorned lover, he attempts to bring to the attention of the whole world either the futility of falling in love or the injustice (perceived or actual) being meted out to him, by means of a brilliant linkage between an emotion (love), a flower (rose) and the failed consequence (danger). Hopefully he does not in the best interest of the world, does any wayward act that would pose a danger to the community in general!
- “Here today, Where tomorrow?”
This seems like a quote straight out of a box office grossing Rajinikanth flick!! Possibly one of the most profound quotes in so far as the rickshaw inscriptions go. Whether it is the thought process underlying the philosophical nature of the driver or whether it is just a reminder to the world caught up in a seemingly useless rat race about the oldest philosophy in life, is left to the imagination of the reader.
However if the driver were to be a rash and irresponsible one, this quote would more often than not be uttered by the helpless passengers hailing his auto!!!
3. “I am a Tsunami, Please do not follow me”
An atrocious quote with an equally atrocious rhyme! If the driver were to replicate even a semblance of similarity between the ferociousness of the Tsunami in his act of driving on the roads of Bangalore, there would exist no need for anybody to be following him, for there can be only one place where he would be heading to!
Let us hope that there are no other drivers with a similar “WAVE-length”!!
4. “Wife is a knife to cut your life”
A very thought provoking and gory quote to say the least! Either we have a person who has the greatest nag of a wife on earth, or we have a depressed neurotic on the run!!! If it is the former then he is entitled to have the deepest sympathies of the collective world, but if it is the latter, then he is in need of immediate counselling. Wives and husbands over the course of many a century have been called by many names and equated to many things, but maybe this is the first and in all probability the only instance wherein a spouse has been equated with a specialised knife customised to cut life itself!
Whilst marvellously ridiculous literature such as the above to a great extent alleviates the tedium associated with getting stuck in serpentine and seemingly immobile traffic, it sure also tickles the aesthetic senses and provides a peek into the mental make-up behind such peculiar inscriptions!
LONG LIVE THE AUTO AND THE FAITHFUL DRIVERS!!