Have you seen decorated Indian trucks with extravagant showy graffiti?
I always wonder why one decorate their trucks? What does it mean to them to decorate?
In an attempt to get few answers, I tried drawing few parallels from Carroll’s reading. First, to start with, let me describe what exactly the pic is. The pic illustrates a decorated truck, which is usually seen in northern parts of India. Truck painting and decorating has emerged as a vibrant form of folk art in India. These “painted ladies” of the Indian highways have captured the imagination of many people on the highways.
From the critique point, I tried evaluating the picture.
Although truck is a gender neutral, based on the color choices, elements used in decoration and shape/form of the truck are critical to associating a gender to truck. The truck shown in the above picture is regarded is feminine. Many trucks are also referred to as sons (beta), daughers (beti), tigresses (shernee), male brats (ladla) or female brats (laadli).
Truckers stay away from their families and wife’s for long time that they begin to see and treat their trucks like their wives. To personify truck as a wife they decorate with many elements such as flowers, beads, and paintings with human features. The act if decorating represents the husband’s devotion and love for her.
One can associate truck to a workplace environment or could be a possible domestic environment given the fact that most of the truckers end-up driving for long durations. Trucks in Indian context symbolizes many things, it represents status, prosperity and an extended family member.
People like to show things and take pride in doing so, truckers try to exhibit their pride, social status in the form of decoration. Before a start of any long journey, truckers start worshiping the trucks for their safe journey that’s why trucks more often have charms and religious symbols in the form of OM signs to swastikas to Indian god figures.