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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Trippy Psychedelic World Of Truck Art

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We all are familiar with the “HORN OK PLEASE” and “Dekho Magar Pyaar Se” painted on trucks in India. But, truck art is much more than that. Lets delve deeper into the trippy psychedelic world of truck art to know more.

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Photo Credit: unknown

Truckers swear by the concept of ‘home away from home’ when it comes to their trucks. And rightly so, considering most truck drivers spend almost ten months out of the twelve scaling highways across the country. And to add flavor to this slow and at times lonesome journey, these homes on wheels are adorned with a mélange of bright colours, quirky slogans, religious symbols and political icons among others; mostly personalised to the taste of the driver and owner.

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Photo Credit: unknown

When you look beyond the bling and beauty of these embellishments, you’ll notice that more than anything, it’s a mode of communication for these drivers. Being a reflection of their likes, inclinations and where they come from, these art-forms serve as a language without speech. And this communication is more important than we think. India is stretched across 1,42,126km of national highways. Most states do not permit truck drivers to move during the day, compelling them to cover long distances through the night. And that’s no child’s play, especially with the monotony of the long and winding empty roads. Passing another moving vehicle, and a vibrant truck at that, brings the assurance that one is not alone. And sometimes, that’s the only refresher one needs.

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Photo Credit: unknown

Truck art has come a long way from being just folk-inspired hand-painted birds and flowers to graphic stickers of famous Bollywood film stars and movies. While the traditional methods of breaking a sweat and painting intricate details by hand are now diminishing, modern printing techniques have opened a doorway to new dimensions. Modern trucks can be seen adorning three-dimensional designs with jazzier colours. Hitherto, truck artists who have been carrying the profession of painting for generations have resorted to print-and-stick art to sustain themselves. That said, most truckers believe in personalising their trucks themselves using the age-old brush and paint. And, they take huge pride in it. And why not, these trucks serve as a canvas to demonstrate their creativity, and also as a conversation starter at highway dhabas.

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Photo Credit: unknown

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But, truck art is not just limited to the exteriors. Step inside and you will be able to tell well-nigh everything about the person driving. Pictures of their wives and kids, figurines of deities, a make-shift temple at times, belongings of their loved ones for remembrance, and objects to keep bad omens at bay are just some of the embellishments that can be seen. Apart from that, there are the usual suspects that can be found inside a real home like curtains, beddings, utensils, ornamental decorations, and lights in different colours. After all, comfort brings the most happiness. As for us non-truckers, happiness lies in the extravaganza of these trucks that brighten up most dull journeys.

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