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The Great Rickshaw Humor

January 19, 2010

Auto rickshaw in Pakistan is one mode of public transport that I have used a lot. Yes, despite the fact that people would often murmur about the bad reputation of rickshaws and the women travelling in them. Okay without beating around the bush let me say clearly that many people would believe that usually harlots or cheap call girls travel by rickshaw to get to their customers. I have never tried to ascertain the truth of that. Because I don’t care what people believe and what they don’t!

Anyway, an auto rickshaw without the colorful art or poetry painted at the back is nothing. For years, it has entertained me. Like my first memory of noticing the cheesy line at the back of rickshaw was in early nineties. When I used to peep down from my window seat on the second storey classroom, I would often see one particular rickshaw passing by that had ‘prem ki zanjeer’ written in white paint at the back. I never understood what the heck that meant. Even today when I think of it, I really get the negative meaning of suffocating love. Sort of love that chains you. Huh!

The other famous line was ‘maan ki dua, jannat ki hawa’. I don’t know what rickshaw drivers fancy because the third famous line that I had grown up reading was ‘Javed ki doli’. I mean I don’t even know what ‘doli’ means! In Pushto ‘dolay’ means ‘baraat’ or ‘wedding procession’. If that’s what they meant?

As for the art, the most popular was the painting of female hands holding roses, or two roses in cross position and cupid’s arrow. Some of the rickshaws would have legendry Pushto film actor Badar Munir painted at the back. While in late 90s I started seeing the paintings of certain Indian actors like Ajay Devgan and Shahrukh Khan. Shahrukh’s rough and tough ‘Koyla’ (movie)look was popular than his lover boy look.

The meanest line I’d ever read was ‘waqt nay mujhe phir se dulhan bana diya’. I have absolutely no idea what that meant. The other lines are:

‘aisay na dekh warna apna bana loon ga’

‘dekh magar pyar se’

‘khushboo laga ke’

‘kaajal ko jaane do’

In the wake of terrorist attacks most rickshaw drivers started displaying serious messages like ‘dehshat gard mulk aur qom ke dushman hain’ that is their way of condemnation given the fact that suicide bomber often travel by rickshaw before blowing themselves up.

What prompted me to write this post is the most ironical yet amazing line I had ever read in the times when I needed to be cheered up. I was once on saddar road, quite down and depressed on certain issue. Whenever I am sort of depresses there is that particular person who comes to my mind so I started thinking about ‘us’ and all the questions I was left with when a rickshaw zoomed past me. Its back read, ‘zindagi ke udaas lamhon main bewafa doston ki buhat yaad aati hai’,

زندگی کے اداس لمحوں میں
بیوفا دوستوں کی بہت یاد آتی ہے

And that literally brought an ear to ear grin on my face and I instantly forgot everything! Rickshaw humor I assure you despite being cheesy can be so entertaining and above all true to your situation.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Asma Ahsan permalink
    January 20, 2010 5:49 am

    LOL – you forgot the classic – KHAIR NAAL AA – KHAIR NAAL JAA –

    “Come good, go back good” 😛

    And of course,


    Direct attack on all who were born dark!!! – LOL –

    “He who is black is jealous”

    Translation was always my best skill. 😉

    I tried out rickshaw in Karachi once. Mom never let us use public transport in Lahore. We had too cars always, and one was normally a gleaming Mercedes…

    Those were good days… Now I drive a small 1300 CC. 😛

    Chose rickshaw over taxi as it seemed safer to jump out of in case of emergency exit. After all, we women need to protect ourselves and cant trust just any driver to take us to our destination.

    By rule, women in my family travel with dad or husbands only, or some trusted driver who is accompanied by a maid or an old family man servant. We are always chaperoned when unmarried.

    Even in my married life, I prefer to drive myself alone than be accompanied by a strange man I dont know…

    • January 23, 2010 6:26 pm

      I always preferred rickshaw over taxi for exactly the same reason. Thanks for adding a few more funny lines. I think these lines and poetry are different from region to region! 🙂

  2. Asma Ahsan permalink
    January 20, 2010 6:24 am

    A new blog for my muslim friends – Hope you read it.

    • pinnank permalink
      August 6, 2010 4:41 am

      well.. i aint muslim but… ur blogs n comments n all seem interesting..
      may i know u?

  3. January 20, 2010 7:06 am

    cool … the other day i came across one with, “Kabhi Aao na MARDAN” … took a pic. for Aadil & will upload sometime later. : )

    Over-protection @ Asma A. : )

    • Asma Ahsan permalink
      January 23, 2010 6:40 am

      Mein over-protected hi khush houn.
      Thanks. 🙂

    • January 23, 2010 6:26 pm

      BMK: Do post the photo! 🙂

  4. January 20, 2010 9:19 am

    the last quote was so awesome … and so true ….

    doli might refer to this …

    • January 23, 2010 6:28 pm

      Yes, that is doli or palki in Urdu/Hindi (palanquin in English)…

      So perhaps they meant ‘Javed’s palanquin’! How funny! 😀

  5. January 20, 2010 10:56 am

    lol@bewafa dost

    • January 23, 2010 6:29 pm

      It ain’t funny when it becomes a reality… I mean the ‘bewafa dost’ 😛

  6. January 20, 2010 12:07 pm

    great poetry amazing…..thanx

    • January 23, 2010 6:30 pm

      Wonder who creates such stuff? 🙂

  7. January 22, 2010 2:33 pm

    Good one 😛 Not for so long back I was in my homeland [Pakistan] N it was fun reading the “poetry” written behind trucks N Rikhsaws 😛

  8. January 23, 2010 3:18 am

    Ayesha: What’a remind of my past…This post take me back to Peshawar streets. It was my habit that I always read these Rickshaw back signs.. Hahhaa it was so nice…

    Some drivers says: Maa ki hawa, janat ki hawa.
    dekh magar payar say.
    darna mana hai…. zakhmi dil… sanam bewafa etc…

    It was my big habit that I had to read their back of rickshaw… and the shayari ufff.
    great post… thanks for sharing with us…:P

    • January 23, 2010 6:32 pm

      Or the painting of a lion crushing the cobra! Gosh some imagination that is! 😀

  9. January 25, 2010 6:56 am

    here is a related one, I just came across in FB. wud have copied & uploaded only if my posti network would allow. :/

    • January 25, 2010 9:57 pm

      This link isn’t working because it asks me to sign in and I don’t have a FB account.

  10. January 26, 2010 6:15 am

    i knew that, in fact lubed to know. 😛

    • January 29, 2010 7:44 pm

      I’m not motivated to go back to FB 😀

  11. February 8, 2010 7:06 am

    The great Rickshaw humor, nice heading, but wait i believe Rickshaw is the most dangerous riding in Pakistan, may be apart from new CNG rickshaws, as i have seen and noticed 1000’s times Rickshaw driver first turned the rickshaw and then from behind you say bhai dhek tou chalao then he will look left n right, but in other case women if going alone prefer rickshaw as compared to taxi, the pimp and call girl thing you mentioned is something new for me, because i believe they don’t need rickshaw or taxi they moved with the life unfortunately. i had a so horrible accident in jan-09 in karachi when i was driving a car on fast lane and suddenly that rickshaw driver overtake b/w two lanes and hit my car, the rickshaw tumbled and one aunty age like my mother sitting behind, first thing i came out and hit the strong slap to that rickshaw driver, he started doing that he has been struck though he was ok, now 100 peoples gather, i put the aunty in my car and took her to hospital thank god she was ok, if i would be PM of Pakistan you won’t see that horrible vehicle in Country anymore. in b/w pity to those who announced yellow cabs scheme and looted the peoples money through that.

    I hope i and my story haven’t bored you 🙂

    • February 9, 2010 5:18 pm

      I agree it is a rough ride! 😀

      Thank God! That auntie was safe or else you know people always blame the car owners for reckless driving!

  12. tochangetheworld permalink
    October 2, 2010 2:54 am

    Plz read this aricle dear fellows:

  13. Baber permalink
    October 15, 2010 9:51 am

    If I may have your permission to republish at PakWheels Blog, then I would love to, and also provide a linkback to your blog. Also also, if you have more related to Motoring, then please provide the link.
    Please let me know soon at my email;

    • October 15, 2010 10:15 pm

      Yes, you can republish this blog entry.

  14. October 23, 2012 2:36 pm

    pretty goo article


  1. Rickshaw Test « A Message To India

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