Rickshaw Wisdom

Posted on March 9, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Humor, Society
Total Views: 33152


Adil Najam

This picture from Metroblog Lahore made me laugh out loud. One could think of some ATP commentators that we might want to say this to!

Given the type of comments recent posts have been recieving, the refrain written at the back of this rickshaw, or at least it’s first half, seems funnily appropriate. The Punjabi words at the back read: “SaRRya na kar, chanda, dua karya kar.” I don’t think justice can be done to this in translation, so I will not try. Maybe others could help.

Here at ATP, our fascination with the motor rickshaw goes long and deep, most recently in this post here, and in other forms of expressing “transport wisdom”!

But rickshaw wisdom is not something to be mocked at.

Two past posts, in particualr, come to mind. The first (from July 3, 2006) was a conversation with Karachi rickshaw driver Raees on Karachi’s political situation, where he outlines his 5-point manifestor for Karachi. The second (from February 2, 2007) was this slightly more tongue-in-cheek (and at some levels disturbing) ‘Man Manifesto’ on Haqooq-i-MardaaN.

35 Comments on “Rickshaw Wisdom”

  1. Atookmatook says:
    March 9th, 2009 6:32 pm

    “jiss ne maan baap ko sataaya
    uss nay rikshaa hee chalaaya”

    “Muhabbat aazma chuka, muqaddar aazma raha hoon
    ek bewafa ke haathon rikshaa chala raha hoon”

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    March 9th, 2009 6:35 pm

    I tried but I couldn’t do justice to the translation of ‘saRRya na kar – Chanda’ :) :) I think it loses all its bauty in translation. but challenge is ON !!

  3. Owais Mughal says:
    March 9th, 2009 6:38 pm

    dear ‘atookmatook’ your pseudoname is as funny as the ‘ashaar’ you quoted. The word ‘atookmatook’ made me smile :) Does ‘atookmatook’ mean automatic?

  4. Atookmatook says:
    March 9th, 2009 6:47 pm

    Yes. Atookmatook west of of the indus, and automatatic to the east. :-)

  5. Owais Mughal says:
    March 9th, 2009 6:52 pm

    Dear atookmatook! Another word from west of Indus is ‘libashtay’ which means ‘university’. Karachi’s NIPA chowrangi is a big junction of University bound buses and omni buses. Most of the conductors on this route couldn’t say university and all one could hear in a chaos of arriving and departing buses were loud ‘libashtay !!! libashtay !!!’ announcements.

  6. Atookmatook says:
    March 9th, 2009 7:21 pm

    “labashtay”! I can just hear a conductor shouting it. What carefree days…

    “jay main wee panjee kamaanda
    te phir rikshaa kaanoo chalaanda”

  7. Mehroo says:
    March 9th, 2009 7:57 pm

    phatte jo doodh to paneer ho jae
    lagge jo tukka to teer ho jae

    mat dekh haqarat se rikshe wale ko
    na jane kaun kab vazir ho jae
    mahi tur paya, riksha weeraan ho gaya
    kinoo dasaan kinna nuskaan ho gaya
    takye pe pani chirrak ker jab so gaya
    samjhe wo main hijr main roya sari raat
    kaun kehta hai mulaqat nahin hota
    mulaqat hota hai, hum se baat nahin hota
    na kar muhabbat tere ko mahabbat nahin aata
    khocha humaare paas khane ko roti hai na aatta

  8. Owais Mughal says:
    March 9th, 2009 8:23 pm

    I guess a close translation of above rickshaw message can go like this:

    “Don’t get mad at trivial things my Friend. Instead pray for others”

  9. khairsoomro says:
    March 10th, 2009 2:10 am

    Well, let me attempt a free translation of SaRRya na kar, chanda, dua karya kar.

  10. Farrukh says:
    March 10th, 2009 3:25 am

    Very nice.

    Although I think the larakoo commenters are not going to get the hint. They will do what they will do.

    I think you should just moderate the people who act childish or try to abuse your comment policy. Otherwise you will only lose the people actually like coming here.

  11. Billu says:
    March 10th, 2009 4:55 am
  12. Shazia R. Hussain says:
    March 10th, 2009 5:00 am

    I read this one at the back of a rickshaw a few days ago :

    Akkal hai tay sochaan hee sochaan
    Akkal naee tay maujaan hee maujaan

    How very true !

    Translation loses the essence of what is conveyed in punjabi. So I’m not even trying.

  13. khaloo says:
    March 10th, 2009 8:57 am

    @ Farrukh

    Dudee, a few words for you:
    SaRRya na kar, chanda, dua karya kar ;)

  14. Watan Aziz says:
    March 10th, 2009 10:01 am

    @Shazia R. Hussain

    Akkal hai tay sochaan hee sochaan
    Akkal naee tay maujaan hee maujaan

    {Sapience got then ponder and ponder
    Sapience not then merriment and merriment}


    (and if you see this with my postings, now you know where I got it from.)

  15. Watan Aziz says:
    March 10th, 2009 10:13 am

    Seeing this collection of pearls, I think, the only thing policy wonks need to do is to follow the rickshaws, trucks and buses.

    The simpletons (I have fallen in love with this expression; common man sounds so ….) of Pakistan know how to fix it right.

    The rest of us, are getting all worked up over nothing. (Only if I have common sense to listen to my wife.)

  16. Qausain says:
    March 10th, 2009 11:08 am

    Rickshaw Khappay :-D

  17. Translator says:
    March 10th, 2009 11:25 am

    Fret not, my dear, not good for you
    Supplication, instead, is the thing to do

  18. Owais Mughal says:
    March 10th, 2009 12:41 pm

    Translator – Good job !!

  19. Hairan Parishan says:
    March 10th, 2009 4:11 pm

    Seriously this is getting too tedious and boring Adil…

    How about some cutting edge stuff …some analysis, information etc…

    These chat wallah khair mangda, shahi pan wallah, Rickshaw wisdom is like trying to sell nostalgia to expats… And while it is good to have that sort of basic stuff, you can’t be unmindful of your responsibility as an opinion maker at a very difficult time in Pakistan’s existence.

  20. Daud says:
    March 10th, 2009 4:19 pm

    Janab Hairan Parishan Sahib

    Here is some advice for you

    “Sarriya na karr, chanda, due karya kar!”

  21. anticorruption says:
    March 10th, 2009 4:24 pm

    sorry for being off topic, but shouldn’t there be a post on the latest political situation? the crackdown has started in Punjab and there are reports of arrests and police raids

  22. Gallaan says:
    March 10th, 2009 6:10 pm

    sara shehr phirta thha rishka mira
    kadi shah di khooee kadi shahdara
    sawaarion ko ddhota dhhota
    ab vechaara ittaan te khalota
    “yehi pervaz bhi uftaadgi bhi
    mata e zeest uski bhi yehi, miri bhi”

  23. Watan Aziz says:
    March 10th, 2009 7:14 pm


    Amazing, people are clamoring for bad news. Blood sport? Wherefore art thou Commodus?

    Seriously, this is good that the truth addicts cannot deal with “truthiness” being spun out there and like to park here for the whole truth and nothing but honest truth.

  24. bonobashi says:
    March 11th, 2009 2:24 am

    @Watan Aziz

    What’s with this high-brow Classical Roman stuff about Commodus and Tiberius (Gorki on another thread)? What happens to the less-literate/ neo-literates/ PBI without the benefit of a classical education like yours truly?

    All this is giving me a headache. I’m confused already, why do you edjicated gennelmun want to add to it?

  25. Farrukh says:
    March 11th, 2009 5:19 am

    This is my new pet phrase now.

    I have been repeating it to everyone since yesterday. I think it is growing on me and will become my new takiya kalam!

  26. Watan Aziz says:
    March 11th, 2009 6:56 am

    OK, I was hoping someone will see what I see. Unless I see what no one sees (and my wife will readily agree with this one, no questions asked).

    There is sundhir on top row!

    (Yes, perhaps a shock to the Indians, they use beautiful Hindi words quite extensively.)

    So, to update the transliteration:


    And now my translated version:

    Covetous be not
    Beautiful Moonstruck
    Do Supplications

    (Did I get it right for sundhir?)

  27. adeel says:
    March 11th, 2009 8:04 am

    @Watan Aziz

    Nice catch!

    I didn’t take much account of the word at the top before you mentioned. Now that you have, it sort of seems to have grown larger and is much more noticeable. And to be frankly, the sentence sounds fuller when it is included.

  28. Adnan Ahmad says:
    March 11th, 2009 8:28 am

    Yet again I mention the word I read on a rickshaw years ago. It had only one word written on its back and it is just not possible to translate it or to even express its depth in English.

    The word was:


  29. bonobashi says:
    March 11th, 2009 9:32 pm

    @Watan Aziz

    You’ve really got it in for us innocents wandering onto the highway, don’t you?

    Expert opinion from York, UK, informs me that you are referring to the Urdu writing above the line.

    It says ; the transliteration causes the usual pain.

    For future use, please note the following:

    1. The word transliterates conventionally as ‘sundar’ or ‘sunder’ in North India.
    2. In South India, people don’t like being sloppy and use different transliterations for the hard ‘d’ and the soft ‘d’; ‘dar’ is fear that my brains are slowly dribbling down my chin, ‘dho bigha zameen’ is where I start my feudal journey.
    3. ‘Sundar’ is fine when writing to anyone from (ahem) Jammu to Bombay, or from Amritsar to Patna; ‘sundhar’ is fine south of this (the bent line Bombay/Nagpur/Srikakulam suggests itself), and for very special, very precious people, please remember to be sweet, pop a rossogolla into your mouth and write ‘sundor’ (actually the Nagas and Gurkhas and Assamese don’t care, it’s only my volatile lot you need to watch out for). Even better, ‘ki shoondor’, breathe soulfully and hand her the rose.
    4. The use of ‘i’ in this case is deprecated in the best circles.

    Please don’t do this to me again. I prefer your double de-clutching between Shakespeare and Tacitus.

    Apologies to Sridhar: his name is transliterated fine and has an aspirate in it after the ‘d’. Just joking above, S, no hard feelings. I’ll send you zillions of bong jokes if it helps.

  30. Watan Aziz says:
    March 11th, 2009 10:21 pm

    bonobashi (if you permit me, this feels like a shout-out by Japanese on the aircraft carrier, before the kamikaze flight), I too have noticed that the South Indians like to spell names their own way. Perhaps they are making a point that not only they are different, they mean differently too. (So much for the argument that we are same people.)

    I also like to add a minor personal note that all the NRIs I have known, are both professionals and fun to work with. While I have had great engagements with a few of them, we always had great respect for each other. And at least one of them, I would rather be with him as the last man on an island than many others. Decency is beyond faith, color or origin.

    You as a NRI, apparently fall in the same category. I am using apparently as a defensive device, should you change you mind and I need to peddle back. However, I am quite sure you will not cash this and I am safe.

    Thank you for your detailed explanation on the spelling, but I was asking if the meaning was correct? Is “beautiful” most appropriate for sundar?

    As for being confused, well we all are. We live in interesting times but not to be considered the usual curse, but when the conventional wisdom is no longer well, conventional wisdom. And in the world of heightened “sensitivity” and PCness, we can be most assuredly misunderstood and misconstrued both ways. Depending on your infliction, each word, sentence, post will find someone calling you a turncoat or a traitor. So confused.

    My newly acquired rickshaw akkal tells me I should stop, but not before quoting:

    Akkal hai tay sochaan hee sochaan
    Akkal naee tay maujaan hee maujaan

    {Sapience got then ponder and ponder
    Sapience not then merriment and merriment}

    So, sochaan for you and maujaan for me!

  31. bonobashi says:
    March 11th, 2009 10:46 pm

    @Watan Aziz

    I beg your pardon: sundar is exactly beautiful; with my uncomplicated mind, I thought the Bengali bit would do the trick.

    Regarding sochaan and maujaan, you have some grief ahead. My position was put rather nicely by that great man, the bard of the ages, Anon:

    With a host of furious fancies
    Whereof I am commander,
    With a burning spear and a horse of air,
    To the wilderness I wander.
    By a knight of ghostes and shadowes
    I summon’d am to tourney
    Ten leagues beyond the wild world’s end.
    Methinks it is no journey.

    This is as exact a statement of my mental position as I can find. If you haven’t come across this before, look up Tom o’Bedlam. What else could you expect from a bonobashi?

  32. Nostalgic says:
    March 12th, 2009 9:12 am

    I have a South Indian friend (Tamil) called Dhipak… I asked him once why it wasn’t Dipak and he said numerology dictated that it be spelt that way… something to do with how it combined with his last name to add up to an auspicious number… maybe bonobashi you can fill in some details on this practice?

  33. bonobashi says:
    March 12th, 2009 10:15 am


    Oooh, how I hate these superstition spreading pests and blood-suckers!

    Please don’t fool around with this or palmistry or such gross blots on society and insults to reason.

    Since you ask, the general idea is to assign numbers to the given person’s name and surname (name as given to society at large) and add them up in a particular way; so, Idiot is 9 + 4 + 9 + 15 + 20 = 57, and 57 is 5 + 7 = 12, and 12 is 1 + 2 = 3. Idiot finally is 3. This has to match the hatching day for Idiot, by doing a similar exercise with Idiot’s date of birth, so, January 1, 2000 is 1+1+2000=2002, which is 4. So the numbers don’t match, and Idiot then has to work it up to 4, by adding an ‘a’ somewhere, thus, Idiota. Now it’s fine, his breath smells sweet, he gets all the girls, he gets to score the winning six at Sharjah, and so on and so forth.

    It makes me ill to contemplate this nonsense.

    There are Bollywood idiots who have fiddled around with their names thanks to two prized asses who go around frightening people with the threat of unforeseen consequences if they don’t get this rubbish under control. Jeetendra’s daughter running Balaji Films (or some such thing) refuses to start any serial until the name can start with a ‘K’ (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi).

    Please promise me you will have nothing to do with this nonsense once you’re out of school. Please also invite Dhipak to ghrow hup.

  34. Nostalgic says:
    March 12th, 2009 10:24 am

    Thanks bonobashi!

    Dhipak is livid with his parents as it is… everyone emphasizes the H when the address him…

    DHHHHeeepak, they all say…

  35. ashish says:
    March 28th, 2009 8:29 am

    I came across this one while travelling in Pune , written on a truck:-

    Jinko jaldi thi …..wo chale gaye!!!
    (means ppl who drove too fast to reach their destination , they reached to their ultimate destination(heaven))

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)