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Rickshaw Wisdom: Solve the Mystery

Posted on November 5, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day, Society
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Adil Najam

Many of you might have recently received this picture of rickshaw poetry in your email recently. It depicts rickshaw poetry under the title “Soch Raha Hai Pakistan.” Its cute. All the more because it is on the back of a rickshaw. And we all love rickshaws. No one more than ATP.

This is why we have featured rickshaws here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. And probably elsewhere too!

That is also why this particular pictures intrigued us much more than just because of what is written at the back of the rickshaw. For some reason, it looked very very familiar. And, yet, different.

So, we went back to our archives. And, lo and behold there it was. This ATP post from way back in Feburary 2007 had featured a picture (taken in 2006) of a rickshow with a “Haqooq-e-Mardaan” (Men’s Right) manifesto painted on its back.

Look again. Look carefully. Are they are the same?

Not quite. And, yet…

The writing at the very top blue border seems nearly identical. The words on the black back are different, but could well have been written by the same painter. And have a certain common sensibility of defiance to them. But most interesting are the English words at the bottom (white) metal panel: “Always Speak the Truth.”

Aren’t the curves of those hand-written letters just exactly the same!

Maybe not. Because there is plenty about the bottom of the rickshaw that is different. The back lights are different. The older picture has numbers (registration) written over the lights. And there are other small differences too.

So, is is the same rickshaw or not? More imporantly, is it the same rickshaw-wallah or not? Maybe it does not matter much, but if it is the same rickshaw driver then we have a pundit in the making running around on Lahore roads (the older photograph seems to be from Lahore).

Maybe it would be nice to figure out who he is. If one were to find him, maybe he could pair with the Karachi rickshaw driver we had featured in 2006 for his own brand of rickshaw wisdom. If so, I see a new Geo Talk Show in the making. If so, I would certainly watch!

14 Comments on “Rickshaw Wisdom: Solve the Mystery”

  1. Hussain says:
    November 6th, 2009 1:11 am

    Most likely both rikshaws had the same painter (instead of a common driver).

  2. Younis says:
    November 6th, 2009 1:37 am

    WAH. yeh hua na investigative journalism :-)

    great post. You made my day with this. Funny and interesting and so very Pakistani.

    My hats off to both rickshaw wallahs

  3. November 6th, 2009 5:53 am

    This actually could be one person – not the rickshawallah – but the person who is adept at tinkering with photos. Get a picture of a rickshaw then mess around in an imaging tool adding whatever text you like.

    I know my interpretation may disappoint those of us who want such a rickshawallah pundit, but we could even do with a creative image editor pundit. No?

  4. adeel says:
    November 6th, 2009 7:49 am

    @Dislenomad
    While your theory provides a different angle and could possibly be correct, but looking at the two photos (especially the ambient lights and shades) puts doubt in my mind. If this is just image editing, it is an extremely professional work. And I don’t suppose anyone would go such great lengths to simply get the message across when they could just easily redirect their energy to something more, let say, productive.

    However, as you said we can certainly do with a creative image editor pundit instead of a sage rickshewalla.

  5. Natasha says:
    November 6th, 2009 8:18 am

    Mystery?I call it a waste of time!

    Nice messages though.

  6. Zahid Shah says:
    November 6th, 2009 5:23 pm

    as Habib Jalib Said,
    Nan Mera Pakistan Hai Yay, Nan Tera Pakistan Hai Yay
    Yay Uos Ka Pakistan Hai, Jo Saddaray Pakistan Hai

  7. Aziz says:
    November 6th, 2009 6:41 pm

    Both rickshaws were painted by the same painter no doubt about it. However, I think these are 2 different rickshaws for a few reasons. First, the license plate on the newer picture seems to have been blurred out but the license plate is missing altogether on the older picture. Instead there are a bunch of numbers just above the tail light which ofcourse is missing from the newer picture. Some might argue that the black panel is longer on the newer picture than the older picture but if you look closely, even if the black panel was longer, you should be able to numbers behind it because they are printed very close to the tail light panel.

    Second, the tail light are shaped differently.

    Third, the English words are faded on the old rickshaw but pretty clean on the newer one. If this was the same rickshaw, I doubt the words would get cleaner over time 

    There are a few other things on the rickshaw in the older picture that are missing in the newer picture but one can argue that those things could have come apart over time.

    At any rate, the point is not if this is the same rickshaw or not. I really want to meet the person who came up with the poetry behind these rickshaws may it be the driver or the painter. Lets see if we can have someone from Geo find this guy :)

  8. Nihari says:
    November 6th, 2009 9:00 pm
  9. ThandaGosht says:
    November 7th, 2009 1:20 pm

    so who’s going to be the nice person that writes up the english translation for us overseas born people?

  10. ThandaGosht says:
    November 7th, 2009 1:48 pm

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tango48/3698708742/
    ^another one from the same person

  11. EID SMS says:
    November 9th, 2009 3:50 am

    Great blog and nice picture this picture is showing the future of the country. Really nice posting.

  12. Umar Shah says:
    November 10th, 2009 11:13 pm

    Soch raha hai Pakistan is more philosophical than cute.

  13. waqas muhammad farooq says:
    June 11th, 2010 1:04 pm

    asalaam o alaikum
    i am sorry brothers u got one misconception its not two richkshaws but one only . the writer of these intellectuals is muhammad imran khan the owner of this rickshaw .. he lives in lahore and is my friend he has alot of more work and i ll surely share his works link soon INSHA ALLAH . U CAN VISIT THAT LINK TO SEE ALL HIS WORK AND U CAN ALSO HAVE SOME OF THE LEADING NEWSPAPERS COLOUMNS N COMMENTS ON HIS WORK AND HIS WRITTEN INTERVIEW
    JAZAK ALLAH

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