Picture of the Day: Pushing the Limits

Posted on February 7, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Photo of the Day, Travel
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Adil Najam

Vehicles like this have always fascinated me. Traveling on any major highways in Pakistan, you always enounter them. Sometimes I think these are metaphors for our national existence. Having to do more than one was designed to do. Living on the edge. Pushing the limits. Feeling overloaded and overwhelmed. Feeling burdened down. So many emotions and ideas come to mind. Maybe you can add a few yourself.

I always worry that they will suddenly tip over; they sometimes do. I also wonder how they actually load these vehicles. Its quite a balancing feat and requires some pretty impressive mental calculations as well as physical jugglery. I would really love to see one of these things being loaded up. One also has to be impressed by the vehicles themselves. This one is not even a full-fledged truck; and yet it is batting above its capacity. On the other hand, I can only wonder about the environmental efficiency or road safety of these things. These are dangerous contraptions, for those within them as well as those around them.

I just thought this picture screamed out ‘Pakistaniat’ in all sorts of ways. Note also the Qingqi in the background.

By the way, I found the picture at Flickr.com where it was posted by orelyinjapan.

P.S. After having written this, but well before posting it, I saw a similar (but different) picture posted by the very perceptible Jamash at Karachi Metroblog.

7 responses to “Picture of the Day: Pushing the Limits”

  1. Sharuk says:

    Im not denying the fact that public safety is the least important thing on the minds of Pakistani drivers but sometimes pictures don’t tell the whole truth = Photoshop Magic! [Im just saying its possibility]

  2. Babar says:

    Very good example of “Heck, I don’t care if someone gets killed” attitude, so common in Pakistan. You can tell a lot about a nation by the way its drivers act.

  3. Irfanullah says:

    I had never thought of it before, but I am also impressed by the ‘precision engineering’ that goes into tying up the load. Of course, as said, very often it is not precise enough and we have tragic accidents

  4. ahsan says:

    The drivers of these vehicles may be uneducated persons but somehow they know very well two fundamental rules of Physics. (1) The Centre of Gravity (CG) of the total mass loeded should remain in the rectangular boundary and near the centre of the rectangle of the four wheels; and (2) The CG should be closer to the bottom of the total load The more they observe these two rules better they maintain the stability.

  5. Roshan says:

    Tractor trolleys loaded with sugar cane are the glaring example of overloading in our country. Lot of road accidents at night are due to these tractor trolleys as there are no tail lights.

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