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 responses to “Rickshaw Wisdom: Solve the Mystery”

  1. Natasha says:

    Mystery?I call it a waste of time!

    Nice messages though.

  2. adeel says:

    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.

  3. Dislenomad says:

    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. Younis says:

    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

  5. Hussain says:

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

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