Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Note On Bike Bumper Stickers

Autos had since long used sticker on their outer seat cover as a decoration. Mostly it was "Sallu-Bhai" or some religious message like 786 or Om. Of late, however, the practice of bumper stickers on bikes has picked up in Hyderabad.
Well, technically, it cannot be called a bumper sticker because bikes don't have bumpers. It is a Mud-Guard Sticker to be exact. So what are the different types of Mud-Guard stickers that I have seen. Well, mostly these stickers do the job of displaying the sponsor's name. So we have stickers which say "Mom's Gift", "Dad's Gift", "Brother's Gift" or "Ma Baap ki Duah". But then one day I saw "Marriage Gift" which is a nice way of saying "I got this as Dowry". Rarely have I seen such pride is displaying one's Dowry gifts. Perhaps the in-laws stuck it and gave it to him. Or perhaps the bike was given on the condition that if the sticker were to be taken off, the girl and all her dowry would be taken back. Quite an innovative way of reducing the practice of Dowry, I think. Which man would want the whole world asking him "Don't you have a vehicle of your own?" when they see "Marriage Gift" stuck on his vehicle.
Then there are these Caste/Family Name indicators. So, you will see "Reddy's", "Raju's" or "Naidu's" or "Nuthala's" or "Thamineni's" and so on. Funny thing about this type of sticker is that they all seem to be in the same font. It is good, in a sense, that all castes came together at least to decide the font in which they will display their castes. For a more detailed analysis of this type of stickers refer here (
Next we have the religious people with stickers saying "Om Sai Ram", "Jai Sri Ram", "Jai Matadi", "God is great", "Allah malik hain" and so on. I saw one person whose sticker said "Garv se khao hindu hoon, Pyar se khao jai sai ram". Two things, I don't think Sai Baba is strictly a Hindu sage or "god" and so the connection being a proud Hindu and being a devotee of Sai Baba is quite weak. The second thing of course, is the spelling which practically ruins the whole message. Instead of "kaho" (which means "to say") and man say "Khao" (which means "to eat"). I double checked just to make sure and indeed it was "Khao". It is a tough life leading a religious one.
We then have a segment of people who wish to let everyone know their nick names. So, we see "Chanti", "Bablu", "Chinna" and so on with a skull mark or something like that. By the way I think "Bablu" is one of the most funniest nick names.
Lastly, we have the wise guys who have some wise crack, catchy message. For example, this one guy's sticker said "If you think I am slow, Take right and go to hell". Another cool-dude said, "Racing is my passion, Speed is my attitude". This one was on a Hero-Honda passion - hardly a racing bike. Moreover, what does "Speed is my attitude" mean ? I can never get around such sentences. Another guy's sticker said "Save water Bath with neighbour's daughter". This one was quite funny and I liked it. I wished to compliment him but he was riding with a girl so I thought it might be offensive. I don't know how he got his parents' approval for that.
Many times, spellings go for a toss when it comes to these stickers mainly due to lack of space I guess. Grammar nazis too can have a good time with them because quite often you find the apostrophe missing, as in "Mom's Gift" becomes "Mom Gift" or a comma missing. But being charitable to these fellows, I encourage the practice on the whole because it adds some colour and amusement to the other wise arduous experience of driving on Hyderabad roads.

P.S:I apologize if the title seems boring. I suppose reading Philosophy does that to one.