The Grand Trunk Road - Decorated Trucks in India and Pakistan
Accessorising the Trucks
There is usually a tiny shop within each workshop area that stocks all manner of accessories to further embellish the newly decorated trucks, including pulsating lights, jazzy hubcaps, reflective tape, plastic flowers, hanging metal ornaments shaped liked hearts or birds, and stickers featuring religious symbols.
Craftsmen use metre upon metre of reflective glow-in-the-dark sticky tape that features swirls, dots and floral motifs. This not only looks funky but also helps the trucks to be seen by other traffic on unlit roads in the dark. Even the inner part of the wheel features impressive designs, as do the hubcaps decorated with reflective tape that can be bought from the accessory shop. Chains hung around the lower front, back and sides of the truck make a clattering noise as the bits of steel rub together when the truck moves. Bells are also used for a similar effect.
The truck door is usually made of wood which is sometimes intricately carved or inlaid by specialist woodcarvers.
‘The cab’ or the area where the driver sits is also given attention. The seats are upholstered with brocade (a tinsel-like fabric) and then covered in plastic to protect them from getting dirty. The cab’s ceiling is also decorated with mirror-work and pulsating multicoloured lights. Bouquets of plastic flowers sit on the dashboard and black flags help to ward off evil spirits.