Life in the slow lane

The formative journey of a fledgling truck into a beast of burden is quite fascinating. However, business is in the dumps for truck-body builders in Sirhind in Punjab

Photographs by Ozzie Hoppe

Barring an inconspicuous rectangular piece of metal engraved with ‘Mewa Singh & Co’ nailed to the side of the cabin door, in no way does Jorawar Singh’s truck betray the fact that it has been fashioned entirely by the human hand in a cacophonous karkhana and not assembled en masse out of a sterile company facility. Nor could anybody gather the truck body is wooden in its basic composition. To the lay eye, the truck body appears to be but a mere extension of the engine — a forbidding mass of metal you wouldn’t want to overtake on the wrong side of the highway. The reality, however, is much more fascinating.