By Akanksha Gupta
The world is already known of the graffiti saying couplets and slogan at the back of the truck. It is an old story. The matadors that ply on the roads of Jammu with the fancy names like ‘Flight’, ‘Royal Jatt’, ‘Siren’, ‘Aashiq’ etc is the new cool thing.
These are dipped in brightest of colours and the fancy names which seems like a title of a movie is what make these matadors of minibuses unique. There is no doubt that for the people of Jammu, these matadors are not just lifeless vehicles but these are the lifeline of Jammu city. And the fancy names written right at the top of these minibuses is a way to provide novelty to these vehicles.
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“The idea behind making these fancy names was to differentiate one matador from other but later it became the identity of these matadors. People started recognizing us drivers with the names of our matadors and hence the trend grew,” said a Matador Driver.
“I live in Shalamar and work in Gandhi Nagar and every day I travel from one point to other by matador and there are few of my favourites like Road Romeo, Gangster and Jatt on wheels. These matadors are always clean and well maintained. Also the driver and conductors of these matadors are behave good,” said Shivani, a commuter.
Another commuter, Rahil said, “I like the name Romeo for it is well thought of name for a matadors. Atleast, it like that. It is usually given to boys who like to roam around and so is a matador which roams around the city all day.”
There are many instances when the conductor and even the driver did not know about the meaning of the name but they still keep one, just to follow the trend. “I have kept the name of my matador Love Castle. I know the meaning of Love but I don’t know what castle means. But once, one of my regular commuter told me that keeping a unique name will help him spot the vehicle from a distance and hence I kept one he suggested,” said the driver of ‘Love Castle’.
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Similar were the feelings of the driver of ‘Osculate’.
He added that christening your vehicle with more fancy and unique has become a kind of competition among the vehicle owners.
Not only keeping cool names but decorating the matadors from inside and outside has become a trend. Stuff like key chains, soft toys, dolls, heart shaped decorative pieces, artificial flowers etc are used for the decoration purposes. These are either hanged near the driver seat or kept on the dashboard.
Besides, posters with couplets and poetry etc is also a very common sight inside the matadors.