Skip to content

FRANK AND FUNNY

December 4, 2009

What is intriguing about signboards from Pune (Puneri Patya) is that they are so explicit! If there is something that can make people laugh it’s the absolute truth told in no uncertain terms. But one cannot help wondering if these signs actually work!

Take a look at this signboard for instance. It says:

THE BUNGALOW IS EMPTY
THERE IS NOTHING WORTH STEALING HERE. DO NOT UNNECESSARILY TAKE THE TROUBLE

And this one says:

YOU CAN ONLY WASH YOUR HANDS AND RINSE YOUR MOUTH HERE AND WHILE DOING SO PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU DO NOT MAKE ANY SOUNDS.

There are people who use the toilets carelessly and the next one one spells it out for them, although in a sarcastic manner. It says:

WASHROOM

AFTER YOU GO INSIDE PLEASE DON’T DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THE DOOR

The fact that signs extorting people to be clean are becoming frequent is a good thing as it means that people are becoming increasingly conscious about keeping their washroom areas well maintained. It’s a change from days past. I remember when we were in college we had to search for a decent hotel if we wanted to use the loo, as the college loos were too filthy. Traveling by bus anywhere was a big problem as it was difficult to even step inside the toilet. Today I find that at bus stations one finds not one but dozens of toilets in a row and yes they are reasonably clean. Even train toilets are much cleaner. Sure, this change has not taken place all over India, as poor children in municipal schools still have no place to go. There is a top South Mumbai college with filthy toilets as well. So the lack of funds is not always the reason. It’s the lack of will. On a recent trip to Matheran we found that the toilets at the parking lot (where you have to park your car before climbing up to Matheran, which takes about an hour) were stinking and filthy and impossible to use. However, there is a noticeable change in commercial complexes and on important travel routes. Providing toilets makes good business sense I guess.

While there is an improvement in infrastructure, old habits die hard. Recently while traveling from Pune to Mumbai we had stopped at a washroom along the highway and saw a busload of passengers troop out. About half a dozen men from the bus got down and headed straight for a row of thick bushes. I was a bit puzzeled, thinking that perhaps some accident had taken place. It never ocurred to me that they might be going there to pee, as the washroom was just a few feet away and a clean one that too! But these shameless people stood in a regimented row with their backs to a row of parked cars and did their business. If it wasn’t so disgusting it would have been funny! We were sitting in our car munching on a burger but had to pull out. We have stopped parking there nowadays. Perhaps a shop-keeper should put up a signboard there. It could say in Marathi: Hya jhadanna pani dilela ahe. krupaya andkheen tras karun gheu naka

These people have decided to be aggressive, but in a sarcastic way!
The sign says:

OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION
THE PERSON WHO HAS BROKEN THIS POT PLEASE COME FORWARD AND WE WILL HONOR HIM IN THE SHANWAR WADA!

PRABHAT TALKIES

A change in attitude might be visible when it comes to toilets but there are some attitudes which do not show any sign of changing! Prudishness for instance! The sign says:

NOTICE
AFTER SWIMMING PLEASE WEAR YOUR CLOTHES AND COME OUT, NOT WITHOUT THEM.
BY ORDER

The Rain Dance itself maybe culturally new to India, but there are certain rules to be adhered to!! Not that I knew that one took off one’s clothes during the rain dance! The sign says:

NOTICE
WHILE DOING THE RAIN DANCE WEARING ALL YOUR CLOTHES IS COMPULSORY
BY ORDER

And here is a piece of advise for those “errant” boys and girls who dare to cross the line! I wonder if anyone has been caught!
NOTICE:
IF BOYS AND GIRLS (COUPLES) BEHAVE IN AN OBSCENE MANNER IN THE AREA OF THE GAMDEVI TEMPLE THEN THEY WILL BE BEATEN WITH A HOLLOW BAMBOO STICK

I like the following one the best. I think the shop-keeper was fed up giving directions to people, but I really doubt that the sign deterred anybody! The sign says:

ASKING FOR ADDRESSES WILL COST MONEY
FOR AN ADDRESS WITHIN 10 KMS 50 PAISE
FOR AN ADDRESS BEYOND 10 KMS 1 RUPEE
THANKS.

Considering that he tagged on another sign shows that his sign hadn’t really worked. He had underestimated the innate curiosity of Indians! He must have been forced to add a second part:

ANYONE WHO ASKS WHY I HAVE WRITTEN THIS SHALL HAVE TO PAY RS 2000
HOWEVER IF SOMEONE CANNOT READ, THE ADDRESS WILL BE PROVIDED FREE.

The sign below is not a Pune sign, but one which I discovered while surfing the net. It is from a site called tvmtalkies.com and like the Puneri Patya is quite frank and funny.

Hope you enjoyed these Patyas as much as I did! And for any lapse in translation, I apologize.

(All photographs are from Puneri Patya except an imaginary one which I made myself, the one in red with a white background and ofcourse the last one)

Related Viewing:
This is another post on Puneri Patya: Pune signboards (Puneri Patya)
This is a post on some Funny Signs which I’ve spotted
This is a picture of A funny battered car which was still being driven around the city and these guys actually waved at me when I took their picture with my cell phone!
These are Bal Thackeray’s election campaign ads which should be serious, but are funny instead!
These signs are not funny, but are Interesting signs from Europe

About these ads
47 Comments
  1. December 4, 2009 1:06 pm

    We were just discussing the Pune boards n habits just last night at the dinner table, after rounds of laughter we called it a night…. :)))) Nice to read a post on similar lines in the morning!

  2. December 4, 2009 1:16 pm

    Totally enjoyed reading, Nita-ji. My favourites were the Rain Dance rules and your own warning :) And I was also pleased to note that the little Marathi I learnt in primary school has not left me totally..

  3. Vinod permalink
    December 4, 2009 3:23 pm

    Strangely, I like the frankness.

    About peeing in the open, a friend of mine from India, who came to Singapore after spending his first 28 years of his life in India, was telling me a couple of days back that there is a nagging urge in him whenever he returns to India to pee in the open just to “feel the freedom from rules” even if there is a toilet nearby.

    I successfully resisted biting his head off.

    • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
      December 4, 2009 3:42 pm

      Vinod,

      While I don’t endorse your friend’s view, I do thoroughly sympathise with him. The only difference is, I would not take it out [pun not intended :) ] on India. I’d derive much greater pleasure from cocking a snook at the tyranny of rules. There is nothing as joyful as getting away with something like that.

      Some of my Malaysian friends tell me that their southern neighbours, when they cross over on a visit, have no compunctions about littering.

      Let us face it, whatever else it may be euphemistically called, it is ultimately a police state, and such reactions are perfectly natural.

      • Vinod permalink
        December 4, 2009 8:41 pm

        There’s no point hearing about Singapore from Malaysians and hearing about Malaysia from Singaporeans. If Malaysians are your source to know about Singapore, it is no wonder you refer to it as ‘tyranny of rulers’. Those Malaysians will not tell you about the SIngaporeans who come to Malaysia and drive carefully following the rules like they do in Singapore. He won’t tell you of the thousands who do not litter even when in Malaysia.

        If it is a police state, it is one where the voice of justice, rationality and reason are given its due place. Those who simplify Singapore to a mere ‘police state’ have failed to capture the complexity of the problem that Singapore faces which is that it is too dependent on enlightened leadership instead of setting up a robust parliamentary system.

        • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
          December 4, 2009 10:18 pm

          Vinod

          I said tyranny of “rules” not “rulers”.

          And “the problem that Singapore faces which is that it is too dependent on enlightened leadership instead of setting up a robust parliamentary system.” You said it!

  4. December 4, 2009 3:45 pm

    Nita: The folks who say the bushes have been watered and hence people mustn’t take the trouble to pee on them are missing the latest trend in gardening: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/8357134.stm

    You couldn’t make it up!

  5. December 4, 2009 4:53 pm

    In a place where its obscene to kiss in public but can piss in public, these sign boards are not surprising.

  6. rags permalink
    December 4, 2009 5:23 pm

    Fun to read! I liked the one about money for addresses, cool! And the one about bushes, good imagination Nita!

  7. December 4, 2009 6:03 pm

    Pins N Ashes, Apu, rags, :)

    Vinod, I can understand the urge to break rules but the kind of rules I would like to break do not fall in that category!

    Shefaly, actually its quite well known about pee being fertilizer. Wonder why the Brits took so long to discover it!

    Xylene, yeah and as my previous post tells us why!!

    • December 5, 2009 2:03 am

      Nita: Clearly Punekars need reminding then ;-)

      • December 5, 2009 9:06 am

        But what if the Brits patent the process!! :D

        • December 5, 2009 2:43 pm

          I don’t think Indians or the British have a monopoly on pissing or pissing outside bathrooms (on bales, bushes, street corners or into rivers). At least 3B people can lay claim to the patent’s earnings.

  8. kris permalink
    December 4, 2009 7:02 pm

    Hi Nita, You blog is Really great. And my personal request to you is that “Please write an article about India and Child trafficking. I hope you must have had written articles about this. But the category I am referring to u is that in Tamil Nadu I have seen lot of children being captured by some anti social elements and they are forced to beg. And u can find this kind of children in any Tamil Nadu town bus stands. I dont know about other states. I unfortunately has to believe that this bitter truth must be prevalent in all parts of India. Every one should do some thing to get back the lives of these child. No government bothers about it because they I suspect the local anti-social elements must be bribing them or paying a ransom for that. Please write an article that would revive the lives of the suffering children. I believe we can do it. Surely most who have held their hearts till now are reading your article. And surely we have to solve this problem.

    Regards,
    krishnan.

  9. December 4, 2009 7:17 pm

    LOL :D I have been to Pune few times but never seen such notices :)

    • Nitin Mahajan permalink
      December 7, 2009 7:31 am

      Reema,
      You will find these signboards mostly in the “Peths” and also around Deccan/FC college Road.Kothrud/ Karvenagar also have heaps of some really hilarious ones.

      Nita:
      Really funny stuff. “Pokal bambuche fatke” ROFL

  10. December 4, 2009 7:52 pm

    Thanks for nice laugh!

  11. December 4, 2009 7:54 pm

    You will probably like this :)
    An online collection of Puneri Paatyaa
    http://www.busybeescorp.com/puneripatya/

    • December 4, 2009 7:55 pm

      Khalil, I know that ofcourse. I have corresponded with the owner as well, to get permission to publish. :) He has replied saying he has no objection as long it is attributed. ALL Puneri Patyas belong to his site.

  12. December 4, 2009 7:58 pm

    Reema, these signs are never on the main streets or fancy places. They are in areas where there are mostly locals and where people understand Marathi. I don’t know whether you have traversed the real Pune.

    Mahendra, :)

  13. Lakshmi permalink
    December 4, 2009 9:16 pm

    Great compilation of signs and the one by you stood out great as it has a substance to convey. I should start noticing boards more now :)

    yeah, I love signposts! Ever since I was a kid enjoyed reading them – Nita

  14. December 4, 2009 9:23 pm

    That was hilarious! Some of them are so apt for the situation :)

    :) – Nita

  15. Joss permalink
    December 4, 2009 9:31 pm

    Those all made me smile. So, a nice way to start the weekend. I think I shall start posting notices like these around our house. Especially in the bathroom. My son’s toilet habits need perfecting, and I think explicit advice would work best. I can’t go in to details here … it’s his age!

    Yeah know what you mean!! :) – Nita

  16. December 4, 2009 10:16 pm

    ROFL! hilarious stuff… did u click all these pics urself? thats a lot of homework for a post :P kudos!

    obviously you have not read the credits. but thanks anyway. – Nita

  17. December 4, 2009 11:32 pm

    I agree nothing can beat the total truth :lol:

    I liked the one that says they charge for giving directions :) And good to warn the rain dancers to stay dressed ha ha :)

    Yeah me too!! :) -Nita

  18. December 5, 2009 12:31 am

    So much humour in our midst! Great post.

    We definitely have better infrastructure and facilities than in the past, but people still lack civic sense. Will that ever change?

    sure it will, slowly!! – Nita

  19. December 5, 2009 10:23 am

    Really funny and fantastic post… !!!! :) :) :lol:

    the best was the shop keeper who asked for money !! actually it practically happened once… when I came across this joke for the first time… we asked an address in Ahmedabad to a pan wala and he showed and asked for 5 Rs. and for a moment he seriously asked… saying he wasnt sitting there to show addresses for free !!! :lol:

  20. December 5, 2009 10:28 am

    Seems like the city has some really interesting ideas to write on boards and hoardings.
    Nice collection.

  21. December 5, 2009 11:17 am

    lol :P

  22. December 5, 2009 2:22 pm

    Enjoyed reading all of them!

  23. December 5, 2009 2:27 pm

    Nita what a collection! indeed frank and funny! :)

  24. December 5, 2009 2:43 pm

    ROFL… loved the bunglow one the best… :lol:

    • Vivek Khadpekar permalink
      December 6, 2009 9:48 am

      Sakhi,

      It could well have been put up as an act of professional courtesy by a housebreaker who drew a blank (or cleaned out whatever could be taken) to the next hopeful that might happen along.

  25. December 5, 2009 6:31 pm

    Nita,very funny and very hilarious.

  26. December 6, 2009 4:01 am

    Really funny Nita… sarcasm at its best :D :D

    but then we are ignorant in civic sense, right?? those spitting in roads.. peeing the public place… there must be a huge campaign to change the attitude of people regarding this…

  27. December 6, 2009 12:02 pm

    That was hilarious. I laughed my heart out seeing most of the images.The last hoarding was surely the best :)

  28. December 7, 2009 12:17 am

    Nice ones. I liked the shop keepers board the most :)

    Destination Infinity

  29. December 7, 2009 6:35 am

    @Nita
    Thanks so much for the laughs. I showed these to my husband and we both roared with laughter. :)

  30. December 7, 2009 1:13 pm

    Hahahahah! Loved the last one.

  31. December 7, 2009 1:51 pm

    We could actually do a national integration of signboards here…I have some from Hyderabad ,Bangalore and kolkata as well…. ;-)

  32. December 7, 2009 5:04 pm

    Hmmm. Okay. Its funny. Can’t think of anything sarcastic here. Good collection

  33. December 7, 2009 7:43 pm

    : ) Cool…The last one was the most funny and most strange one…

  34. December 8, 2009 2:18 am

    haha…..really funny and very frank….the bushes one is really gooood :)

  35. December 9, 2009 7:12 pm

    comments temporarily closed here due to heavy influx of spam on this post.

Trackbacks

  1. FRANK AND FUNNY | ASEAN Tourism, news, travel and events | ASEAN Tourism, news, travel and events

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 428 other followers

%d bloggers like this: