Horn Please – Trucking in India

If you have ever been to India you must know what ‘Horn Please’ means as it is carefully written on the back of all the trucks in the subcontinent as an advice for the driver who intends to go past them. We thought this would make the perfect name for a book about Indian trucks.

‘Horn Please – Trucking in India’ is a new upcoming book on trucking and the life and realities of truck drivers in India that will come out in December 2009. I was originally supposed to be the book’s photo editor but when I had a day off between two assignments in Kolkata a few months ago, I went to the fruit market to see what it is like, and shot a few images there. It was so much fun and so colorful that I then decided the book will have to be shot from scratch and not bought from stock, as was the original intention.

The majority of the images in the book will be mine while the rest by some other great photographers like Zackary Canepary, Thomas Pickard and Claude Barutel that have done some incredible work. The book is fully sponsored by a leading trucking and transportation company in India with a network form Kashmir to Kanyakumary.

Here are a few of my images from the upcoming book.

A truck driver having his first morning chai on a foggy winter day in Punjab

A truck driver having his first morning chai on a foggy winter day in Punjab

Drivers go about their morning duties in a Kolkata market

Drivers go about their morning duties in a Kolkata market

Kashmiri truck drivers in the cabin of their truck. Drivers spend weeks at a time on the road and deck the truck as fully as they can to make the journy as comfortable as possible

Kashmiri truck drivers in the cabin of their truck. Drivers spend weeks at a time on the road and deck the truck as fully as they can to make the time away from home as comfortable as possible

A decorated cabin of a truck in Kerala

A decorated cabin of a truck in Kerala

A long line of trucks wait their turn for checking at the notorious Walayar check post between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in south India

A long line of trucks wait their turn for checking at the notorious Walayar check post between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in south India

A driver about to start making dinner in the cabin of his truck. Punjab

A driver about to start making dinner in the cabin of his truck. Punjab

A makeshift restaurant at a truck depot outside of Delhi

A makeshift restaurant at a truck depot outside of Delhi

Half built trucks are common view on Indian roads. The chassis is manufactured by the truck manufacturer but the rest of the truck is made of wood and will be built and decorated individually

An open-chassis truck seen through the front window of a taxi on the Agra-Delhi road. Half built trucks are a common view on Indian roads. The chassis is manufactured by the truck manufacturer but the rest of the truck is made of wood and will be built and decorated individually

A truck comes down a hill road undergoing maintenance near Wayanad, Kerala

A truck comes down a hill road undergoing maintenance near Wayanad, Kerala

Trucks at the fruit market in Kolkata, west Bengal

Trucks at the fruit market in Kolkata, west Bengal

A decorated truck loaded with timber near Munar, Kerala

A decorated truck loaded with timber near Munar, Kerala

Toy trucks for sale in a roadside stall near Bathinda, Punjab

Toy trucks for sale in a roadside stall near Bathinda, Punjab