Salutations to the Men of the Roads!

Last month, we went for an adventure trip to Leh, which is the roof of the world, from Srinagar by Road!
National Highway 1 (NH1) connects Srinagar with Leh. The scenic beauty and natural landscapes of the valley can be enjoyed right from the start to the end of this 475 kms long road journey. Tall mountains and rivers or lakes gives you company during the entire stretch.
Sometimes you travel uphill and other times there are steep downhill slopes. There are several sharp inclines or hairpin bends or even blind curves. Some mountain roads are relatively narrow or involve tight bends, so that only one vehicle can pass at a time. Some of the roads truly frighten you. And one surely feels giddy and nauseated when you see down the valley and see the distance that you have covered.
While travelling on these mountain roads, it made me think about the people who made roads on such a terrain.
And the people behind the roads here are the BRO or the Border Road Organization, which Creates, Connects, Cares…BRO is regarded as a symbol of nation building, national integration and an inseparable component in maintaining the security and integrity of the nation.

Project Himank of the BRO develops the infrastructure in this part of Jammu & Kashmir!
Throughout the journey at various locations, the workers of the BRO were either repairing the road or making a new one. I must say that they are doing a commendable job!!
And also…

“Let us not forget that roads in this difficult terrain have been built not only with mere cement and concrete, but also with the blood of men of the Border Roads Organisation of India. Many lost their lives for the cause of duty on the project. To these men, who always play with danger and laugh at death, duty comes first. These fallen heroes came from all parts of Mother India, to contribute their mite to the defence of their mother land and prosperity of their neighbours”

From an Article ‘Highways to Adventure’ published in ‘THE MIRROR’ Magazine, Jul 1975 The Genesis

Right through the road journey at regular intervals there were these interesting messages from the BRO on the roadside, which are truly needed when travelling on these mountain roads and even on our cities road!

Soak them…

  • 3 enemies of road: Speed, Liquor & Overload
  • Peep-Peep, Don’t Sleep
  • Be Mr. Late but not Late Mr.
  • No race no rally, enjoy beauty of valley
  • Be soft on the curves
  • Speed and Safety never meet
  • Safety: Make it a habit
  • Lane driving is safe driving
  • Always Alert, Avoids Accidents
  • Any time, Safety Time
  • Short Cuts may cut short your life
  • Driving with care, make accidents rare
  • Danger lurks at blind corners
  • This is not rally race, drive with grace
  • This is Highway and not Runway
  • Alert Avert Avoid Accident
  • Fast won’t last
  • Take Heed, Don’t Speed
  • Life is short, don’t make it shorter
  • Hurry and Worry go together
  • Drive like hell and you’ll be there!
  • On my curves, check your nerve
  • More you speed, more you skid
  • Enjoy it but while on wheels
  • On the bends, go slow friends
  • Haste make waste
  • After whiskey, driving risky
  • Break the speed, that is the need
  • Drinks and Drive Do not mix
  • Safety on road=safe tea at home
  • Safety is the light, let it shine
  • Good driver is seldom hurt
  • Speed is a knife that cuts your life
  • A spill, a slip, a hospital trip
  • Don’t be a gama, in the land of Lama
  • If you are married, divorce speed
  • Lower your gear, curve is near
  • Drive, Don’t Fly
  • Feel the curves, do not test them
  • All will wait, better be late
  • Kabhie nahin se der bhali
  • Gaadi Chalane ka shauk farmaiye, shoke nahin
  • Tej raftari, marne ki taiyyari
  • Ghar wale kar rahain hain intejaar, tum dheere chalna mere yaar
  • Gati yaani durgati

This post salutes the courage and dedication of all those at the BRO!

Jai Hind!
PS: For more pictures, you may like to check the Leh Travelogue!!

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  1. Wow Shilpa……..thats a great post.
    You too deserve a salute for this post.

    i had exactly these kind of feelings while traveling to North Sikkim a few months ago by mountainous road.

    I salute all the Guys at BRO for their unending service to this great Nation.

    Also those messages are really great and fun to read.


  2. Dont tell me that all through your journey, you kept writing these messages!!!!
    Tussi great ho ji!! 😀

    Some of the messages are really good!
    Like…Peep-Peep, Don’t Sleep!
    Drive like hell and you’ll be there!

    A great post.

  3. Outstanding stuff Shilpa !!! 🙂

    BRO definitely deserves all that you’ve mentioned about them & much much more..

    Tried to pick a favourite among the lot, this one touched me the most..
    – On my curves, check your nerve

    😉 goody again dear.

  4. Once I was returning from Assam and the co-passenger happened to be a cheerful BRO officer in Arunachal Pradesh who was returning home after a very long time and he had told me the conditions in which they have to work so far away from family and loved ones…. truly we do need to salute them….
    And the quotes were really witty 😀

  5. Hey,
    this post is quite remarkable actually. Not many of us think down these line.. We surely enjoy the our journeys but never try to find out the people behind the curtains who have made the trip an enjoyable one!!!!

    And the messages are just awesome!!

  6. Sure,we hardly have a good word for such organisations.But,we do criticise when the job is not well done.
    It is good to know that BRO in your area is still non corrupt or else,you would have seen pot holes all over the route.

  7. I almost pray everday that Bangalore gets transported (magically) to Leh every month. The condition of roads here is… well what to say… Don’t get me started here.

    On a serious note, I sincerely appreciate the work the BRO guys do. They are the heart and soul of our military preparedness in these unreachable areas.

  8. Thank you Shilpa, for this post! I have since raised my collar. For you see the Border Roads Organisation is one of the four pillars of the Army’s Corps of Engineers to which I belong!

    The Border Roads is manned jointly by the Corps of Engineers and the General Reserve Engineer Force or (GREF).

    Born in 1960 at the eve of the Sino-Indian War of 1962, they have brought development to the border and made them part of India.

    Thank you once again!

  9. @ Aditya : Thanks Aditaya! You must visit this part of J&K definitely, sometime!! 🙂

    @ pawan: Thank you Pawan. It’s a tough job for them and an equally tough life out there!

    @ Indian Pundit: Thanks IP. 🙂

    True, they are doing a commendable job!

    Yes, some of the messages are really witty too! 🙂

    @ garima: :p Otherwise, how else can one do that!

    I know, I dont have a photographic memory!! 🙁

    Yeah, those 2 are good. How about, “This is Highway and not Runway!”

    @ evanescentthoughts: Thanks Avada! yes, what they are doing and have done at such difficult terrain is amazing! Hats off to them!!

    @Sojo Varughese: Why do you say sensible BRO?? Aren’t they like that else where??

  10. @ Sid ‘Ravan’ Kabe: You must Sid. Next vacation??

    Yes, a standing ovation to BRO!! 🙂

    @ Pra: Thanks Pra! Oh, yes we need to follow them 100%!

    @ Rohit Dassani: Thanks! 🙂

    Jai Hind!

    @ lostworld: Thank you Rohitha!

    Yeah, that’s pretty good one! 🙂

    @ Dhiman: Wow! you had the pleasure of meeting one! Even here in Ladakh region the life’s so very tough. The roads are closed for more than 6 months coz of snow, so they have to keep removing it all the time in such harsh cold weather. And due to the snow and sliding rocks from the mountains the roads get damaged, so they are constantly repairing them too!! And even in the summers, it is so very hot! One gets burnt!!

  11. @ Whats In A Name: Thank you! 🙂

    Which one did you like the most?? 🙂

    @ Roshmi Sinha: Thanks Roshmi!

    You are right, they deserve all the accolades and much more! 🙂

    @ BK Chowla: What you say is true, Mr. Chowla.

    Yeah, they are doing a commendable job this side! 🙂

    @ Paritosh: Wow! May your prayers are answered!

    Oh, yes, without them , it would be so tough to guard our borders! :O

  12. @ thebutterflydiaries: Cool! I am honoured to have you here! I am so very glad that you liked this post! 🙂

    And I must say that the work that you guys are doing out there is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!
    I mean the terrain is so difficult, the weather conditions are so harsh, the life is so very basic (and at some places its even less than that!) and yet you have created such wonderful infrastructure!!
    At some places, the roads were better than our city roads and it felt like you are driving on the runway!!

    Thank you!!
    And Jai Hind! 🙂

  13. BRO is a paramilitary force, specifically raised to maintain roads in the border regions, mainly national highways. But the problem facing BRO personnel is that they are not an armed force. Therefore, they are sitting ducks for terrorists in the north- east, though CRPF and other forces do offer them protection. So they make sacrifices on that front too.
    Apart from building roads in India, they are also instrumental in road construction activities in Afghanistan. Every now and then one hears of BRO personnel being killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    Apart from this, BRO also has personnel wintering over in Antarctica. We had 5 of them in our team as logistics personnel.

  14. Wow This was awesome.I recently went to Nainital and read some similar messages…The only one I can remember now is “If married,divorce speed”.
    They were a lovely read! 😀
    Btw,I’m navigating over from Ashwini’s blog.You have an awesome blog here!

  15. @ Shankar : Thanks Shankar! 🙂

    @ Abhijeet : Welcome back!! Good to see you on this blog after a long long time!!
    And thanks for sharing some lesser known facts and info about BRO!! 🙂

    @ Miss_Nobody: Thanks a lot! And welcome on “A rose is a rose is a a rose”!
    And hope to see you around. 🙂
    Yeah these messages are really interesting!

    • Yes, had my notepad in my hand, all throughout the journey!! In fact, pestered the driver to stop and reverse the cab too, in case, I was not able to write the message completely! 😀 Agree, some are really creative and so witty! 🙂