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Comedy road signs

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If you're heading down the M4 on a Friday night, the most exciting sign you're likely to come across is a turn-off to services or the ever-ominous "long queues ahead" (accompanied by the sound of you smacking your head against the wheel).

But commuters in the Himalayas region of India are treated to a veritable smörgåsbord of entertaining signs.

Authorities in the area have taken to creating comedy information boards that cover all manner of roadside topics, from "curvaceous" turns in the road to nagging wives.

While some of the messages are warnings delivered in rhyme - "after drinking whisky, driving is risky" - others are simply cheeky - "love the neighbour but not while driving" - and still more are part-comedy, part-fable: "safe driving is more horse sense than horse power."

The signs - pictured mainly in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand - are so diverting that travel writer and photographer Ajay Jain has dedicated a book to them.

Ajay, 43, from New Delhi, has collated photos of over 400 signs during a 6,000 mile trip across India for his book, titled Peep Peep, Don't Sleep.

"These signs are naturally a source of amusement, so collecting these during my travels became a kind of a fun project. I never miss on clicking a sign when I see one," he said. "I also wanted to preserve these signs for posterity. These often disappear after a while, when new ones appear. So the book has also served as an archive for signs we may never see again."

"I have received a lot of favourable reviews from readers. Many of my readers keep it by their bedside for a few chuckles after a hard day's work," he added.

He is now planning a follow-up book; so stay tuned for yet more comedy signs.

Photos: Ajay Jain / Barcroft India UK Office

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