Vehicles of transport have long been celebrated in Pakistan, adorned with elaborate decorations to keep good spirits with the journey. A fleet of particularly vibrant mini-buses ply the Karachi route called W-11, characterized by stainless-steel panels, brightly colored plastic collages, flashing light patterns, music beats and exuberant conductors. As part of the Commonwealth Games, a group of Pakistani bus decorators transformed a Melbourne Tram into what you would expect to see on a Karachi bus routes.

Decorated trams are nothing new to the people of Melbourne, but this tram is different, it's not about advertising, it's about celebrating life. As the words written in Urdu and translated in English emblazoned down the side read "Love is Life". A ride on this tram is not about getting somewhere; it's about really being moved.

And the people of and visitors to Melbourne can't get enough of it! So what does the tram look like? Based on the decorated buses that traverse the city of Karachi, the tram is covered in brightly colored self-adhesive stickers that have been cut out by hand and make intricate patterns.

No part of the tram has been left undecorated as there are beads hanging from the ceiling and even multi-colored tassels hanging from the rear view mirrors. A Each seat also has a cover with a design that incorporates both the Pakistan and Australian flag representing the relationship between the two countries.

Responsible for the initiative were Wajid Ali and his team of decorators, who spent four months in Karachi cutting out the stickers and putting together the decorations. They came to Melbourne and spent another six weeks at the Preston Tram Workshops applying the decorations to the 30-year-old Z class tram which is just about to be retire.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful art from outside and inside of the tram.


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