To be in Mumbai inevitably means developing a deep and meaningful relationship with the local trains that run through the city, getting people from here to there, every single day. While most look at it as an uncomfortable phase during the day they’d much rather get over with as soon as possible, ad-man Cyrus Daruwala chose to do a good deed inspired by his observations. He chose to prepare the uninitiated for what most initiated consider to be one “hell” of a ride in I Take This Train Too.
96 pages in length, this graphic narrative, contrary to what you might believe, is not about the trials and tribulations one has to deal with while experiencing the joys of this ride. It is simply a tribute to the “locals” of Mumbai! Exploring people and cultures, the satire laced commentary encountered through the book is simply the result of Cyrus pouring out his experiences. “I have always taken a keen interest in studying the psyche of people all around me. Once I started putting pen to paper I realised that there’s more that churns through those rusty cogs than daydreams,” he smiles. A believer of taking the untrodden path, Cyrus’ decision to steer away from the world of mythology and superheroes was a conscious decision. “I don’t believe in taking the beaten path. I would like to believe that Indian comics can do more than borrow from mythology. I love superhero comics too, but I always wonder and mentally pose to the comics fraternity, ‘what else you got?'” Though he chose to explore a slice of life that can readily be termed ‘banal’, Daruwala’s representation is anything but dull.
Laced with humour, colourful characters and the very essence of Mumbai, this book is for those who truly know how to appreciate satire and puppies, to say the least. With your everyday bookworms, hoarders, geeks, judgers and more lining up seats and aisles of the trains, Cyrus’ personal favourite type of local is undoubtedly ‘The Gentleman’. But from the creative perspective, he enjoyed drawing the Starer, Fishy, Sliver and the Judger the most. And for the local he hates the most, there are two vying for his affections! “I think that would be the Sprawler. Getting a seat can be a hard-fought challenge and then this guy goes and ruins it by occupying more space than is reasonable or rational. The Litterbug too infuriates me,” he confesses.
As a parting shot, he has some rather wise words to offer to all those who would like to start creating comics, but are too scared. “You don’t fear working at your current job even though you don’t love it. So why should doing what you love scare you? If you’re afraid that your first effort will be rubbish then do what you do at home: get the trash out as quickly as possible.”