Cyrus Daruwala is your quintessential Mumbaikar — all about the crowd. As if it were already not funny how we cram ourselves everyday into the spiteful gunk called Mumbai local trains, now we have become the butt of Daruwala’s joke too. Daruwala has been able to etch out 35 unique characters based on his local train excursions (it’s too long a distance) into a humour book that include the starer, dada, daredevil, judger, fishy, hoarder — as Daruwala’s Facebook page aptly says, ‘Mumbai’s local locals’. Daruwala with his book, I Take This Train Too, marks his foray into witty humourous writing, which is a given, considering he has been an adman for the last seven years.
“My book started a year ago. As I travel from Andheri to Churchgate everyday for work; the idea of sketching people around simply came to me. The advertising agency I work with had a series of illustrations based on men peeing in different ways,” explains Daruwala. Inspired, the idea set in. In fact, the character classification, quite like the Facebook posts, is interesting. He comments, “The book has a wide range; from the nervous traveller to the daredevil who likes to hang out of the train and do death-defying stunts.”
Book the crowds
For now, Daruwala is in the middle of a unique process of crowd funding his book with Wishberry.in Quizzed about his intriguing choice, he reasons, “I wanted my book to hit stores immediately and remove the middleman.” Daruwala aims to raise two lakhs through a campaign that started on March 8. Encouragingly, since the campaign’s inception, three to four people have shelled out Rs 10,000, individually, and will starin the book’s acknowledgments as a gesture of gratitude.
Other rewards include a hardcover book copy, an A4-size poster or a printed mug of the Train series. Still sceptical, the question we ask him is aren’t people too? He says, “Not really. Social media has played a big part, and people share even if they are clueless about it. I have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wishberry.
So I’m legally bound when it comes to the funds.” Alok Nanda, the cool boss who will publish Daruwala’s book says, “I Take This Train Too is in line with the maverick and creative work that we love to encourage at Filter. We envision Filter Press to be a trend-setter in producing unusual, appealing and distinctive creative content.”