Book Review: I Take This Train Too


At 95 pages I Take This Train Too is a breezy ride that will engage your eyes in beautiful colors of the caricatures that fill every page whilst your brains can’t seem to get over the fact that Cyrus Daruwala has managed to classify almost every type of traveler on the Mumbai locals in the most accurate way possible! Every page is dedicated to describing a particular type of traveler, an engaging description filled with humor and of course an equally accurate caricature.

I have be honest and admit that I have never traveled by the Mumbai locals except for the one time I was a toddler and my mom recalls how she was magically transported into the train and out by the moving crowds when she tried to board the train and then disembark at her chosen destination. She still marvels at the fact that she did not manage to loose me off her hip or her sari or her sanity! Needless to say she never tried venturing into the trains again. Keeping this story in mind I am pretty confident that the author has done a marvelous job.

Otherwise, I have traveled by plenty of local trains, share autos and buses in Chennai to know that everything mentioned in this fun book is true! I particularly loved the characterization of Sprawler – the type of person who sits on a seat with his/ her legs spread so widely that he/she occupies more than the one seat that he/she is entitled to! I have seem plenty of such women in buses and share autos and the other poor passengers can do nothing but seat about quarter of their body on the portion of the seat that remains empty almost at the risk of falling off!!

Other characterisations that made me smile were that of the Loudspeaker – Oh God! we all know the types that can never talk on their cell phones in a normal voice, the Litterbug – the types that seem to scatter their trash (Especially peanut skins and crumbs from biscuits and chips) all around them, the Judger – these type of women will be the first to judge anything, everything and everyone, the Daredevil – the type of folks who think they are the next avatars of their favorite Bollywood/ Kollywood heroes and keep hanging off the trains or in my experience local buses and of course Fishy – the lady who gets into an overcrowded compartment with her fish basket and we don’t know what stinks the worst, her fish, her hair or her person in general!

Another aspect of the book that I loved is the inclusion of the map of Mumbai at the start of book classifying the different regions and the types of folks that live there. The author’s sense of humor laced with a bit of sarcasm (all in a good way, of course) shimmers on this page.

I noticed that the cost of the book is Rs. 575, which I felt is a tad expensive for a regular reader even if considering the unique nature of this book which is a kind of a cross between a comic and a picture book. However, the book is really one of a kind and takes the reader on a fun filled journey into the world of local trains. I doubt if there would be any reader who would not enjoy this book –  A great, quick and funny read!

Title : I Take This Train Too
Author : Cyrus Daruwala
Publisher : Filter Press
Pages : 95
Genre : Non-Fiction/ Humor
Rating : 4.50 of 5
Reviewed for : Publisher

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