Cyrus Daruwala's Painful People satirises Mumbai's most annoying commuters

Author and illustrator Cyrus Daruwala addresses Mumbai's pain-in-the-neck residents in his new handmade book.

Painful People, the second book by Cyrus Daruwala takes the author's experiences of Mumbai's most annoying commuters and immortalises them in 20 amusing caricatures. Daruwala uses clever illustrations and witty descriptions to bring to life what he describes as an "open rant against urban Indian society’s misfits".

Painful People follows Daruwala's first book, I Take This Train Too, which illustrated eccentric people he ran into on his daily journey on the Mumbai local from Andheri to Churchgate.

While Painful People is centred in Mumbai, there is little doubt that Daruwala’s character inspirations frustrate all around the world. Characters include; "Wrong Turn" — people who drive without a care for other road users, and aunts who can’t help but be the moral police.

"I think Indian cities are fascinating for their immense complexity. Each city has a distinct culture, cuisine, and customs. But I think the unifying factor is the presence of annoying, painful characters that are archetypes of sorts. Also, I think Painful People draws upon my key strength – ranting," says Daruwala.

Despite its probable global appeal, there are only 1000 copies of the book available. Each of Daruwala’s books is handmade, right down to hand-stamped illustrations done by the artist. The descriptions were all hand-written before being digitally enhanced. This makes each copy a limited edition art project.

"Even the cover has been crafted to enhance the visual appeal and highlight the handmade qualities. From the bold, open-mouthed cutout to the actual thumbprint on the back cover," said the book’s publisher.

Daruwala believes the personal touch separates the book from its peers.

"The fact that each illustration of every copy has been stamped onto the book by the artist himself adds a personal touch. I could play with the position, number and colours," he adds.