Every time I pass through Kasara in a train, I’m reminded of how I spent my whole night staring at a scratched seat on top because I couldn’t fall asleep. Kasara is an ongoing comic made on my childhood experience of a train journey I wish I never had with my cousins, aunt and my mother. Kasara is also a station that comes on the way to Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is known for its eight tunnels and deep valleys and is also known as Kasara Ghaat.

I was 7 and a half years old when this incident happened. I loved to sit next to a window, be it in a car, a bus, a train, anything that has a window and moves. I would imagine myself running (sometimes even flying) along with the vehicle, and make stories of the people I saw on the journey. I would count trees, read hoardings with a funny face, and imagine shapes out of the clouds. It was a good time. But then one day we decided to go to Mumbai to visit my mother’s sister. The train journey started off well even when my cousins kept forcing me to play cards with them. When all I wanted to do was stare out of the window. There came a time when everyone got engrossed in their cards and I thought I should take this as a chance to let myself out through the window. I kept my cards aside and quickly shifted towards the window with my arms outside, flying like the wind. My aunt saw me and I still wish she shouldn’t have. She got hold of me and made me sit away from the window. What followed next was no good. Once the game commenced again, she started off with a story, a story believed by the people who live nearby Kasara. It was no fun after that. The story is about a young married couple, who board a train to travel to Mumbai. When the train stops at Kasara, two dacoits barge in their compartment. They take away her jewelry while her husband lies unconscious in a pool of blood. They then throw her away from the emergency window when the train is passing through the 5th tunnel. It is believed that the ghost of the woman boards trains from the Kasara station. She comes and sits next to you, talks to you normally, and jumps off the window when the 5th tunnel arrives. It is also said that if one takes their hand out of the window when the train passes through the 5th tunnel, she takes your hand and twists it just to check whether you are the dacoits that killed her. And that was the end of my love for train windows. I couldn’t sit next to the window because I kept imagining her taking me away to the 5th tunnel of Kasara. After that my train journeys have completely changed.

In Sequential Narrative, I learned how each frame is like a stage given to the storyteller to enact what they have imagined. Longer the frame, longer is the play. I could relate my film editing class when we started paneling. Longer the frame, longer is the shot. I was never introduced to comics before. I learned how comics are so intricately crafted to tell a story. Kasara is in progress and will be uploaded soon. 

Sequential Narrative, January 2018
Project Mentor: Boopathy Srinivasan