Flight of the Titan

Khyati Trehan

Graphic Designer / Codesign

It's the journey that matters, in the end.
-Ernest Hemingway

This holds true every time I find myself in a double-decker bus. 

Weaving through the traffic effortlessly, it comes to a screeching halt at the bus stop, narrowly missing the pavement and the passengers. I find myself clambering up the stairs excitedly, only to grab the most coveted seats in the bus – the front row of the upper deck. Seeing the look of disappointment on those who follow suit, only adds to the pleasure. After catching my breath, I slowly take in the view. 

This is one of the rare moments of joy that travellers cherish in their daily journeys through the deafening city traffic.  


Yet, it was significant enough to prompt designer Khyati Trehan to ignite those memories. “My mother was born and brought up in Mumbai. One of the things she spoke really fondly of was her daily commute by the double decker bus,” she smiles. “The thrill of sitting on the upper deck, especially the front row that offers a near birds-eye view of the city, was indescribable!”  

Braving the Mumbai roads since 1937, the double decker has some fascinating stories to tell. Khyati encapsulated these in her Taxi Fabric, Flight of the Titan. She explains, “I found so many interesting facts about the bus that I thought, they need to find place in the taxi. Thus, I arrived at the idea of creating a travelling mini museum of travel for the travellee! Yes I just invented the word ‘travellee’ for this project.”  


This mini museum takes us back to yesteryear when the double decker found its way to the streets of Bombay. It was inspired by London’s double decker, the Routemaster.  Owing to its powerful engine and solid exterior, the Indian version became known as The Titan. Khyati remembers how the Taxi driver, too was excited by the bus. “Mr. Vasudev Yadav found the fact that the bus’s engine is separate, very fascinating! I also kept in mind that his favourite colour is light blue,” she adds.    


Photographs by Swapnil Jhunjare , Appurva Shah and Siddharth Samant.

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