Number Game

Sanket Avlani

Art Director / Designer


There are four of them in this Taxi. The Dabbawalla delivering his dabbas, the last man standing in the train compartment, the taxi driver dodging traffic and you - battling time.

I got chatting with Rama Shankar (the taxi driver) and we both felt that it'll be great to have people in his taxi who don't usually take them to travel around Mumbai. Eventually I decided on illustrating dabbawallas who usually cycle around the city and those who are local train loyalists. It also somewhere connects with me, I couldn't function without eating my mum's food everyday delivered by dabbawallas and at a point of time I too travelled by the trains and didn't really like it. Which is why I switched to taking taxis.


There is a fascinating colour coding that goes around with both these topics. The dabbawallas have an elaborate colour naming and numbering system which helps them identifies the zones and areas the dabbas have to be delivered to. Also, the local trains are coloured according to the lines they operate on. The colours used in the fabrics are inspired from these systems.

"Every day, without fail, somebody or the other asks me about the tiffins. Once a 55 year old lady said she's never seen such beautiful dabbas before and that she'll never forget my taxi"
- Ramashankar Yadav (Taxi Driver)

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