If you thought you were a daredevil for braving your fear of spiders or getting over your coulrophobia, you might have to think again. While such things might cause pure trepidation, there are some activities that through this very fear, cause an adrenaline rush. And once you’ve caught such a train, it’s hard to step off.
When filmmaker and photographer Adrien Cothier was on the lookout to step away from his comfort zone, he travelled to India and came across a group of people performing acts that will have one watch in disbelief. ‘Train Surfers’ is about a few boys who, quite literally, treat the locals of Mumbai as a surfboard that they hang out of, jump into, or even leap through!
In 2016, when Cothier spoke to the American Film Association, he commented on the dynamics brought about through this film: “Whether in the rugged outskirts of Mumbai, these kids are, in many ways, behaving in the same way that New York kids would. In this way, it’s a story about friendship and I’d like people to feel it. But I cannot deny that it’s also a story about how being trapped in a life of poverty with very few chances of changing your life.”
This duality opens up a whole new conversation about the political scenarios in regions grossly far away from each other, and how, at the end of the day, the politics begins with the people. The low-income background of the train surfers of Mumbai does not give them much to look forward to, and so, they can only wait till their next opportunity to surf a local train.
Whether the stunts pulled off by these boys from Mumbai can be considered a sort of adventure sport or if it’s downright foolish, we leave that up to you.
Find more of Adrien Cothier’s work here.
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