Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review: Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai

Fed up with the usual college loves and all puppy loves, this book which talks about a love story of a person who has psychotic problems turns out to be an interesting read. The RAIL MAN who seems to be the super hero here made it more intriguing. With several twist and turns, this book will surely be one among the unputdownable books I have read so far.  

Book: Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Author: Rishi Vohra
ISBN: 978-81-8495-305-3
Publisher: Jaico Books
No. of pages: 266

The Cover page and the title gave me an assurance for a sensible love story based on the backdrops of Mumbai railway tracks but the blurb finalized my read for the book.

It says:

“Autistic, Schizophrenic, Psychotic…”
‘They’ use these words to describe Babloo – the doctors, his family, his teachers… everyone… except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him.
Mumbai… the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and ‘normalcy’ he so craves?
Vandana… yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Conoly they all live in. Is she looking in the right place?
Rail Man… a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do… is Babloo his inspiration or… is it the other way around?
A random twist of fate on Mumbai’s endless, serpent-like, jangling local trains tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak and courage.
Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes if Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.

The review:

‘Once upon the tracks of Mumbai’ as the title says, the book takes us to the journey along the tracks of one of the busiest part of Mumbai. Bandra Railways, a journey which I’m sure is new for all the readers. Balwant Srivastav (aka Babloo) is the protagonist who is neglected not alone by his family but also by the world due to his psychotic problem. But he has his own dreams and he finds his best friend within himself. Whenever he is in confusion he gets help from ‘him’ to solve his little problem by making a quick Q & A session with ‘him’. Though he lives with his family in the railway colony, he is never considered a part of them. For him, the railway track is the best place which keeps him away from the unrealistic world. His only hope in the railway colony is Vandana.

Vandana lives in the same colony as Babloo but in different block. Having been brought up in a nice background, she is modest in her thoughts and is admired by everyone. Though people easily try to hit on her for her beauty she is bold enough and clever to tackle all these things and work for her dream in the advertising world. For Babloo, Vandana is the only person who has concern for him and exchange few words whenever they met. Though he doesn’t talk much he admires her and dreams the life with her.

When it is a love story, there must ofcourse be a villain or a bad guy around. And here it is Sikander. Sikander is a great flirt who falls for girls only to ditch them someday. He along with his friends pass their evening time around the colony only to find new girls. They also enjoy teasing and playing prank with Babloo. Knowing the friendship between Vandana and Babloo, he takes advantage over Babloo and is introduced to Vandana as his friend. He creates good impression on her and finally she falls in love with him.

Being busy with his own world Babloo is oblivious to Sikander’s motive and he is not even told about the marriage plan for Vandana and Raghu( his younger brother) which his parents had arranged. He is concerned only about Vandana and to marry her someday. He finally takes step to impress Vandana by achieving something. Thus he starts to find his purpose of life. That is when he discovers Rail Man. Rail Man, just like Superman and Spiderman, tries to protect people from dangers. He becomes famous within a day time and the whole city is impressed and praises him.

What does this Rail Man has to do with Babloo? Will Vandana decipher the real color of Sikander? Will Babloo succeed in his love for Vandana? Get on with the book to know the unexpected twist that is waiting for Babloo and Vandana.  

To conclude my review, I would say Mr. Rishi Vohra has done a remarkable work in his first book. Though it is not that easy to write a story about a psychotic person, the author has succeed in bringing up a love story of such a person. The narration is excellent and the author has clearly pictured Mumbai. The language is neat and not very complex. I give 4 out of 5 for this book. I’m looking forward to read his next book soon and I strongly recommend this book. All the best Mr. Rishi Vohra.

About the Author:

Rishi Vohra recently relocated back to Mumbai after completing a Green MBA from San Francisco State University and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law, prior to which he has had a successful career in the Indian entertainment industry. Having been a guest columnist for various newspapers in India, he currently writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. This is his first novel.

For more information, visit www.rishivohra.com

You can buy the books from Flipkart, Amazon and Homeshop18.

Happy Reading :-) 

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