Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra – Book Review

When you are going through a debut novel, you tend to be a bit tentative and surely there will be always some difference with a veteran writer. Well all of them have to start at a point and that too from zero only.  So before beginning my review at first I want to congratulate the author Rishi Vohra for his debut novel "Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai" and thank a lot for portraying such a nice and interesting storyline. I got this little novel from the author itself and loved to get the opportunity to go through it and make a review. At this point I want to declare that all I want to do is to share my feelings after reading the book and it is totally an unbiased opinion purely based on my feelings after reading the book. Mumbai is a city of dream for almost every Indian for its glamour and activity, and I was no exception. Above all, from my childhood days I heard so much about Mumbai (Bombay that time) local trains that in the deep of my heart I have some special feeling for it. The Mumbai local train is indeed the life-line of the city (though I never got the opportunity to visit the city till now) and the book cover picture (as shown in the featured image) created a lot of additional excitement in me. The storyline is quite different and truly exciting from what one may guess by looking at the cover. It is a romantic novel but not about a love story between two daily passengers. The plot revolves in a railway colony near the Bandra railway station, Mumbai. The central character of the story is Babloo, a young man suffering from behavioral disorder (autism). He is deeply in love with Vandana, a self-dependent, sensible and responsible woman, but could not express the feelings due to his psychological problem. He tries hard to get recognition from his family and society but everybody is ignorant about him. Vandana is the only one who accepts Babloo as he is. The other notable characters of the novel are Babloo's brother Raghu (with whom Vandana's marriage was arranged by their parents), Sikander (an opportunistic man who wants Vandana for material pleasure), Manjit Singh (a taxi driver who has helped Babloo on many occasions) and The Rail Man (a mysterious man serving justice at night on rail tracks). Babloo will eventually win against all odds and readers will have a good feeling at the end. Overall this is an interesting novel suitable for every age group and gender. I do not want to give too much detail of the plot as that may spoil the fun and suspense of reading the novel itself. The language is simple and the reading experience is smooth. The story is quite acceptable with no superhuman stance and the middle class colony life is very well portrayed. Considering that it is a debut novel, I must say that the author done a fantastic job. I again congratulate the author and looking forward for his coming novels. Book: Once Upon the Tracks of MumbaiAuthor: Rishi VohraPages: 266 pagesCost: Rs.175Publisher: Jaico Books (2012) You may contact the author for any sort of feedback or suggestion through his personal website (rishivoracom).

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