Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Review - Once upon the tracks of Mumbai

Book title : Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai
Author : Rishi Vohra
Published by : JAICO Publishing House

It's not about the place Mumbai, or the railway tracks that spread like veins throughout the hands of this city. It's more about the fact that a lot can happen over the tracks of Mumbai. The world from the eyes of an autistic person is very well illustrated in this debut novel by Rishi Vohra.

Balwant Srivastav, aka Babloo, the autistic guy who tries to live his everyday life with a hope that it would change any moment. His very existence in the house next to the tracks, where he lives with his parents and a pampered brother, was neglected conveniently by them. His frustration and his love for the movies leads him to believe that someday his life would change and things would never be the same again.

Amongst the weirdness of the narrow minded society around him, Vandana is his only solace. The only friend he has who seems to understand the few words he manages to utter. The whole story revolves around him trying to be a better man so that he can live his dream life in future with her on the beach.

The rage, the frustration, the love, the thirst for serving justice, the drive to achieve something in life of a neglected, independent person who is not understood by the so-called 'well-wishing' members of the narrow-minded society is put forward very nicely by Rishi. The attempt to illustrate the lines on which most Indian people walk, willingly or unwillingly is appreciable. Imagining the world from an autistic person's perspective is very disturbing. The things they have to go through every single day, just because people do not support/understand their plight is a shame.

The book was kind of a drag in the beginning, but it catches pace after almost half of the book with the advent of the Rail Man, which is an interesting concept, but kind of reminded me of the SpiderMan. The explanations are very detailed and helps you visualize everything as though a movie is running in your head simultaneously. A one-time read for sure, but not a book for keeps though it succeeds in showing a lot of reality bites.

A good novel for a debut author, and would certainly love to read more by him in future.

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 had a successful career in the Indian Entertainment Industry. After featuring as a guest columnist for various newspapers in India, he currently writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). 'Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai' is his first novel.

Do visit Rishi Vohra for further insights on this book and the author himself.

Price : Rs.175
Pages :266
My Rating : 3 on 5

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