Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai : Book Review

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Book: Once upon the tracks of Mumbai
Author: Rishi Vohra
Published By: Jaico Books
Year of publication: 2012
Price in India: 175/-

Story: This is an extra ordinary story of an average boy called Babloo. He is autistic, schizophrenic and some what psychotic. He is usually slow to process his thoughts and unusually neglected by everyone around him except Vandana: his neighbor and his dream girl.
The story begins perfectly exploring Babloo's not so perfect life. He is jobless, friendless and to a great extent aimless. However, he is sure of his feelings for Vandana and wants to prove himself to her. He decides to take help of a local playboy Sikandar to win her over. Sikandar has his own notorious plans and at first he seem to be successful in his game plan. The story is also about why and how Babloo chooses to be Rail man and what becomes of him once his secret is out. A realist touch has been given to every episode which at times reminds you of all the stories that you have grown up hearing.

Writing style: the story begins languorously almost lazily building the mood for an insider's views on life in a railway colony. The setting is easy to relate to and quick to accept as your's or your friend's. The author definitely has a grip on the throbbing Mumbai railway map and leads his readers comfortably through the routes while taking the story forward.
The language used is appealing yet understated. The gentle pace at which the story moves is impressive especially in the first half of the story. The last quarter of the story seemed a little rushed. It became more tell than show. By then expectations were running high and the resolution came much too soon. On the whole a good read on a trip or otherwise.

Main characters:
Babloo: He is your common man with a common story. A story that you might read on the news paper in the weekend edition ad have not gotton the chance to explore further. Even though, Babloo obviously has behavioral problems, in his heart he is a hero. And towards that end he leaps happily.
Vandana:  She is a sweet sensible girl who has high ambitions and no means to achieve those dreams. She falls into bad company but soon realises her folly. She agrees to her fate but that was not to be. Vandana is bold, free spirited and responsible. She is definitely heroin material.
Sikandar: He is your rich guy with bad morals, who is out to seduce every dame in sight. His character is one dimensional yet interesting. He has a natural charm and deceptive behavior, something very easy to relate to.

Good quote: 'She has big expressive eyes, which changed sizes innumerable times during each episode of her favorite soap opera'. 

In conclusion, a refreshing read. If promoted well, this book could do very well in the International market. To know more about the author and the book visit


  1. The review it seem to be a nice book. :) Thanks for the characterization & a little details of the plot :) Take care!

  2. seems to be nice and simple read, that doesn't weighs you down once over. Thanks for review!

  3. nicely written review,touching every aspect and giving a fairly good idea about the book.

  4. Interesting review...looks like it's good one to lay one's hand upon ...!!!

  5. all writers should make you write a review for their books----you tempt us to read them---the story seems interesting

  6. Great review! Makes the book look interesting!!

  7. Nicely written review. Gives a good idea about the book and draws our interest into the protagonists.

  8. Seems to be love story with twists...

  9. great review ....seems to be a good book...will definitely read it if i get a chance ...

  10. I've also liked the book. :)

  11. Excellent review makes me want to go and buy this one straight away :)


  12. Exactly.. it reminds us of all the stories we have grown up reading..
    the slow pace could actually put off some impatient readers, but overall a good novel.

    My review of the novel, Once upon the tracks of Mumbai, by Rishi Vohra -

  13. That's a crisp review. Thank God this didn't have a BAD QUOTE :P
    LOL....Pass it on to me when we meet next time...:)

  14. Nice review, you've given clear a idea about the story and the characters.


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  16. umm.. sounds interesting! may be we can give a read?

    Happy New Year Ghazala :)

    Do visit my blog! Would love to see you by! *cheers*

  17. Hi Ghazala,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review the book! You have indeed fleshed out the book well, and I do appreciate your positive and encouraging words. Thanks once again!

    Rishi (Author)