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.
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 http://www.rishivohra.com/.