Book:- Once upon the tracks of Mumbai
Author:- Rishi Vohra
Price:- 175 (I got this book directly from the Author )
Publisher:- JAICO Publishing House
Introduction:- “ If Normal People are Like this than it’s better to live in the footholds of being Aberrant.” Yes this is what I feel after going through ‘Once upon the tracks of Mumbai.’ Have you ever thought how a person with severe deficits of social interaction and communication whom we often term as Autistic leads his life when he is left alone without any affection from their family and closed ones…Forget about the extra care and tenderness which he requires, a person like him is doomed for his mere existence. Believe it or not but an autistic person are the ones who are selfless, pure and belong to nearly extinct species of the long lost word Humanity. Since we couldn’t understand their behavior we term as Psychotic, Schizophrenic or having a split personality disorder. This novel is all about a person with the above mentioned characteristics whom ‘We’ cater as abnormal, who had the dreams of making big into his Love and Life and in a way prove the words of fortuneteller true…Can a cursed person who is destined to meet failures in each forefront cope with his inadequacies and make his dream come true? This is for all the readers to find out…!!!
Cover Page:- The cover page entails you a lot about the title of the book –‘Once upon the tracks of Mumbai’, with the backdrop of a local train in one of the rail tracks along with a couple who are about to kiss each other triggers enough nuances about the love story of a middle class person. Not only the cover page or the title, the story also presents a befitting amalgamation of the twirling story at hand worth reading.
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 being 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
Compositional Report:- Once upon the Tracks of Mumbai is all about the monotonous life Balwant Srivastav (or Babloo as he is commonly called) and his struggle to grapple against negligent family and indifferent society. Even after trying his best he could complete a 3 year college course in 6 years, failed to get a job thereafter and is condemned. No one is bothered about his problems, his feelings, his life or him…And he goes on about his life doing the daily chores clueless about his life or his future. Only person who doesn’t make mockery of his inadequacies is Vandana Gupta… in fact the only person who treats him as human. Babloo could only communicate in monosyllables and would often remain silent even when he is with Vandana not because he is ill mannered or shrewd, he couldn’t understand what people are speaking about and is often left aloof with his inner soul in a questionnaire session which would soothe him at times.
Babloo’s simplicity and trusting nature led him to trust a crook Sikander who took advantage of his feelings towards Vandana and lure her in his lewd desires. Babloo thought of Sikander to be a true friend and considered his love life at safe hands. Babloo decided to concentrate on ways where he could be a hero on the eyes of Vandana and in the process met with an incident which turned him to be a hero overnight without revealing his identity. He came to the savior of Shoma Banerjee a reporter of MiD-DAY by saving her dignity from his rogue boyfriend Shamsher. Thus ‘Rail man’ was born, a hero who serves for humanity. Another incident where he saved a jeweler Patel, made him roll over the newspapers and talk of every household. Babloo by now realized, being a hero won’t serve his purpose he also has to become independent and thus joined as an office boy in his father’s railway office. Police thought the act of ‘Rail man’ as a dent to their pride and sought ways to trace ‘Rail Man’ and put him behind the bars to hide their inefficacy.
Vandana on the other hand was educated and was working in a private advertising Agency but was unhappy for the lascivious treatment from her boss and wanted to quit the job but the sheer feeling of her rather conservative family made her rut the rust. She had the dreams of going to America where she can be all by herself but destiny had something else to offer as her parents forced Vandana to quit job and were planning to tie knot with Babloo’s younger Brother Raghu who was doing good in Stock market. But then a series of incident not only indented her image to her future Mother in law breaking off with their alliance but also forced Vandana and her family to move out from their residence in Railway colony to their own flat. Babloo on the other hand was unaware of these happenings and when he did came to know about it…it was too late for him and Vandana left him saying he won’t be able to see her again even though Babloo spoke his heart to her.
The buildup of the climax to me was by far the best as Babloo set off for Sikander to punish him for his act. Then wrangle with Raghu in his house left Babloo clueless as what he should do next, he ran away to the railway tracks where ‘Rail Man’ came into existence but here also fate sidelined him and he found himself arrested. Police took their rage by beating him black and blue. At this very moment it seemed that everything was falling apart, Vandana left her, his heroism showed him to jail, His parents betrayed him and there was nothing left to look for him in future…but here comes the twist in the tale, the intriguing end makes it a story worth spending your money for.
Only lackluster part according to me was the beginning…it was too slow and the story seemed crawling but then if it were not a hurried ending it would have suited the flow. The ending though seemed to be a fairy tale but if it had ended any other way it would seem…Babloo’s life incomplete and it wouldn’t justify a soothing story. Overall with accurate depiction of characters, the locality, mentality and ubiquity of the story makes it a worth read. It‘s a passionate story with a heart crunching end … A story of betrayal, hatred, Jealousy but at the end proved a fitting tale to –“All’s well when it ends well”, An end where we all want to start our life with.
Rating:- I would rate Rishi Vohra’s first novel 3.5 out of 5.
Life Adjudication of the story:- This story is best read to break of the monosyllables of life. Though a fiction, it enforces us to aim big, to dream big and to give your best to achieve your dreams. It’s a stepping stone to bring about a positive change in your life.