This Interview is in line from the book review of Rishi Vohra's debut Novel -'Once upon the tracks of Mumbai'
A stepping stone for me...my first interview and i must give my heartiest gratitude to Rishi Vohra, who bestowed me with this opportunity which i couldn't resist and grabbed with both hands. Today i am feeling blessed to cover this Interview and i thank him for giving his precious time over the questions...which i selected specially for him and his debut novel.
Here we go...with my first question to Rishi
Me: What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Rishi: I never decided to become a writer and somehow wandered to it. It started with writing guest columns, and went further into the visual medium. I found myself enjoying telling stories and decided to try my hand at writing a book. After I was published, I received positive feedback from both readers and critics alike. In a way, it was these comments that encouraged and inspired me to continue my journey of writing. But it was Babloo’s character that inspired me to put this story down on paper.
Me: Wow! It reminds me of the line -always keep focused to what you like to do and your destiny would take you up to what you deserve...and there's always an inspiration behind to keep our goals within our reach...
Me: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first Novel published?
Rishi: As a person who is an outsider to the literary/publishing world, I didn’t know where to start. Since I was in the US at the time, I started querying U.S. literary agents which is the first step in the publication process there. One literary agent advised me to look towards the Indian market. I contacted publishing houses here and several expressed an interest to pick up Once Upon the Tracks of India for publication. So, I would say that the main challenges I faced were those of patience, and more patience. And of course, learning by trial and error.
Me: Patience and perseverance...and i would like to mention that in bold as this is something all aspiring writers should look forward to.
Me: What was the inspiration behind your Novel?
Rishi: I created Babloo’s character based on a friend of mine, and felt a pressing urge to tell his story. On further primary and secondary research, I realized that people are oblivious to the day to day challenges that people with disabilities have to face. Overall, they aren’t well-informed or educated as to how to deal with such disabilities pushing such people further into a corner.
Me: That's the significant point, not only you related your sentiments with a person with disability but also came up with this mind blowing plot which will certainly make people feel for it.
Me: Did you always know the end before you wrote it?
Rishi: Yes, I did. I feel that it’s important to have a starting and ending point as it helps you to give your characters direction and motivation during their journey.
Me: Clarity in thought and destination is the way to success and you are proving an epitome of this philosophy.
Me: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way?
Rishi: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger did have a profound effect on me. And of course, there are many more.
Me: That's Inspiring...and i believe there are many amongst us who would consider this masterpiece of JD Salinger to be their inspiration as well.
Me: What was your favorite chapter or scene to write and why?
Rishi: It was the last scene that I found most challenging and interesting to write because it was set in an environment that I had no knowledge of – a mental asylum. It was my favorite because it is ironical as Babloo finds his sanity and identity there rather than in the outside world.
Me: Challenging circumstances do bring out the person you really are...and therefore i must commend you for covering last scene as splendidly as it can be.
Me: Your story is set in Mumbai...why did you chose Mumbai?
Rishi: I have lived in Mumbai all my life and have an emotional connect with all the locations featured in the book. The book was set in and around the railway tracks, which is the lifeline of this city.
Me: This proves your Attachment to Mumbai...and your novel does gives ample examples of your bond with Mumbai City as your description were apt and succinct.
Me: If your book was made into a Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
Rishi: I could see Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Farhan Akhtar, or Arjun Kapoor playing Babloo's role. In terms of the leading lady, I could see Parineeti or Shahzn playing Vandana’s role.
Me: As i was expecting ...you have chosen actors who would comfortably fit with the roles of youth and Valor.
Me: Did you ever feel yourself like the main character...a real life hero?
Rishi: Of course! Every Indian has a hero inside us, and we all want to do something that would change lives for the better!
Me: Exactly and we all want to do something which would change life in a positive way.
Me: Who are Your Target Audience or who do you want to read your debut novel?
Rishi: My target audience for this book is everyone who has a heart, because you need a heart to feel for the main character.
Me: You know... when i was reading the concluding part i was turning the pages with fear as i wanted it be a happy ending...and by the time i finished reading....i realized, i was so attached to it that it felt as if it was happening all around me.
Me: Tell us about your Website?
Rishi: The website is www.rishivohra.com. It features excerpts, videos, articles, reviews, and other information about the book.
Me: i am sure all the readers and all those people who would want to take their hands on your Novel -'Once upon the tracks of Mumbai' would be glued to the site for details...
Me: What are your plans for the future?
Rishi : My second book is ready and has yet to be picked up for publication.
Me: We all are eagerly waiting for your next book and am sure readers would be itching to have the first look at your second book.
Me: Rishi, My final question to you...What more can we look forward to from you?
Rishi: You can look forward to books that are fast-paced, different from one another, and above all – entertaining!
Me: Am sure with the popularity and reputation you have built with your 1st book that is exactly what all readers would be expecting from you- to be enthralled and entertained...!!!
Well...that comes to an end to an exciting interview ... am sure with those special insights, which Rishi gave to us about his 1st book -'Once upon the tracks of Mumbai'...it would be an entirely new experience to all the readers as this was something that was beyond the book which i am sure every one of us would love to read ...!!!