Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra

Some stories are different from the others. They are penned down in such a manner that it'll leave you dazed for sometime. Author Rishi Vohra in his book "Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai" has tired his hand on something different for the readers to experience and live through the eyes of it's characters. So is he successful in doing that? Let's find out. 

Autistic. Schizophrenic. Psychotic... 
They use these words to describe Babloo the doctors, his family, his teachers everyone except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him. 
Mumbai the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and normalcy he so craves?
Vandana yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Colony they all live in. Is she looking in the right place?
Rail Man a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do is Babloo his inspiration or is it the other way around?
A random twist of fate on Mumbais endless, serpent-like, jangling local train tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak, and courage. 
Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes of Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.

First look at the title and the cover and the readers will fell in love with it. The title being one of those eye catching ones and the cover image having a similar kind of an effect. Three words highlight the blurb and the character involved in the story and there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. It's an unusual but a very good blurb. 

The story is about Babloo Srivastav who is ill and has some illness which has not been ruled out properly by the doctors. He is snubbed by his parents and other colony people too. He is idle, jobless and fancies nothing. He is an introvert but his heart beats for the girl next door Vandana. But with time he is lured into false hopes by Sikander a local business man and his innocence is taken advantage of all the time. A chance incident at Holi changes his perspective towards life and he finds a purpose for himself but at the same time is heart broken too because of an alliance happening without his knowledge. So will he able to resurrect himself? Will people and parents accept him again? Will he able to win Vandana's love? This is what the story is all about. 

The story has a simple yet beautiful narration style to it. The difference maker in the story is Babloo's character and the entire set up around him. He holds the story together till the end. The innocence and simplicity of the story is worth experiencing. The story is slow in pace but easy to soak into according to it's subtle changes all the time. The RAIL MAN part is also an added attraction in it. 

The downside of the book is it's predictable in parts. The end is too simple for the readers liking. There should have been more of Babloo in the latter half as too much importance is given to Vandana & Raghu at times. The predictability had to be kept less in the book in order to maintain the excitement. 

The story though not completely different from other love stories but with a character like Babloo in it who is the change maker. The story is to enjoyed slowly and steadily. It's a no hurry affair and can soothe your nerves. It's' a simple yet never heard story. 


3 OUT OF 5

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