Rishi Vohra’s “Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai”: Review by Aman Jakhar

“Autistic, schizophrenic, psychotic,” are the words people use to describe Babloo, the protagonist of “Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai” by Rishi Vohra.

Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra

Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai

By the incessantly noisy tracks of Mumbai’s sprawling suburban railways, Babloo, neglected by his family over years, lives a life of no consequence or special interest to anyone.No one treats him well expect Vandana, his love interest. He has no relationship worth mentioning with anyone else.

The other principal characters are Raghu, his brother with whom he has no relationship for several years, and Sikandar who is a local cable-TV operator and the antagonist of the story. Believe me, one would take as much dislike for Sikandar as one would for the infamous Uriah Heep.

The story unravels itself with unpredictable twists and turns which keep the readers glued to their chairs with the book firmly in their hands.

Which incident changes Babloo’s life completely? How does he becomes the superhero Rail Man? How does his life change when he becomes Rail Man? Does his mental condition come in the way of his love? Does he get the coveted hand of Vandana or does he let Sikandar take her and trample all over his heart and life? Can he teach Sikandar a lesson? Will life be the same again for Babloo?

Read the book and you shall get your answers. Not just the answers: sheer delight will be your valuable bonus!

As a first time author, Rishi Vohra has done an excellent job. His novel is very well-researched but has strong Bollywood flavour. One does wonder whether Vohra has Bollywood aspirations for the book.

The novel has a fresh story line which is well plotted and well told. It is written in very simple language which lets every reader connect effectively with the story; the reader never gets lost in a bewildering maze of words. Rishi Vohra does a fine job of describing the lonely life of Babloo. As a trained mental health professional, the author has done a commendable job portraying the character of Babloo and his mental condition. The author’s narrative succeeds in presenting a realistic portrayal of how people with psychological deviations are treated by society.

The title is catchy and impressive.

Despite the predominantly racy narrative, the story does get bogged down at times and proves momentarily tedious. Not tedious enough to make one throw the book aside even for a short while, though.

The book is good. It is a far cry and welcome change from the mushy, inane college-romances flooding the market today.

It’s an engrossing book which comes recommended by the likes of Prahalad Kakar and Kabir Bedi. And it stands recommended by Aman Jakhar and Spectralhues too!

Sprightly Spirit

About Sprightly Spirit

“I dare do all that may become a man. Who dares more is none”. And all, may be. It may be the vigor. Or the spirit. Or the courage to avoid being “politically correct” or bent. And, ban all averse with immaculate overture of graciously fathomable words firm in views. Subtle. Justifying the undying conscience. Values. Knowledge. And, dares to stay true. True to own. True to the world. And, to the words. With a dream in eyes it exists. In you. In me. In all. The sprite that never shies away. The spirit that never dies!


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