BOOK REVIEW-ONCE UPON THE TRACKS OF MUMBAI

Title            Once upon the tracks of Mumbaiouttom

Author        Rishi Vohra

Publisher    Jaico publishing house

Language    English

Genre          Fiction

Binding       paperback

Price           Rs  175

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rishi Vohra relocated back to Mumbai after completing a Green MBA.He has been a guest columnist for various newspapers in India and currently writes for Delwine and is a certified specialist of Wine.It’s his debut novel

STORY

The main protagonist Balwant Shrivastava ,nickname  Babloo ,doesn’t fit into the family frame quite well as he has his own ways to perceive and penetrate through situations.Burdened with the tags like “different” , “Schizophrenic”,  “autistic” ,”psychotic”  this young guy pushes his life amidst the local train tracks in a railway colony of dream city Mumbai .It was very difficult for him to catch up with the high pace of spoken words, still he could manage to complete his studies,but sadly could not find any job and position  among the sane heads  .Some incidents took place and he met a rather stronger person within himself .The society started identifying this “Babloo ” as  RAIL MAN. 

Another character of the story, Sikander ,Who use to play off with Babloo’s emotions just for the sake of entertainment.The colony girls were being  cajoled coaxed and finally dumped  for his mere physical pleasure.

Vandana ,an independent girl with Neoteric vision, audacious attitude, big dreams to fly high, pretty  face,strong of character and soft at heart, she was the only one with whom Babloo use to be, as he is . With time Babloo had a secret affection for her and dreamt Vandana to be her life partner . Sikandar promised Babloo to convey his(Babloo’s) feelings to Vandana but his(Sikandar’s) sickening intentions were of playing a game to entrap her in his web.

Babloo’s younger brother Raghu , arrogant by nature, overvalued  and considered to be the big gun of the family as he  excelled in his studies and grabbed a respectable job in the stock market.Parents wanted him to be in a wedlock with Vandana.

Did Sikander succeed in his iniquitous motive ? Was Babloo able to express his feelings to Vandana ?How did Babloo became a real life hero? What incidents took place in Raghu’s life?With whom did Vandana tied a knot? Did the story ended on a happy note or a sad one?

If you are curious to know the answers to the above questions ,go and grab a copy ..It’s absolutely worth the read.

My Views

Quite an engrossing tale with twists into twists being interestingly amalgamated.Each character is so intricately woven with each other making the entire plot quite convincing.There is a genuine portrayal of the problems,the feelings,the thought process of an autistic person,in the story.Lucid style of writing. Elegant way to capture the flow of sentiments .Somehow one  finds that these events are happening just next door .One could relate to it so well. Somewhere in between one has to push oneself to turn the pages but soon the track is being caught hold which makes the journey of reading quite enjoyable. Conceptualization of the story is extraordinary and it becomes all the more enthralling by the author’s skill of putting it in a simple and honest way.

The author could have done away with the repetitions of raunchy bits of ‘C’ grade movies , and the exaggerations of the fight sequences of the RAIL MAN .A little less of Bollywood masala sprinkled would have given even more of the realistic feel.Nevertheless it was out and out an entertaining read.

RATING –  7.5/10

I really look forward to Rishi’s upcoming books …

It’s an author requested review .For further insight into the book kindly visit www.rishivohra.com

P.S    My heartfelt gratitude to the author Rishi Vohra for having sent me an autographed copy of his book for review. 

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AN UNTOLD STORY

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 32; the thirty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is ‘An Untold Story’

SHORT STORY          

Note : This story is a work of PURE FICTION and any resemblance in name, place etc. to any person is purely coincidental.  

Enbosoming an entirely different world in me , multifarious creatures are living here as natives or tenants, holding a muster of precious artifacts , remnants of history , souvenirs of passion, snippets of altercations; endorsing legion of emotions , embracing umpteen turbulent hearts and minds , eyewitnessing myriad untold stories of the daily rhythms and on and on ….. And you know what?? …my expressions could not be more than either taking agile leaps , getting wilder sometimes or being calm, swift and caressing…. Anyone coming to my shore consider me as one of the most plausible friends to share even their secret of secrets….
Aah!! See there is someone sitting on that rock candy by my side ….. Oh!! I know, she is Aanya. She comes here often..

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Swollen red eyes , tears trickling down her cheeks relentlessly, her traumatic condition, all were unveiling the excruciating pain she was going through. The crests and troughs of the emotional storm were way too high …… She was wailing and on a spur of the moment the volcano inside her erupted. I could hear her scream as she was saying~ Why me ? Why always me ? Whether the lanes chosen by me or chosen by life for me why they always have a dead end and I have to come back all the way and start from the scratch again…. Why it always happens with me ?She sobbed and cried and cursed herself..

***
I was very calm at that moment caressing her feet again and again so that she may feel lighter.. What more could I have been able to do ?? Sometimes I really do feel crippled when I am unable to soothe someone’s heart…I was in despair and it was chilling me to the core until I heard a very familiar chirpy voice ..

***

Yippee!! I bounced with glee and leaped happily….She is here !!..Sakhi , a sweet little ebullient girl ,eight or nine years old was playing with her mother .They were a little far away from Aanya…I dedicated all ears to her for a while …I could listen to her giggles ,clappings,naughty talks as she was enjoying making paper boats while asking her Mom to write something on each of them.After it was all done she took each paper boat in her hands gaped at the sky for a while as of she was saying something to God and then sailed them one by one on my waves ….I became a little wild in ecstasy and took the liberty to dance with her boats…

***

Unfortunately one of her paper boats died ( it had to, after some time, Sakhi knew that) but fortunately it sailed all the way to Aanya before dying….
Aanya, for a jiffy, came out of her envelope of grief and exasperation when Sakhi’s paper boat touched her feet…She picked it up , there was a small flag tucked inside with something written on it. It took her a while to understand that word …It was “HOPE“.. While she was busy with it, she couldn’t realize that someone crept behind her …. They were Sakhi and her Mom..

***
As soon as Aanya turned around, Sakhi tried grasping her boat .. She said she was sending a wish to God . This one word if missed could weaken her message…Aanya could not keep the curiosity to herself and asked her about it…
Sakhi passed a faint smile to her Mom…her Mom’s eyes were brimmed with tears ,she gasped and  told Aanya that Sakhi’s vision is blurring day by day and after sometime she will be completely blind .. Doctors Will not be able to do anything until she matures to the age of 18 …She comes here daily with me to send her prayers to God .Today she wrote “Thank You God for a beautiful day, hope to see more colors tomorrow ” .The boat with the word ” HOPE ” jaunted towards you along with the current ….
Aanya was stunned and dumbstruck. The enthusiasm , the positive vision towards life of Sakhi at this tender age pricked Aanya’s enshroud of grief and  slowly it withered away .. Aanya was in a whole new avatar now…She saluted Sakhi who left with her paper boat written “HOPE” on it….

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Mischief hovered on my waves as I drifted towards Aanya to share that euphoric moment with her. I just rocked , rolled and fondled her legs again and again in exuberance ..The new confident, smiling Aanya also turned to move off to her place …
These untold stories are the precious gems of my everlasting treasure and I feel honored to share one such gem with you ..
This Untold story has turned to be a Told story now…

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: NONE, Participation Count: 02