Book - Once upon the tracks of Mumbai
Author - Rishi Vohra
Publisher - Jaico Publishing House
Number of Pages - 272
Price - Rs. 175
Babloo's story is a handpicked one. A story like this would normally have been termed as less masala type for Indian Novels. His world is divided in three parts - Him, They and Vandana. 'They' say he has personality disorder and absolute absence of focus, however I feel that he is very focused. For anyone who knows the amount of importance to be given to people in life is indeed focused. In him, you see the glimpse of Bombayites - sometimes carefree yet passionate to change things. Be it madness or responsible, justice seeking or righteous, everyone who reads Babloo's story will be able to relate to a part of his personality.
Babloo's life is restricted to the Railway quarters. The role his society plays in his life is very interesting and gives a glimpse of his background. More than a novel, this book is a way of life for many Bombayites. Travel, work, rash traders, Bombay Locals, dreams of making it big, USA, Crime, Bhais, Political party tiffs, bandhs, Sardar taxi drivers, coffee shop dates and craving of being accepted - doesn't this sound like Bombay? It indeed does and is Babloo's world. The most special place in his life is however dedicated to Vandana. A railway official's daughter trying to make big in the city and earn a place in the advertising industry, Vandana is Babloo's love. Love that reminds you of the puppy high school love pushes Babloo to use various methods to pass his heart's message to Vandana.
There is also a Rail man in this story, a justice seeking man who doesn't think twice to help people by the tracks of Bombay. He reminds you of all the local news channels 'One - time wonder' news. Though, he introduces you to that part of your mind who thinks alike. Rail man doesn't wait for authorities to give justice. Be it saving a girl from rape and acid attack or bashing the goons who are about to kill a man, Rail man is that character who Bombay hopes to see in real, one day.
Amongst all the drama in his life - no job, coming to terms with inner hopes and strengths, Vandana's engagement to his brother, feeling left out by his parents, strong sense of rendering justice, helping people out , running for his life and much more Babloo tries to find himself. Reader can relate to Babloo's struggle to have the people he loves in his life along with drawing sense from his life.
The novel helps us see the world as Babloo sees it. It has its own share of tight and happy situations just like Babloo's life, however the end leaves you thinking. A feel good book that reinforces your hope about all being never lost till you have self for yourself is a good read.Specially for a debut, Rishi Vohra has dished out a good novel.
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