Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Once upon the Tracks of Mumbai : Book Review

This book narrates the story of Balwant Srivastav, better known as Babloo. His father is an employee of the Indian Railways, and they stay in a railway colony in Mumbai.

Babloo is a bit different from the most of us - he is little slow in grasping things, but has few strong traits as well. He feels, but is  terrible when it comes to emoting. He speaks half sentences, and has little control over his anger. He has shadows of us in him, and you identify with him while he narrates the story.

Needless to say, his poor performance in academics, his weird conduct and likewise have distanced him from everyone - his parents, brother, neighbours; he has no friends, except Vandana, who speaks to him caringly. She stays in the same colony as Babloo, only her father is at a much higher designation than Babloo's.

The story is ideal for a Bollywood film - it is a tale of love, friendship, misuse of simplicity, chain of events going on without the protagonist knowing an inkling about them and the reader is completely involved. As a reader you know who is cheating whom, who is the bad guy and you would almost curse out aloud when Babloo comes on the verge of truth, but floats very far away from it.

Babloo has his heart in the right place - he cannot tolerate something if he deems it wrong. He finds a new identity as Rail Man when he fearlessly helps a channel reporter; and stops another crime after that. He also agrees to take up a lowly job to earn himself respect from Vandana. There's drama and then, slowly things fall into place. And the story ends on a positive note.

It writing style is lucid, and you can read it easily, even while commuting. Babloo will keep you hooked to the book and you would not be able to let go off the book until you have found out what happens next. Rishi Vohra's portrayal of Babloo is amazing - its very difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone with problems, not exactly dyslexic or autistic. The friendless boy seeks refuge in his inner soul - it is something we all do. Rishi has also captured the mindsets of middle class families and all the other characters of the story very well.

To find out more about the book, what others said about it and the author himself, do visit

This book review is special. The author had written to me to find out if I would like to review his first book, making me feel equally special. 


Rishi Vohra said...

Dear Anu,

Thank you for the encouraging review!


Rishi (Author)

Shilpa Garg said...

Sounds like a fun and light interesting read!

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

Thanks for your prompt reaction.

Indeed it is. Next time you are in Delhi, borrow my copy. Else, order online!

Bikram said...

I am sure it will be a movie soon then


A Great Liar said...

Hi there. Thank u for commenting on my Ghost of Winter post.

U have a nice blog, following it. :)

However, wish I cld say anything about the current post. Never been into Bollywood/Lollywood flicks, so havent a clue wat to say. :)

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

Its worth it, I assure you.

No problem if you are not a Bollywood person. You can read the book without bias.

jigar doshi said...

yes.. a total feel-good movie and a cliched climax.
don't know if it would made into a movie or not, but the effects of hindi movies were clearly visible throughout the story..

My review of the novel, Once upon the tracks of Mumbai, by Rishi Vohra -

Haddock said...

Like the way they have used the Station board on the cover.
Eye catching.

Krishna/കൃഷ്ണ said...

nice review...


Rahul Bhatia said...

Interesting review, Anupama:)

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

Yes, I call that the "Mumbai effect".

Yes, a careful design.

Thanks for your appreciation.

So is the story!

BGT said...

Hey Anupama, we are on the same page here :D Even I think a movie adaptation should be the next step :) Also, Rishi ensured that Mumbai is captured to the 'T'

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

Actually, the story is very movie-like!

R. Ramesh said...

Good work akm..and keep the cheers buddy..

JD said...

You have a wonderful blog here.. lots of variety and i will keep reading now..

Anonymous said...

Superb review of book! but needless to say that you went very flat!

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

All because of your support!


Indeed, I'm impressed.