Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai : A Review

'Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai', debut novel by Rishi Vohra (www.rishivohra.com) is basically a tale about romance and wooing.
Nothing new here, given that the fiction market in India is flooded with love stories. But what makes this book different from the others are the characters, especially the protagonist Babloo. 'Babloo! What a commonplace everyday name' is what I said to myself the moment I read it. But those are not the words used in relation to Babloo in the book because Babloo is no ordinary man. Don't get your hopes high here, though, because he does not have any superpowers (no matter what happens towards the end of the book *ssshhhh* ). On the contrary, poor old Babloo here is ridiculed by society, neglected by parents and perpetually compared with his working younger brother- just because he is different and happens to suffer with a behavioral disorder.
The novel is set in a railway colony situated near the busy railway station of Bandra, Mumbai. The author gives us a glimpse into a typical Indian residential colony- gossiping ladies, road-side Romeos, interfering neighbors and so on. I did like the way he has captured the little nuances of family life in middle class India.
Babloo's love interest, Vandana, is a self-dependent, working woman who has dreams of making it big in the advertising world and travelling to the US. However, she is handed over a menial secretarial position and constantly harassed by her boss. She looks for a friend in Babloo, one who can understand her need to be silent and introspective and can always be depended on. But Babloo is knee-deep in love with her and, given his psychiatric issues, cannot find a way to be with her. The twist in the plot comes when Vandana's parents arrange her marriage with Babloo's younger brother, Raghu. What follows is a fast-paced tale of love, betrayal, sex, violence and justice.
Love does triumph in the end, but not in the way expected!
Reading this book I realized that this may be one of those narratives which can be easily adapted into a movie. It has all the elements and scene descriptions are very sharp.

Overall, it is a well-planned, nicely narrated, good-paced piece of work which would go down well with any age-group or gender.
Ideal for a quick dose of high entertainment!


  1. Hi Medha,

    Thanks a lot for the reivew. I'll surely get this for my next train ride. :)

    Keep up the good work



  2. Hi Medha,

    A truly unique perspective of the book! Thank you for taking the time out to read it!


    Rishi (Author)

  3. Thanks Rishi! It was my pleasure.


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