'BE FOCUSSED - THOU SHALT WIN' - Review of "Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai"
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“Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai” the first novel by Rishi Vohra is a superb narration which will invoke inspiration for the so called “under achievers” to focus on their goals and work towards their accomplishment. Like the intertwined tracks, the characters make the story an intricate mace of love, attraction, heartbreak and courage and the destination is hope and victory.
The story is written in the first person by Babloo, nickname for Balwant Srivastav, who introduces himself and states that ‘they’(one can say the experts and people around him) said that he was autistic , schizophrenic and psychotic. He is a neglected child for no fault of his as he is slow by birth. He is a 24 year old young man living with his parents and his only brother Raghu , younger to him, who is a graduate and is employed ..The family has been living in the Bandra Railway colony for 26 years. Nobody cares for his likes or dislikes, except Vandana, the daughter of his father’s boss, who is very kind to him and lives in the same colony. However Raghu being the more eligible is engaged to Vandana. Babloo is ignorant about this. He has only one aim in mind – to get the appreciative nods of Vandana and marry her. The colony bad boys’ gang headed by Sikander also has his lusty eyes on her. When he comes to know about Babloo’s adoration for her he uses him to become friendly with her. Vandana is enamoured with Sikander’s high talks but realizes his nature and also saves a teenager from his clutches. However Good prevails over evil.
The introduction of the character of RailMan from the railway tracks is the mainstay of this novel. He saves the oppressed and people in distress. How Babloo lands in the mental asylum and how he is groomed into a self confident citizen is beautifully described and one should really value Rishi’s imagination for such an useful and inspiring finale. It makes us realize that as parents, siblings , friends , neighbours, relatives and well wishers we must understand with compassion the needs of such Specially abled members of our society and lend a supportive hand for their rehabilitation.
Kudos to Rishi Vohra for his first novel and we wish that he will give us many more such beautiful literary experiences.