Book Review : Once Upon The Tracks Of Mumbai

Blurb View:

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Autistic. Schizophrenic. Psychotic… 

They use these words to describe Babloo the doctors, his family, his teachers everyone except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him. 

Mumbai the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and normalcy he so craves?

Vandana yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Colony they all live in. Is she looking in the right place?

Rail Man a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do is Babloo his inspiration or is it the other way around?

A random twist of fate on Mumbais endless, serpent-like, jangling local train tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak, and courage. 

Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes of Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.


Babloo Srivastav is not your usual colony guy. Bandra Railway colony, that is. He wakes up with the vibrations of the first train in the morning and explores the railway tracks which are his own. He feels more at ease with the tracks and trains than his kin and kith. He doesn’t have any friends but is devoted to his lady love, Vandana. There are mysteries in his life that he isn’t much aware of.

Sounds good enough for a thriller?

The book cover and blurb suggests a love story, probably a one between Babloo and Vandana. But I would surely label the book as a thriller, not a romance. The adventures of Babloo are more important than his obsequious love story. He struggles to find a meaning to his caprices and is guided by an inner voice. Compared to his younger and efficient brother, he’s nothing, really. And yet his steely resolve and demeanour is frightening even to his parents. I can’t reveal the story here, but it is about Babloo turning into a different person altogether to prove himself to his lady.

cbp3It is pure Bollywood, it is. Rishi Vohra has used his Bollywood experience to pen scenes true Bolly style. And I don’t mean it in a derogatory way. We love Bollywood the way it is. I liked the core plot but not the peripheral ones. The bit about Sikander turning out to be a rogue is predictably filmy and drags along. What I particularly liked is Rishi’s portrayal of the middle class. We know our Mummies and Papas and how they behave with a ‘grown-up-to-be-married’ daughter. The conversations and interactions between Vandana and Raghu’s family are a delight to read and true to the hilt. The long paragraphs on Babloo’s thoughts tend to get boring to a lot of readers, interspersed with lucid conversations between the families. Vandana and Raghu are sketched way better than the protagonist Babloo, in my humble opinion.

I wish the publishers had taken better care about editing. There are way too many errors to ignore while enjoying the read.

Recommended for Bolly buffs. I hope Rishi Vohra writes a thriller next. Much thanks to him for a signed copy!

My Rating: 3/5

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

About the Author:

Rishi Vohra recently relocated back to Mumbai after completing a Green MBA from San Francisco State University and a Masters Diploma in Environmental Law, prior to which he had a successful career in the Indian entertainment industry.

Having been a guest columnist for various newspapers in India, he currently writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. This is his first novel. 

Visit for more information.

Book Details:

Language: English,  Genre: Fiction/Romance

Author(s): Rishi Vohra

Publisher: Jaico, Year Published: 2012

Binding: Paperback, Edition: First, Pages: 272

ISBN-13: 9788184953053,  ISBN-10: 8184953054


This review is also shared with the Indian Quills Reading Challenge at The Tales Pensieve and the First Reads Challenge at b00kr3vi3ws.

Check out bestsellers and new releases on Amazon India.

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