R-cube is just a stupid fancy acronym of an idea to read, read and read all the books in my wishlist ( which is also evolving as we speak. ) More than anything else, it is just a fun way to keep track, find a reason to blog and keep the lazy bum in me motivated.
Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra
The story is of a mildly autistic and schizophrenic youth, Babloo, who lives in his own sweet world near the railway tracks of Mumbai. He feels alone because nobody in his family understands him. Nobody wants to be friends with him. No one listens to him. Except Vandana, a beautiful girl who like him stays in the Bandra railway colony.
All he wants is to impress her and one day tell her how he feels about her. His family hardly notices his aspirations, his feelings or his dreams. He struggles to find a sense of purpose in his life. And that is when fate introduces him to the Rail Man. Suddenly, his dull pointless life takes an exciting turn. He finds himself in midst of the ruthless Mumbai life and reality where his innocence gets him into a murky mess. Can he find his way out of it ? Will he get his love ? This forms the basic premise of the novel.
It is a debut novel by the author Rishi Vohra ( www.rishivohra.com ), one of the many newcomers in the Indian publishing scene. Ever since Chetan Bhagat revolutionized the Indian fiction market with easy-to-read stories having an Indian setting and costing less than 200 rupees, there have been many new talents jumping into writing and many young readers looking for such entertaining reads. Rishi's book fits this space perfectly and he himself has all the makings of a good writer.
Now about the book. Let me first get to the strengths first. The storyline is very interesting and the author manages to get the first impression from the slick title and cover. So, that's a big plus. The pace is well maintained throughout the book and I can see that the author has "potential" to build up the setting for a perfect scene. His words are simple and the book is an easy read. The whole love story will connect to the youth especially to the readers from Mumbai.
Weaknesses. The writing is average in most places and I felt the author has missed on the giving an excellent story its desired impact. Although the pace is maintained, the chapters fail to pique your interest about what is going to happen next. This I think is the biggest issue with the book.
On the whole, the book won't bore you but it won't make you go on and read it in one shot either. It is not the next blockbuster book but the author clearly has potential. And the book may be a step towards making of the next blockbuster.
Final verdict : 3/5
A good casual read. A tad above average.
Keep living. Keep rocking.