Author : Rishi Vohra
Publisher : Jaico Publishing House
Babloo, a Mumbai resident is autistic and people often misunderstood him as 'psychotic' and 'schizophrenic'. His world is divided into two parts - Vandana, the sole affection in his life and the rest of the world. He has a no relationship with his brother, Shekhar and a hate relationship with Sikander, the local cable operator guy. A basic plot clearly 'inspired' from SRK's character in My name is Khan, it singles out the difficulties of the central character interspersed with the nuances of the relationship he is trying to have in his life and the elevation of Rail Man in the Mumbai locals.
The author do make some interesting observations - molestation and indecent touching of women in local trains and their indifferent reactions towards men at times, society's reaction towards autism or any such ability, constant effort to believe in your dreams and keep following them even when chips are down. But all these plot points are burrowed under a long narrative of over 270 pages and that tends to make things tedious.
The author is clearly influenced from the Bollywood films and even though amalgamation of plot points within the story line are not that seamless, you can take the risk of ignoring the same. The ending is as expected, and the writer does not show any tendency to make the climax any "different" than the routine one. A feel good narrative keeps you interested though tendency to slipping in grammatical errors in such books is a routine now.
I am going with 2/5 for Rishi Vohra's 'Once upon the tracks of Mumbai'. There is inherent sincerity with which central character has been handled, but there is very little unpredictability or freshness which you may experience while reading the book. Read if you are a fan of Bollywood kind of romances in books.