Friday 27 March 2015

Kim's Review : HiFi in Bollywood

HiFi in Bollywood is Rishi Vohra's second book after "Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai"

My autographed copy reached me through a long journey and courtesy the generosity of friends from Bombay to London via Ahmedabad.

In this book, Rishi keeps up his comfortable writing style which makes the book easy to breeze through, but the story itself is much more interesting and told with a lot more authenticity. This genre seems like a natural one for him, given his background and the writing clearly reflects his comfort with his subject - Bollywood aka HiFi (Hindi Film Industry - a term introduced by Salman Khan, that has not yet caught on in the public imagination)

Rayhan Arora is a very identifiable lead character -forced to take up "professional" studies by a domineering father when his real interest lies in  the creative field of film-making. Rayhan isn't one of the millions wanting to be an "actor", he wants to become a "director".

The characters he meets along his journey may seem stereotypical, but there's also something genuine about each of them. He doesn't focus so much on the big stars, as he does on the "aam aadmi". He again brings home the reality of life in average middle class Mumbai

I did enjoy this book, much more than  "Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai", but then this isn't such a "difficult" subject either. Empathising with Babloo was a little difficult as there was a bit of pity thrown into the mix. In "HiFi in Bollywood", its much easier to empathise with Rayhan.

Given the sheer improvement in the last year and a half, I look forward to reading more of Rishi's books in the future, especially as he seems to be getting more comfortable with his voice and the characters he puts down on paper.

Rating : 3.75 / 5

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