Book Review – Hifi In Bollywood – By Rishi Vohra

Book Title: Hifi In Bollywood

Author:  Rishi Vohra

Published in Year 2015 by Jaico Books

About the Author:

Rishi Vohra 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 an extensive career in the Indian Entertainment Industry. His debut novel Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai was a bestseller and awarded a special mention at the Hollywood Book Festival. He writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). Visit him at http://www.rishivohra.com

Blurb of the book:

An aspiring filmmaker. The dizzying heights of Bollywood and a strained father-son relationship.

Rayhan Arora’s long cherished dream is to be a filmmaker in the Hindi Film Industry but his formidable father has other plans a successful financial career in Corporate America and a marriage of convenience with Vanita, a medical student in the US.

In a final act of desperation, Rayhan abandons his promising life in California and secretly returns to Mumbai to work as an Assistant Director in Bollywood. The characters he encounters along the way become part of his journey of self-discovery – a self-proclaimed local goon with a penchant for acting; a powerful local politician who wants to marry Rayhan’s part-time domestic help, who in turn covets stardom; an angst-ridden, homosexual film director; ego-ridden film stars with twisted agendas; and the mysterious Viola who captures his heart.

HiFi in Bollywood takes the reader from the streets of Berkeley to the film studios of Mumbai; from red-light areas to police stations and from reality to dreams and back to reality again!

Main characters: Rahyan Arora, Romesh, Dave, Vanita, Viola, Jay, Mangla, Laxmibai, Anil Dhamle, Peterbhai.

My Review:

This story is about a guy next door, Rahyan Arora. This story talks about his aspirations to make his mark in India’s fastest growing market – Bollywood, The Hindi Film Industry – Hifi that’s what they call it.  An important element of the story is – Rahyan’s father who doesn’t approve his dreams and send him to US for gaining some educational qualifications to secure a decent job and have a bright future. Soon after Rahyan completes his graduation his father wants him to get married to someone who is definitely an obstruction for Rahyan to fulfill his dreams in getting into Bollywood. But Rahyan challenges his fate and risks his stable life to get into Bollywood. After this, whatever happens in the story is really exciting and thrilling…

After going through the book cover I assumed this story to be like a typical bollywood movie but I must say, the story offered me more than what I expected.

I agree, HiFi in Bollywood takes the reader to the rollercoaster ride from US to the film studios and sea of Mumbai; from red-light areas to police stations, and from reality to dreams and author successfully manages to land a reader back to reality at the end.

Positive points:

  1. Narrative style of the author is commendable. Author has successfully managed to keep the reader glued till the end by providing efficient amount of masala in form of twists and turns to enjoy the story.
  2. Characters in the story are perfectly crafted. Each character of the story seems familiar to our real life. At no point you will feel like any character is forcibly placed or misplaced in the story. Well, I would really like to appreciate author for brilliantly crafting these wonderful characters.
  3. Story flips on various dimensions it talks about the emotional side of a son, tougher conditions faced by an Indian Kid because of the typical mentality of their parents, juggling between dreams and responsibilities, love, teenage nuisance.
  4. I personally liked the character of Super Spot, Rishi have admirably enlightened the highly efficient spot boy.

Negative Points:

  1. The only negative point I personally felt was the relationship between Viola and Rahyan could have been emphasized more by the author. Few more scenes in their context could have made this book a perfect read.

Conclusion:

The book gives a vibrant glance of the internal functioning of the Bollywood that is cherished by each one of us. This book will prove to be a page-turner if you are fond of Bollywood. A light read of course, which can definitely help you to boost up your morale if incase you are missing it somewhere in your life.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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