Wednesday, 29 April 2015

HiFi in Bollywood

Details of the Book
No. of Pages
264 pages
Jaico Books

From the book blurb

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!

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 second book. First being, Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai

Rayhan who has the dream to make it big in the bad world of Bollywood. But, his father wants him to settle down in a corporate life, get married and live happily-ever-after in USA. He is determined and goal-oriented. He knows what he wants and comes across as a well-mannered person.

Romesh is Rayhan’s autocratic father. He is strict and follows the mantra – my way or my way. He is short-tempered and is almost a dictator. However, he is not villanoeus. He is like any other Indian parent who only think about their child’s future and their well-being; who always treat their children as infants even when they are grown-up!

Then there are several other characters. Their characterization is well-developed that they become an integral part of the story.

What I think
To begin with, the title is new and gives a clue about what can be expected out of it. (HiFi stands for Hindi Film Industry). The cover page is vibrant and I loved the sketch. The book blurb gives a summary of the plot. Thus, one look at the book, any potential reader would be drawn towards it.

The story unravels slowly giving a background about Rayhan, his dreams and aspirations, his life and so on. It also elaborates the relationship between Rayhan and his father Romesh. Soon we come to know that Rayhan is forced to get married to US born Indian, Vanita. That’s when the story really begins.

Rayhan’s desperate desire to be a film director in Bollywood and his experiences as an Assistant Director are nicely narrated. It also has a sub-story about his childhood friend, his maid’s daughter Mangala.

The author having been a part of the entertainment industry has tried to give a flavor of how the reel world look in real life. The narrative flows with ease, especially after first few pages. There is a wonderful twist in the end which makes this book filmy.

There are some typo errors. With a little more care, it could have been avoided.
Rayhan’s love for Viola looks sudden and not convincing.

Should you read it?
A breezy read – prefect way to kill time on a lazy weekend.
Further, you will enjoy this more if you are an ardent movie buff like me!!!


Thank you
Jaico Publications for giving away this book for review.