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!
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. His short story, The Mysterious Couple, was selected by Sudha Murty for her anthology Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, published by Penguin Books. HiFi in Bollywood is his second novel. He writes for delWine and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW).
Review: A special thanks to Rishi Vohra (author) for providing me a signed copy of the book. HiFi in Bollywood is a tale of a wannabe filmmaker, trying to make it big in Bollywood along with dealing with a tensed relationship with his father. The story is of Rayhan Arora, a 23 year old, who has a penchant for directing films in bollywood. He pursues his dreams without telling his father that he has returned from Berkeley for Mumbai. When Rahyan comes back, little does he know that it is the beginning of his journey of self-discovery? The various people that Rahyan meets during this journey take him on a rollercoaster before commencing back in the world of reality. Rayhan’s plan is different from the path his father has set for him and that leads to them falling out. Do they ever repair their damaged relationship? That part forms a major crux of this compelling story. It has a mysterious woman who confused yet entices you, who captures Rayhan’s heart and he can’t do anything about it! What happens between these two? It cannot be missed. Salman Khan makes a special appearance in the book and which person in the world wouldn’t want to read it. The book offered handy information into the struggles that newcomers face in the path of realizing their dreams in the Indian film industry. While reading the book I felt it gave the voice to the growing undercurrents of friction and rebellion within families between the people of older and younger generations. At the same time it provided an important lesson to the readers that irrespective of the circumstances, people who never quit trying ultimately realize their dreams! The book stores on the melancholy of life and serves it with humor and some serious outlook. There’s an element which keeps the entire book going and let us draw comparisons from the real cover-up. The career dilemma is good up to a certain point but the familiar tone to it brings nothing new. The book does a honest job in narrating one of those failure-success stories. It gives you grave insight as to what one has to do achieve the heights and conquer the odds but on the other hand as a reader the wishful thinking cap falls down time and again to churn out newer ideas to do so.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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