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 first novel.
Visit http://www.rishivohra.com for more information.
1. Congrats Rishi, Your debut book “Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai” has now approached reader’s doorsteps. How are you feeling?
Rishi: Thanks Rohit! It feels great to have a book with my name on it out in bookstores. But more than that, it’s the positive feedback from the press, bloggers, and readers, that has been uplifting.
2. Tell us briefly about your book for our readers?
Rishi: The book follows the journey of a mentally unstable young man from hopelessness to hope. Set in middle-class Mumbai, ‘Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai,’ is a fast-paced, entertaining read with a hero (in Mr. Kabir Bedi’s words) whom “you care deeply for.”
3. Are there any plans afoot to make a film out of the book?
Rishi: Several filmmakers did express an interest, but things haven’t moved ahead yet. I need to follow up on that. I’ve been busy with the book and other things.
4. Can you share your experience with the publisher?
Rishi: The Publisher was very professional and approachable. They were always just a phone call away, and took the time out to answer my questions and guide me through the publishing process. Jaico has one of the best distribution networks in the country, which helped me get the book out to readers all over.
5. The novel has a quite a few underlying themes if you read between the lines. What would you say is the most important message that the book sends to the reader?
Rishi: Well Rohit, I wouldn’t want to brand the book into one theme. Various readers have taken different messages from the book.
6. Was there an alternate ending to the story?
Rishi: No, there wasn’t. I was considering a more ‘realistic’ ending, but I believe in happy endings so didn’t end up exploring an alternate ending.
7. Tell us in brief what kind of support you are getting from your parents, relatives and friends?
Rishi: My family and friends have been spreading the word around, mainly because they love and believe in the story. In addition, they have bought many copies and have been gifting it within their circles on occasions and otherwise. That was very touching.
8. Apart from writing, what interests you most?
Rishi: I’m interested in wine, film, and social issues. I used to be a filmmaker and have directed for the small screen and many stage shows, apart from working on several feature films. Also, I’m certified as a wine specialist and like reading and working towards social/environmental issues. I’ve completed a Green MBA and Masters Diploma in Social/Environmental Law. Apart from that, I would like to spend more time with friends. But, social media has replaced social interactions. That’s sad.
9. Are you working on your next book?
Rishi: Yes I am, Rohit. It’s set in the film industry. Though it’s a fiction, some of the characters are based on real people I have met during my time in the industry.
10. What kind of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
Rishi: I like reading all kinds of books as long as the story is interesting. A book that I really liked was Scarred by Dionne Bunsha, an award winning journalist who covered the aftermath of the Gujarat riots. The book features real accounts of people affected, and is shocking. In addition, S. Hussain Zaidi’s books never cease to fascinate me.
11. Would you like to offer any advice to aspiring authors?
Rishi: Read books that stimulate your mind. And write books that come from your heart.