Book Review – Hope Express
Author : Ketan Vaidya
Genre : Fiction/Urban
Publisher : LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd
Book Blurb: What is common to a decrepit old tenement in Central Mumbai undergoing redevelopment, a disillusioned retired trade unionist mill worker Ganpatrao Padwal and his son Raghu Padwal? Hope Express takes you through the sights and smells of the maximum city sometimes through Raghu and his petty news world of crime, scandal and gossip and sometimes through the chawl and its motley characters. Narrated with smells of fried Bombay duck, sounds of ‘fast underarm’ cricket tournaments and sights of a working class Mumbai that is fast fading away, Hope Express is an authentic story of that fast changing landscape in the twenty-first century Mumbai.
Book’s Epigram :First of all many congratulations to ‘Ketan Vaidya’ on writing his first book ‘Hope Express, Tomorrow is a new day’. This book is written with a positive attitude and mind and this is clearly appeared throughout reading the book. The author is a senior communication professional and he excellently showcased his written skills in the book. Author has shown his grasp on locations, language and other regional activities very well. The story is very simple, clear and to the point which is the nice part of the book. Author has made his successful efforts to make the things exciting and keep going with incidents after one another. The story is interactive and carries you with itself to the Mumbai chawl, rain and political parties interference in common life etc.. Things are depicted quite well which keep on the reading momentum.
My Critique : There are two stories running in parallel. One is redevelopment of the chawl and the other is love story between Raghu and Roshini. Both stories are very well handled. How the chemistry between the lovers develops is very well written. Both goes parallel without disturbing each other and later associated with each other. How the Raghu struggles and help Roshini for her rented house and on different occasion of her job is very situational. Things moves quite well till the end. However at the end writer indulges himself so much on sorting the chawl redevelopment issue that the love story lost its charm and does not come to an end where ideally it should ended. Love story should have been beautifully ended, which as a reader I think. Otherwise the book is really nice and justify its title from the beginning.
About The Author: Ketan Vaidya, an accomplished communications professional. Vaidya has served as the Deputy Director of Symbiosis School of Media and Communication, Bengaluru and has also held the position of the Media Advisor to the US Consulate, Mumbai and the Global Issues Advisor to the US Embassy, New Delhi. He has also worked as a television journalist with NDTV, Aajtak and Star News in Mumbai. Vaidya is currently on a sabbatical, during which he has written his first novel – Hope Express. Vaidya identifies himself as a quintessential Mumbaikar and a connoisseur of everything Mumbai. His first novel captures this as well much more about the city.
Rating : 3.5/5
Best Buy: Amazon – Paperback at Rs150/-