Sunday, March 1, 2015

Book Review: Hifi In Bollywood

Book Title: Hifi In Bollywood


Rayhan, the protagonist, is an aspiring film maker and has always dreamt of being a director in the Hindi Film (HiFi) industry. The terms Bollywood and HiFi have been interchangeably used in the novel to signify the Hindi film industry. Rayhan's father, a middle class service man living in a flat in Mumbai wants his son to settle in the US and marry Vanita, his friend's daughter who is a medical student in the US. But Rayhan, has different plans, and to chase his dreams, he secretly comes to Mumbai to try his luck in Bollywood. His friend Shady lands him a job as an assistant to a famous director Saajan B by lying that he has experience in Hollywood. Mumbai takes him on a roller coaster adventure ride where he encounters different characters - Peter, the local don who vies for a role as villain, his maid who tries to make a move on him in anticipation of a role in films, a local politician who wants to marry his domestic help, Voila who makes him fall in love and film stars and their ego. 
Will his father go berserk when he sees him in Mumbai? Will he have a future in Bollywood? Is his lie of being a Hollywood return a big ticket to success or will it backfire? Will Rayhan realize his dreams in Mumbai or will he have to go back to US just like millions who try their hand in Hifi? Will he get his love Viola or will he go back to arranged marriage with his father's choice?

My 2 cents: The book is an interesting casual read with good narrations and character built up. It is narrated from the eyes of Rayhan, the lead character, a young, hardworking guy who is serious about his dream. The story flows seamlessly, the language is easy to read and twists keep coming as small surprises through the book. From page 1 itself the story grips you and it is unlikely to leave the book midway once you start it. I started reading casually one night, and I couldn’t keep it down until I had finished it by morning. 
The title is apt and the cover page design is interesting. The end though seems to be a little too filmy but then, it is about bollywood, so all is well that ends well :)

There are narrations about the lanes of Berkeley, Mumbai, movie sets, studios, filmstars, and many others which could be virtually explored through the book. The writing style is lucid and I must say, I see another Chetan Bhagat in the making. 

All in all, the book is a good read. Read it for some good humor moments, powerful narrations of film sets, seamless flow and lucid language, some magical twists and to visit the HiFi.. I mean Bollywood virtually.

My rating : 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I've some good comments about the book. Its on the way from the publishers. Yet to receive it. Thanks for your comment on Pages from Serendipity.