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Book review: 'I am M-M-Mumbai' by Rishi Vohra
The novel "I am M-M-Mumbai" – authored by Rishi Vohra – is his third novel which shows calibre of a good fictional work as a first-person novel about a young handsome, sincere, wise and ambitious stammerer, Ruthra Talpade, who instead of being socially and professionally accepted, faces scorn and scoff during most encounters in Bollywood.

The focal character, the first-person protagonist of the author, dreams of becoming a successful film actor.  However, because of his minor speech impediment of stammering, despite being charming and pleasing persona, faces humiliation and sneering in film world of dream city Mumbai.

The book published by Vishwakarma Publications in Pune, provides an insightful and a delightful narrative that makes the first-person scenes work well in which the focal character is teller, re-teller and witness to the unfolding of various events depicting his struggles and setbacks in glam and glamour city of Mumbai. The moderately priced book is spread over about 190 pages and 30 sections.

The author as a narrator has engagingly captured and conveyed various moods, emotions and sensibilities of the focal character and relays to others characters.  The language is smooth and easy to follow which is well related to various characters and their backgrounds.

Talpade's father is depicted to be sometimes very harsh on him. However, his mother supports him whole heartedly to chase his dream. An interesting but short-lived turning point in Talpade's life comes when he meets Richa whose support and soft corner provides him a false ray of hope.  On being ditched, his life comes to the lowest ebb and he feels dejected, devastated and stifled. At this stage, the author has created a strong inner voice to highlight the inner plight  a cinematic feel.

The narrative is more of case-illustration that grabs attention and imagination about the psycho-social plight of person with stammering problem. This book can provide even insights about societal stereotypes biased towards the stammering persons.

Another good point of the opening of the book with a prologue which provides the background information that sets the stage for the first-person narrative. It is a well crafted opening scene of the narrative to make readers to smoothly sail into the events that are going to unfold.

I have personally loved the novel which has the relevant literary nuances and linguistic patterns suitable for the modern youth. The novel has interesting and revealing monologues, interior emotions and messages that will appeal to readers' sensibilities and attitude toward people who are differently abled to inspire them.

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