Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Book Spotlight: Diary of an Angry Young Man by Rishi Vohra

Title: Diary of an Angry Young Man
Author: Rishi Vohra
Publication Date: August 15th 2021
Print Length: 174 pages
Genre: New Adult Urban Drama
Raghav is an ordinary seven-year-old growing up on the 'good' side of Colaba in downtown Bombay, India. His family is one of modest means and his life doesn't allow for many luxuries or indulgences and even at his young age, he is starting to realize that his life could be a lot better; his overly strict, authoritarian father rules the family with an iron fist and dominates his gentle, caring mother, mostly over money matters; his school friends taunt him for not being rich and cool like them; he doesn't have any friends his own age who can offer company and fun. His is a safe, protected world and he is kept well away from the 'other', darker side of Colaba, which nevertheless, holds a deep fascination for him with its colorful, busy alleys bustling with activity, people and mystery - the 'real' world as far he is concerned. His small world opens up suddenly one day when, in the midst of the communal riots in Bombay in December 1992, he ends up saving the life of Faisal, a Muslim boy his own age. His act of kindness leads to a lifelong friendship with Faisal and his friends, who all live on the 'other' side. He starts secretly spending time on those forbidden streets and discovers a whole new world of camaraderie, warmth and color.

But life has other plans and Raghav's entire world comes crashing down one day. In the space of a few crucial hours, his childish innocence is ripped away brutally, and he also loses the one person who may have made his world right again - his mother. That fateful day alters the course of his life and the 'other' side is the only place he can escape his now truly miserable home life and his bitter father who he resents more and more each day. He never tells even his closest friends about the horrific abuse he suffered the day his mother died, the day a fierce, burning anger took root in his very soul.

Now, 20 years later, all his peers and friends are settling down into jobs and the business of growing up. But Raghav is still trapped between his now suffocating relationship with his father, his own inability to find a job and make a life for himself and the painful memories of his childhood ordeal that still haunt him. And this is when he meets Rani one day, an orphan beggar girl who knows life on the streets of Mumbai, but not in the way Raghav does. He wants to 'save' Rani from the beggar mafia and give her a chance at a better life. His strong need to stand up for something, to truly help someone is fueled by the recent Nirbhaya gangrape case in New Delhi, that evokes painful memories of his own past trauma.

Set in Bombay in 1992 and Mumbai in 2012, and inspired by true events, Diary of an Angry Young Man is a coming-of-age urban drama that explores the complex layers of humanity. And the city that engenders them.

Watch the book trailer by clicking here or by watching below.
The fact of the matter was that I had drifted from school to college to my father’s store. Ambition, money, position and all those other powerful words had never been on my agenda. I felt like I was meant to do something meaningful, something that had some purpose to it. I wanted to feel good about my work, but knew that Papa would never understand that. Probably because I myself didn’t know exactly what it was, I wanted to do. I was suddenly struck by how backward I was and completely out of sync with people my age who had fire in their bellies and set goals.
A Green MBA, past filmmaker and Wine Specialist, Rishi Vohra has authored four novels, ‘Diary of an Angry Young Man,’ 'I am M-M-Mumbai,' 'HiFi in Bollywood' and 'Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai.' His short story, The Mysterious Couple, was featured in Sudha Murty’s anthology – Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, and another short story, Kaala Baba, in Neil D’Silva’s urban horror anthology – City of Screams.

His other short stories include The Saas-Bahu Conflict which was published in the HBB Horror Microfiction Anthology 2020, The Mysterious Kitchen in the HBB Horror Microfiction Anthology 2021 and In Your Eyes in Tell me Your Story’s LGBTQ anthology Pride, Not Prejudice : Decriminalising Love.

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