Published by Hachette india, November 2011
You tug too long at a tiny thread, and your whole world might unravel.
Everything had been going swimmingly for Rahul and Zeenat. Ok, so they had to hide their relationship from disapproving parents, and could only meet at specified times up in that abandoned building. But at least they saw each other regularly, which is saying a lot here in Mumbai, where privacy can be a priceless commodity.
Until Rahul went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like - I found a body. And adding, I think I know who did it, so let's try and get him.
As events unfold with unstoppable momentum, Rahul and Zeenat grow to recognize the reach and power of their adversary, and understand that the only help they can call upon is from a poor twelve-year-old boy, who would himself be in desperate trouble if his connection to them was ever revealed.
Soon their families are in as much danger as they are. Under such pressure, it seems inevitable that they will also lose each other. Will Rahul and Zeenat be able to save anything they love? What is the true nature of the organization they have uncovered? And, just as importantly, what will they learn about themselves during the trials by fire that follow, as old loyalties shift, and there are as many temptations as threats in their way?
Here's a report on the Calcutta launch of the novel in The Telegraph.
Between May and early August 2012, Mumbai Rollercoaster reached, and stayed at, No 3 on The Hindu bestseller list.
Mumbai Rollercoaster was one of five books to have received an 'honourable mention' in the Children's Writing category of the Economist-Crossword Book Awards, 2011.
REVIEWS OF MUMBAI ROLLERCOASTER:
"Mumbai Rollercoaster is a triumph. Chakraborti possesses the gift of good storytelling. [...] Peppered with humour, the sheer unlikeliness of it all is what makes this book worthwhile. One almost roots for Rahul and Zeenat as they try to salvage their love in the wake of the mess Rahul creates." - The Telegraph, India.
"Mumbai Rollercoaster is author Rajorshi Chakraborti’s first attempt at young adult fiction and the voices and tones of his teenaged characters are pitch perfect. They speak and think like real people, which is refreshing. The novel is fun as much for the wit of its characters as the unpredictable plot, which scampers from crisis to twist to revelation to suspense..." - Mumbai Boss, India.
"From the high priest of the wild and the wacky comes a new novel that is, if possible, even higher in the wackiness quotient! Taking the reader on a breathless spin down its 200-odd pages, Mumbai Rollercoaster by Rajorshi Chakraborti lives up amply to its title. [...] The novel captivates from the beginning to the end [...] Anything and everything can happen here and anything and everything does!" - The Hindu, India.
"Containing the best elements of Chakraborti’s earlier novels, his first work for young adults, Mumbai Rollercoaster, is a warm, intelligent adventure." - DNA (Daily News and Analysis), India.
"The author has successfully created a sense of intimacy with the city, loved by and familiar to our chief protagonist, the young and likeable Rahul.
"Rahul is also a familiar character, possessed of an indefatigable sense of adventure and joy in life. [...] The title, while accurate in the sense that the action moves very fast, is not really indicative of the characters' or the reader's emotional state. At the helm of the rollercoaster are three very enterprising young people, masterful, brave, and totally capable of handling it." - The Sunday Guardian, India.
"Even though it doesn't have any rollercoasters in it, the book's story gives you a feel of it. [...] Set in the moolah and mafia city, the novel is a thriller with the backdrop of a love story. [...] The story unravels at an F1 pace." - Maxim, India.
"Rajorshi Chakraborti and his multiple personalities are pleasant company. If Derangements spoke in an intense hallucinogenic staccato, and Balloonists with youthful self-discovery, Mumbai Rollercoaster speaks in a precocious babble of consciousness. A murder mystery set among unlikely city dwellers, Mumbai Rollercoaster sees two teenage lovers, Rahul and Zeenat, unable to stay clear of murky police business. […] The storyline is a liberal composite of teen references [...]. Also perfectly healthy for utter mystery is the you-never-know-if-it’s-justified air of complete paranoia.
"Chakraborti’s ability to weave in and out of his multiple characters is heightened by the threads of happenstance that zigzag through the cityscape of south Mumbai. […] Yet the jagged edges between the turns are constructs that keep Chakraborti’s voice in control, nudging the reader to take the leap of faith with his gentle self-deprecating humour." - Livemint, India.
"Rajorshi Chakraborti's first young adults' book [...] takes the Mumbai streets as its narrative pattern. With every twist and turn of plot a new adventure begins and all the reader can do is follow the breakneck pace wondering where everything is going." - The Asian Age, India.
"It goes up and down, hits the lows and then just when you think that it’s stopping it begins shooting up on the upward track. [...] Mumbai Rollercoaster is set in the city in which [Chakraborti] spent the formative years of his life. [...] According to Rajorshi, in Mumbai, ‘You get the feeling that at any moment, an adventure could begin’. [...] And this is the philosophy that he follows in his novel.
"Thirteen to fifteen year olds are bound to be riveted by the fact that the ‘hero’ Rahul has a girlfriend called Zeenat and the two of them are tiptoeing around Mumbai trying to find places to meet without their parents getting to know. [...] This is a situation that a lot of teenagers have to face in conservative India and that is bound to win the book a lot of young fans.
"Add to that the fact that it has all the ingredients that make for masala fiction – a dead body, corrupt cops, the system pitted against the youth and Rahul perennially on the run from situations that he stumbles into while he refuses to listen to his girlfriend’s good sense." - The Statesman, India.
You can buy a copy here.