Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ruskin Bond Books - A Quick Review

These are some of the Ruskin Bond srories that I read recently.

The Room on the roof 
His first novel written when he was 17. It is the tale of 17 year old Rusty who is in Dehradun with his guardian a strict Englishman against whom he rebels and runs off from his house. he makes friends with Somi, Ranbir and Suri with whom he discovers the pleasures of the simple Indian life - playing Holi, dipping in the lake, eating chhaat, roaming the streets and the countryside. After his guardian kicks him out of the house Rusty spends the days in the open and then his friends start helping him out by getting him a job as an English tutor at the Kapoor household for Kishen their brattish son. Mr. Kapoor is a failed businessman who is always drunk, Mrs, Kapoor the young and beautiful wife and Kishen the pupil. Rusty is given a room on the roof of the house and he spends some great moments of his youth until the Kapoor's move away suddenly.
'The Room on the roof' is an impressive, largely autobiographical novel and a brilliant read. Rusty could be anybody, and more so Mr. Bond himself. His adolescent cravings, angst are brilliantly captured in this book. A really good read.

Two Novels of Adolescence

Vagrants In the Valley
'Vagrants In the Valley' continues Rusty's itinerant journeys in Dehradun and around and the people he meets on the road. Kishen comes away with him, having escaped from his father Mr. Kapoor who has married again after the death of Meena, his first wife, and he becomes an expert thief. After Rusty's appearance he decides to join Rusty and together they go and park themselves in the church which is not inhibited by anyone. the deaf mute joins them and several other characters come by as well - the young seller of cheap goods, Devinder, the handsome crook Sudheer and his many girlfriends in the local brothels who are always willing to lend him money, Rusty's aunt in the wilderness and so many more characters combine to make this novel a fine piece of reading. It also takes you by the hand and leads you to all the interesting places in and around Dehradun along with Rusty and his friends.
Again, an easy and good read that reminds you of  summer vacations and lazy days. Perfect read for the holiday!

No comments: