Book Review-Room on The Roof

Book Review-Room on the Roof

Author-Ruskin Bond

I have been a big fan of Ruskin Bond’s since my school days and yet I am baffled at why I have not put up a single review of his books. My love affair with Mr Bond began with Rusty when I think I was in my 4th grade. And even now, after more than two decade and a half, I continue to enjoy the book as much as I did then.To say that I love him is an understatement. And this is one love that hasn’t suffered the contempt that familiarity brings. Ruskin Bond’s books are the instant pick-me-ups on days when I am feeling low, a staycation when I am desperate for a holiday, my escape to the hills of Mussoorie and the valley of Dehra. I am magically transported from whichever dust laden, smoke covered city I am in to a scene of towering deodars, whisper of the wind in the trees ,the pine scented air.This one is a slice of my childhood right up ….

Room on the roof is Ruskin Bond’s first book .He wrote this when he was seventeen . And maybe that’s why he paints a perfect picture of the hopes and aspirations of a teenager . The protagonist in this book is Rusty , an Anglo-Indian 16 year old boy . His parent’s death brings about a change in his fortunes and he is forced to live with his English guardian who is a strict disciplinarian . The Victorian virtues and the expectation to be a perfect Englishmen do not sit well with Rusty . Rusty is enamoured with the bazaars , the festivals ,and the India he has never seen . Thus begins an adventure of a lifetime .

The writing is simple, charming and yet evocative .

“We don’t know why we live. It is no use trying to know. But we have to live..because we really want to. And as long as we want to, we have got to find something to live for and even die for it.”

Bond lays bare the truths of life with such profound simplicity that’s its impossible to not be enchanted . The magic in his writing carries the reader along with the characters and it feels as if the scenes are unfolding right in front of one’s eyes . The lively description of the bazaar with its sights ,smells ,chaos and confusion ..When I visited Dehradun much later ,all I could think of was the bazaar,where I had been many times before with Rusty ,Somi,Ranbir and Kishen .And how desperately I wanted to be Rusty when I first read it . I so wanted to live Rusty’s carefree life …And that is Ruskin Bond’s gift . The powerful characterisation and captivating narration is what brings the book to life .To write such a simple story with so much heart ,you have to be a master storyteller..

Highly recommend to All .Even if you don’t read any other book , do read this one ….

My copy was a gift from my Husband who also got it autographed by the Master himself!!One of my most treasured possessions!!!

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