Monday, May 29, 2017

Roads to Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond - Book Review

Roads To MussoorieRoads To Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been really slow with reading books from last year or two. The pile of abandoned books feeds the volume of guilt that I kept feeling from time to time. Guilt for having given way to easy and non-committed wanderings on the social media instead of diving in a book. This year, I would like to change a few things to reduce that volume of guilt. But can I? Ah, I digress, rather I've not started with the matter at hand...

A month back, I picked up a friendly Wodehouse (My 24th) and proceeded to read it during my trip to the lovely place called Landour in Mussoorie. Yes, I loved the place and everything it stood for. Early morning runs around Char Dukan > Nag Tibba > Kellogg's Church, getting worried about big monkeys on the road instead of the usual dogs, breathing copious amounts of fresh, pristine air, eating scrumptious food, sleeping cozily inside a fleece blanket while thinking about the 40 degrees back home, was a fantastic way to spend time with the family.

Even when you read a bit and hear stories about Landour, you know this place has seen some incredible history. Or at least history that will make up for good and interesting stories. I was really sure this is one reason why Ruskin Bond stuck around there. I would do that too if given a choice (and a lot of money). Roads to Mussoorie confirmed part of my theory. (Part of it might be unraveled by his upcoming autobiography Lone Fox Dancing.) It was my first Ruskin Bond book. I had bought his collection of stories a few years back but somehow didn't read them. (Like many, many other books.) The recent visit to Landour, Mussoorie, and around made me pick this book up. I wanted to meet the man himself, but he visits the mall road only on Saturdays and sadly we couldn't have a free Saturday in our itinerary.

Roads to Mussoorie is a fun little book filled with lovely anecdotes (and some unruly spelling mistakes that Rupa Publications should really work on!). In fact, just because of the vivid stories and interesting characters painted by Ruskin Bond, and his lucid style of writing, I could look beyond the typos. I wish this book was a bit longer though, and wish that Mr. Bond lingered on with his words, but I think that will make me read a lot more of his work. It is rare that a writer can make you feel warm about humanity, make you laugh at life, and make you wonder about the beautiful nature that is around us. All things we seem to easily take for granted.

I have made a list of Ruskin Bonds books that I would like to read next, but foremost, I am glad that his autobiography will be out in the next 15 days or so. I am looking forward to that! Maybe on my next trip to Landour, I hope I meet Mr. Bond and get a signed copy from him.

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