…by Ruskin Bond
This book is a collection of stories from the author’s life. They are excerpts from his diary or recollections of dear ones or just a note of the most odd people he has met. Some of the characters are endearing like the Kotwal with the unusual case. Some are very touching like his accounts of his parents. Some are plain hilarious like the story of his old Hindi master. The book gives you a detailed insight of the author’s life , his childhood memories , his beliefs , and his overall experience in India as a struggling and a successful writer. It can be considered a testimony to all the people who touched his life .
Each one of the stories are amazing. Ruskin Bond has given flair to the lives of these common villagers , army men , families and even crazy queens and gardeners. Every story is engaging and makes you wonder as to how did Bond meet so many exotic people in the course of his life! But I think , it is his viewpoints and his depictions which make the everyday lives of these people truly interesting.
My favorite story is the one about the author’s uncle’s murder exploits. Bond’s uncle or Uncle Bill is a shady character. A gentleman who poisoned unwanted people with arsenic! His love affair and the planned murder of his lover’s husband is obvious but still enthralling to read. The story goes on describe how Uncle Bill ends up at the author’s place after Bond is successful as a writer. He plans to murder Bond and live off the book royalties comfortably. But Bond cleverly dodges these attempts and foils his uncle’s plan thus confirming that Uncle Bill had indeed committed the previous unproven murders!
All the stories are written from a first person perspective and ring with the finality of truth. The O’Henry type of twist to the stories make it all the more enjoyable. Fiction or real , the book is a treat to those looking for relaxed reading. Short stories appeal to me because there is no stress to actually finish the book and there is always curiosity about what the next story will be like!
The little collage of images on the cover itself is such a draw for me. The simplicity of the book is an ode to Ruskin Bond. Excellent book in my opinion. You must own a copy of this one!
My Rating – 5*