“It is always the same with mountains.Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.”-Ruskin Bond
Author: Ruskin Bond
No of pages: 141
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
I read anything written by Ruskin Bond as if I am reading a holy scripture. So this post will be me gushing over the beauty which only Ruskin Bond can create with his rich words and imagery.
About the book:
Far from the humdrum of the modern life, nestled in the laps of nature lies a small little hamlet Fosterganj. The small town though it has not been touched by the advances of the world is unique in its own way. The town offers a mix of characters which add colours to this small hamlet Fosterganj. There is a poor prince who weaves one business idea after another, a pickpocket who is known to all, a baker who loves his work and caretakers of an old dilapidated palace. Added to this Fosterganj has its share of man-eating leopard and hens roaming about. A writer visits this place one day unintentionally and is drawn to it to such an extent that he decides to stay here for some time and finish a book or two. While he is here he goes on a little escapade himself whereby he joins the plan to catch the leopard, moves to the mountains in a hunt for lizards, faces his fears at the palace, is investigated by policemen and much more. Yet among all this humdrum he enjoys the true beauty that the untouched Fosterganj has to offer.
This book was yet again a true gem which only Ruskin Bond can create. A simple story aided with clarity in storytelling yet a grandeur which touches one intrinsically. Through his interplay of words, Ruskin Bond takes you right at the heart of Fosterganj and makes each character come alive. As one reads this book one feels as if one is taking a stroll down the rocky roads of the hills with the sounds of the rooster and the chirping of the birds with stillness in the air and yet a freshness which touches one soul. In this very short story, you find a mixture of suspense, humour and a deep love for nature.
This a book that permeated my soul and filled me with a sense of warmness and happiness. Each and every character became so endearing to me in the restricted space which they got in this story. The fact that in this small space also one could get completely acquainted with each character shows the strength of character building. This is a novel which though I wanted to read through in one sitting I purposefully delayed it to bask in the glory of Fosterganj. The world building is so strong in the novel that all I wanted to do was pack my bags and leave for Fosterganj if it existed. Also among all this, the author touches on some serious matters like environmental degradation and mysteries of human nature in such a simple way which really makes you think. For example “For birds and beasts are more sensitive to the earth’s tremors and inner convulsions than humans, who are no longer sensitive to nature’s warnings.”
In addition to this, the cover of the novel is to die for. This is one novel that I would re-read again and again and has been the best start to this year. Yet again Ruskin Bond proves that when it comes to clarity and a godliness in storytelling well he is the indomitable master of them all.