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The Room on the Roof Paperback – October 1, 2014
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About the Author
Born in Kasauli in 1934, Ruskin Bond grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Shimla. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, written when he was seventeen, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has written over five hundred short stories, essays and novellas (some included in the collections Dust on the Mountains and Classic Ruskin Bond) and more than forty books for children.
He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in India in 1993, the Padma Shri in 1999, and the Delhi government s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi s Bal Sahitya Puraskar for his total contribution to children s literature in 2013 and was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2014. He lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his extended family
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I can't believe that Ruskin Bond wrote this book when he was just seventeen. Highly matured yet simple to understand to all ages.
The "Room on the roof" begins thus :
"The light spring rain rode on the wind, into the trees, down the road; it brought an exhilarating freshness to the air, a smell of earth, a scent of flowers; it brought a smile to the eyes of the boy on the road.
The long road wound round the hills, rose and fell and twisted down to Dehra; the road came from the mountains and passed through the jungle and valley and after passing through Dehra, ended somewhere in the bazaar. But just where it ended no one knew, for the bazaar was a baffling place, where roads were easily lost."
This novel takes the reader on a journey of rural India through the eyes of a 16-year old boy .The panorama of the advancing Indian Monsoon adds a melodious romance to the novel. Bondâs bold yet touching style of writing combined with the intriguing story and plot make this novel an engaging adventure. Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957, this book is a page-turner.
Like the Indian bazaar itself, the book is filled with smells, sights, sounds, confusion and subtle organization of ordinary Indian life.
Rusty, the hero of the novel is unhappy with his strict guardian & being confined to the declining Euopean community in Dehra Dun Finally, one day he is bold enough to venture into forbidden Indian Territory. He meets â~Somiâ the Sikh boy. A boy of strange perpetual rejoices, he soon becomes Rustyâs best friend. â~Ranbirâ, Hindu by caste, and the strongest wrestler in the bazaar invokes in Rusty a rebellious spirit that earns him his freedom for life. Then there is Suri. Bespectacled and owlish to behold, Suri possesses an almost criminal cunning, and is both respected and despised by all who know him. His interests are confined to people and their privacies; which privacies, when known to Suri, are made public.
After running away from home, his newfound friendsâ shelter him and soon he gets a job as an English teacher of Mr. Kapoorâs son. Mr. Kapoor was once a rich man who has lost his job because of his addiction to alcohol.
His only support is his lovely wife Meena who soon takes a special place in Rustyâs heart. But the most important member of the family is their son Kishan, who also becomes Rustyâs best friend. They have a lovely time together and Meena gives Rusty the best gift of his life. A lonely room on their houseâs roof. His very own room! Scarcely furnished, but incredibly close to the Banyan tree, and nature in general. A place he could call home.He called it â~ The room on the Roof â
_______Review written by- Jatin Vij