I can never seem to get enough of Ruskin Bond’s Mussoorie stories; a hill station I have never been to in a district called Uttarakhand I hope to visit some day; but not this summer. May is the second month of scorching summer heat and more cloud watching, hopeful of the impromptu rain to cool the air.
Though I have read many Ruskin Bond’s books, this is the second book I am writing about here; the first was 👉 Landour Days by Ruskin Bond: Seasons in the Hills 🌲🌸. Like Landour Days, the setting is Mussoorie and the book is also a collection of anecdotes. The common complaint in reviews on such collection of stories is that some of the events tend to repeat as the stories are regrouped and titled into a new book.
In Landour Days the chapters are divided into the seasons prevalent in the hill station – summer, winter, monsoon and autumn, and stories are reminiscences from his journal pertaining to each season, nature, people, writing, history and books. In this book too, the author narrates charming instances from his daily life. As always the book is a delight with his trademark beautiful words, witty one-liners, penchant for details and comforting wisdom. It’s a look back at the author’s colourful life in quaint hills; his yearning and affection for the simple pleasures of life.
” And I can enjoy a fried egg, or even two, without feeling guilty about it. But good omelettes are still hard to come by. They shouldn’t be made in a hurried or slapdash manner. Some thought has to go into an omelette. And a little love too. It’s like writing a book -dome much better with some feeling!”Roads to Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond
So are there any overlapping stories in the two books !? Nope; it’s a brand new set of delightful stories from the charming Mussoorie and has tales of travel, history, people; laced with curious wonder and humour.
Ruskin Bond’s travelogues in the book are about the road trips and he draws your attention to the magic in the minutiae of a passing scene. There always something unexpected just around the bend; candid about both happy discoveries and familiar finds; long amble around the hillsides are his speciality. He combines the trip to familiar places with its relatively unfamiliar history and the whole journey with Mr. Bond becomes a happy discovery.
” Choose your companions carefully when you are walking in the hills…
Of course, it’s hard to know who will be a ‘good companion’ until you have actually hit the road together. Sharing a meal or having a couple of drinks together is not the same as tramping along a dusty road with water bottle down to its last drop. You can’t tell until you have spent a night in the rain, or lost the way in the mountains, or finished all the food, whether both of you have stout hearts and a readiness for the unknown.”Roads to Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond
The stories make you smile and some of the nostalgia rubs off on you too; yes, those were jolly good days and Ruskin Bond makes sure you carry with you only the good stuff !! There is also a chapter on ghost stories👻; I don’t remember the last time I read ghost stories.
A small book with an eclectic collection of stories and a good read for the cloudy afternoons and rainy evenings.
Till next post, take care !!