Some lives begin and end in anonymity while some lives leave behind stories that one day become epics.
This is the perfect way to sum up the review of the next book in line from Speaking Tiger Books : Lone Fox Dancing, The autobiography of Ruskin Bond.
This is the story of a little boy who grew up with characters and adventures in a foreign land which soon became a fabric of his own existence. Bond’s father worked for the British Empire and thus had the fortune of growing up in India during the pre-independence era. Loved and in his own words, spoiled rotten by his family and his house help, Bond grew up learning the nuances of the Indian tongue, the troughs of the mountains, the frothy waters of the beaches, the consistent need to express love and understanding a land and people that became his own.
There are so many pictures and shots of him growing up which make you realise the loved kid that he was. He talks about how his love for stories in his father’s mansion shaped him to become a storyteller and how the people he grew up with found themselves a permanent place in his many stories. I read this one during a time that wasn’t exactly great for me personally and it carried me through with strength, humour, compassion and love. I got nostalgic about my own childhood in Bahrain where a foreign country and it’s people became my own.
It won the prestigious 2017 Atta-Galatta Award in the Non Fiction Category and I couldn’t be happier to see such a gem of a book find its way to the recognition and appreciation that it so deserves.
I have had the opportunity of reading some really stellar books this year but this one has to be something that I would call my comfort read, a book that I would call the time machine to relive my own childhood. It has a special place in my heart and rating it is as futile as me explaining the importance of the book to me. Read this to learn the kid behind the storyteller and the Man who irrevocably became an Indian in thought, heart and being.
Until next time!