TITLE: The Room on the Roof
AUTHOR: Ruskin Bond
PUBLISHER: Puffin Books
NO. OF PAGES: 184
GENRE: Coming-of-age; Young Adult Fiction
Do I recommend it? YES! I would recommend this book to everyone. Pick it up especially when you feel like you need a long warm hug.
Rusty, a sixteen-year-old Anglo-Indian boy, is orphaned and has to live with his English guardian in the claustrophobic European part of Dehra Dun. Unhappy with the strict ways of his guardian, Rusty runs away from home to live with his Indian friends. Plunging for the first time into the dream-bright world of the bazaar, Hindu festivals and other aspects of Indian life, Rusty is enchanted… and is lost forever to the prim proprieties of the European community.
Written when the author was himself seventeen, this timeless story of love and friendship, with a new introduction, will be enjoyed by a whole new generation of readers.
TW: Physical Abuse
Winner of John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957, this book is a prototype of Ruskin Bond’s exemplary writing that touches the innermost chord of your heart no matter how simple the story is; or maybe the magic lies in that simplicity.
The Room on the Roof is about Rusty and the big question of “Where do I really belong?”. I’m sure you must’ve asked yourself that question countless times as well. I can’t say that this book is going to answer that question for you or for Rusty.
“We don’t know why we live. It’s no use trying to know. But we have to live, Rusty, because we really want to. And as long as we want to, we have to find something to live for, and even die for it.”The Room on the Roof
However, the story will give you enough food for thought. As Rusty runs off from his abusive guardian and befriends people vastly different from him, you’ll see how difficult (or easy?) it was for him to get out of his shell. This was very much relatable because I’ve myself underwent such a situation in the last few years and looking back at those moments through the eyes of Rusty and his coming-of-age experiences was nostalgic, for sure.
I think it’s a given that I simply have no audacity to even comment on Mr Bond’s immaculate writing. I can only point out how flawless it was countless times and hope to learn from his craft along the way.
Pick this book up if you’re a fan of simple yet effective stories. I would recommend this book to everyone above the age of thirteen. I’m sure you’ll love it because it’s such a heart-warming read.
Quick Question: Which Indian Author do you think can give a good fight to Ruskin Bond?