'I forget what took me to Fosterganj in the first place. Destiny, perhaps; although I’m not sure why destiny would have bothered to guide an itinerant writer to an obscure little hamlet in the hills. Chance would be a better word. For chance plays a great part in all our lives. And it was just by chance that I found myself in the Fosterganj bazaar one fine morning early in May…’
Blurb from the jacket:
It is the early 1960s, and chance has brought a struggling writer to Fosterganj, a forgotten hamlet on the outskirts of Mussoorie. Little happens here, apart from the occasional mule train clattering down a cobbled street; and the writer hopes to live like a recluse, maybe finish a book or two. But appearances, as always, are deceptive, and soon he's caught up in a series of unusual adventures: close encounters with a leopard and a sinister black bird; a drunken evening in the company of several hens and a penurious prince; a long night spent locked inside a haunted palace; an expedition into the mountains in search of a rare aphrodisiac; and a journey to a remote cantonment town to deliver a box full of gemstones.
Few writers anywhere bring small and quiet places to life as compellingly, and with as light a touch, as Rukin Bond does. Peopled with characters both charming and eccentric, Tales of Fosterganj is storytelling at its effortless best.
My take on the book:
Does this book really have the best cover-design or is it just my feeling? One of my friend even asked me whether it was a children's book. I gave it a good look, still the cover is as fascinating as ever. That colourful painting of a silently vibrant town in the hills. What heaven!
In spite of having quite a few Ruskin Bonds lying on my shelf which are to be read, I bought this book. Well, there is a strong reason. Firstly, I am obsessed with Ruskin Bond's story, more importantly his narrative, ever since I read his Delhi is not far. Secondly, when I first read the blurb of this book - the back-blurb - I was writing almost about the same story. A struggling writer in the hills in hope writing a book or two. I was petrified. The story I was writing was like a dream to me and all of a sudden I don't want it to turn out as a copy! However, fortunately, our stories were not same. At least, not exactly same, though. *sigh* Thirdly - yeah, I have a third reason, too - after reading The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy, I developed a liking for this publisher. Aleph Book Company. So are the reasons for me actually deciding to read this book. The two unsaid reasons were its full-of-life cover and the fact that it is a hard-cover. So it goes...
The book was small - 150-pages. The chapter were small. The writing was as pleasant as a warm, early-morning breeze on a wintry morning. What else does a reader need!
The read was a breeze. I can't say anything more than that. If you are reading, which you are apparently doing, you must read the book for use. Believe me. YOU SHOULD READ IT. And don't be of the misconception that Bond is a children's writer and this book is a children's book. Of course, there are no love-making parts in this novel, but it doesn't make it a children's book.
I repeat it again,
The reason why I took the strain of typing out the Jacket Blurb is that the story gives little idea from the back-cover blurb and I don't know how to put it, out of the fear that I might give more information that necessary. So obsessed I am with this book that I read it word to word and would surely re-read later this year. So in love I am with this book!!
A typical Ruskin Bond novel: full of mountains, horror story, adventure, nostalgic, pleasant, fine, exuberant and awesome!!!
Title: Tales of Fosterganj
Author: Ruskin Bond
ISBN (edition I've read): 9789382277477
Read between: 28-04-2014 to 29-04-2014
Publishers: Aleph Book Company
MRP: ₹ 295