CONCEPT: 4.5/5 WRITING: 4.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 4.5/5
“We are, after all, products of history, creatures of our past.”
– Ruskin Bond, Landour Days
It was at the Cambridge Book Depot in Mussoorie that I was looking for non-fiction works by the author, the first time I came across Landour Days. More specifically, I was looking for writings about his life in and around the places where Mr. Bond lived, when Mr. Sunil Arora, the owner of the bookstore, recommended the book to me. And thank God that’s why I was looking for this book.
Being a compulsive diary, Ruskin Bond has a habit of making a diary from his school days. And this habit has allowed him to preserve many memories that would otherwise be lost.
The book, first published in 2002 by the author at the age of 20, is a collection of entries in his diary and is divided into four sections: Summer, Monsoon, Autumn and Winter. Each of these sections is then divided into different months, from April, May, June, etc., to the end of March.
Now Landour is a magical place. A land of flora and fauna that can embarrass the best of mystical mountains, strange roads, green greens, evergreen forests and forests. These tranquil landscapes, where nature roars louder than humans, offer the author a retreat from reflection. His beautiful words, almost like devotion, testify to his love for a place he has called home for many decades of his life.
But Landour Days isn’t just about that. It would be wrong to assume that the book is about the life of Landour and Bond’s Landour. It’s not to offer readers much more.
It is about his daily life, as well as his love of nature, his long walks in the mountains and his relationships with the locals and others of his kind (writers). She recounts her rendezvous with people, some charming, some not so welcoming.
The book is also about his life as a writer and his career as an author, and he sums it up briefly in this in-depth statement:
“In the fall of my life, I reflect.”
We get to know writers who have known books and who have enjoyed reading books. He talks about other topics that may seem trivial to a new age reader, but which are of paramount importance in the eyes of the writer. For example, there are pages dedicated to handwriting and typewriters, and the world of critics and writers alike.
A special treat is a passage from a very precious letter. A letter from his father, written to a nine-year-old Ruskin almost eighty years ago. There are other vintage sweets as well. Memories of his childhood, treasures of the highest esteem.
The writing enjoys a serious rhythm, and I think it bears witness to his pensive state. It would be wrong to try the book in one category. Because it’s the potpourri of stories, and what lifelong memories are that of the author himself.
Ruskin Bond is at his best.
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Must Read – Ruskin Bond Books | List of 35 books by Ruskin Bond