This book was not bought by me, though I’d have loved to buy it. The Lone Fox Dancing was won in a Goodreads giveaway. I saw ‘Ruskin Bond’, ‘IN’ and the next thing I did was sign up for the giveaway. Frankly, I never even went back to check if I had won. Until one day, I received a courier which was a neatly wrapped hardcover ‘Lone Fox Dancing’ (LFD now onwards). I told my mum I hadn’t ordered the book. It was only when I read the letter inside from the publishers (Speaking Tiger) that I found out that I had won the giveaway.
I was elated… ‘A free book. A FREE Ruskin Bond book. Oh my God… This is Ruskin Bond’s Autobiography!!!’ Yup, exactly what I thought. 🤯
The moment I opened the book, I knew this was a book I’d enjoy, and righly so.
If you’ve read any of Ruskin Bond’s stories, you’d know of his simplicity in writing. By using the most simple words and even simpler sentences, Bond can take you down memory lanes. And that’s exaclty what he has done in his autobiography.
The book will transport you to the Delhi and Mussourie of 40s and 50s. It is an age which most of us millenials have only heard of. But thanks to the amazing writing skill of Mr Bond, you’d feel you’re walking down the streets with him and sipping on the Keventers’ shake. As most autobiographies, LFD also focuses on the childhood and youth of Ruskin Bond. And for some, this would be disappointing because very little has been written about his later years.
The book is divided into four clear parts. And if you go by my advice, I’d say look at the amazing collection of pictures in the book before beginning. That’ll give a face to the many incidents I’m sure will run in your minds like a film. Each page of the book is a heart warming tale of love and friendship. The childhood and coming of age is described with immense beauty. Specially when he describes the loss of his father, I couldn’t stop my eyes from welling up. The book shows us just what kind of a person the author is. Even the most bitter parts of the story are said with such matter-of-factly tone that you’d feel as if he had forgiven the people who did him wrong even at the young age and holds absolutely no grudges against anybody. At a point when he lost the letters of his father (read book to know how), I was so angry I called my husband up and asked him ‘How the hell can Ruskin Bond write about it so calmly. I don’t feel anger. Why is he not angry?’ And trust you me, I was really angry.
If you’re someone who cannot help noticing ‘people’ and their ways… this book has so many characteristics of different people hidden, it’ll make your heart cry. You could really see through the people.
What’s awesome is that the book is so brutally candid that you’d sometimes feel like he himself is narrating the story to you over a cup of tea in Dehradun. Well, that’s the simplicity of his writing. Read it for a not-so-thrilling but yet amazing story of one of the most read authors in India.
This is book is a no-no for people who want too much thrill in an autobiography. There is no drama, just simple truths of Bond’s life. Truth’s that’ll touvch you inside and leave you contemplating about the simplicity of it all.
Publisher: Speaking Tiger
Cost: ₹599 (Hardcover). Buy it here for ₹454. 🙂
Awards: 2017 Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize in the non-fiction category