I made the acquaintance of Mr. Ruskin Bond a few months ago… through his books, of course! Although, I so wish I could make an acquaintance with the man himself – ah, wishful thinking! Coming back to his works, I first read the book, ‘Love Stories’, that is edited by him, and also includes a short story by him. I then stumbled upon his weekly columns that appear in The Times Of India (which, sadly, aren’t a regular feature) and, to cut a long story short, I was hooked. So, when I happened to come across his autobiography, I simply grabbed it!
Learning about a person whose work you have grown to admire, whose words act like a balm on troubled souls, can tell you a lot about the person, their journey and their life. And, that’s just what one gets to draw from this book, ‘Lone Fox Dancing’.
Right from the first page, to the last one, Mr. Bond keeps you engaged with the story of his life. The happiness of being with his beloved father during his early childhood, the difficulties of adjusting to a life without him after his untimely death, stories of his dear friends, his family and his struggle to make it as a writer despite the obstacles that lay in his path, Mr. Bond, through his words, has opened up his soul for the reader to get a glimpse into his life. There are amusing anecdotes that make you chuckle, and tales of sadness that bring a lump to your throat. Often I wished I could reach over and give him a hug for all the times life was an arduous journey for the young Ruskin.
I loved his language – so simple and down-to-earth – it sounds like the soft tinkle of the temple bells to the desperate soul in search of some tranquility. My words may sound very “inspired”, but then, that’s the magic of Mr. Bond and his writing, isn’t it? His ability to extract from the ordinary and present it to the world in an exquisite package – it’s a feat he has achieved, receiving applause from the young and the old alike!
There’s so much to learn from him, not just about his writing style, but also his living, and facing every failure that he did during the beginning of his journey as a writer. There’s a lesson to be learnt for us budding writers! The path we have chosen for ourselves is not going to be easy. The praise that we desire for our words, will be hard to find, the applause we pine for, won’t be heard for years together. Yet, we ought to keep going, striving to do our best without worrying about the results. And, most importantly, enjoying what we do. That’s just what Mr. Bond did. No, I am not going to give you any more details; I want you to read it yourself. Lose yourself in the pages of this magnificent book.
The book also has 30 pages of photographs from Mr. Bond’s album. From his childhood to his present. Pictures of the cherubic baby growing up into a young lad, a teenager, and a young adult. Pictures of his family, his friends, his pet cat, his present family. The picture album is a delight for his fans! You wish you were a part of this story, a part of his journey!
It’s a pleasure reading the entire book; you will wonder what to do with yourself once you reach the end! I was lost and sad that the book had to come to an end so soon!
I wouldn’t call this a review of the autobiography. I would call it sharing with you all a journey I enjoyed; a journey I wished had gone on for some more time. I will end my post here with Mr. Bond’s quote that he ended his book with:
“I am like a shopkeeper hoarding bags full of grain, only, I hoard words. There are still people who buy words, and I hope I can keep bringing a little sunshine and pleasure into their lives till the end of my days.”
Thank you, Mr. Bond, for the sunshine, and the happiness!
We love you!