At age eight, Ruskin escapes his jail-like boarding school in the hills and goes to live with his father in Delhi. His time in the capital is filled with books, visits to the cinema, music and walks and conversations with his father—a dream life for a curious and wildly imaginative boy, which turns tragic all too soon.
For years, Ruskin Bond has regaled and mesmerized readers with his tales. In Looking for the Rainbow, Bond travels to his own past, recalling his favourite adventures (and misadventures) with extraordinary charm, splotches of wit, a pinch of poignance and not a trace of bitterness.
What you’re holding, dear reader, is a classic in the making.
*Review Copy received in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts are my own and in no way biased.*
Okay, let me just get this out of the way. This is my first Ruskin Bond novel. Yes, me, a self respecting Indian who is 22 years of age have never ever read a Bond book yet. Thankfully, that has been remedied with me reading this amazing insight into Bond’s childhood. And let me tell you, it is an amazing book to read.
Looking For Rainbows, a memoir, details one year of Bond’s life when he lived with his father in the 1940s. Bond’s father isn’t like the usual fathers, which is kind of a surprise. I like it. Then, there’s Bond’s days spent going to the cinema, reading books and arranging his father’s beloved stamp collection. Of course, all the time spent outside, playing with the local boys is an added bonus. The story gives off so many good vibes. Yet, they’re marred by the worry of what is to come in a pre – Independence India. Bond, of course, exactly like I expected, captures all the emotions beautifully. Reading this book made me nostalgic about my own summers away from school when I would just frolic around without a care in the world and have the time of my life.
The end though, was particularly wrecking. Bond’s emotions in those last few pages were enough for me to finally give in and tear up. I was not anticipating that end and it just came as such a huge surprise, I couldn’t really help it.
All in all, this is such a beautifully written story that you just can’t help but love it. All the amazing illustrations, which capture the story so beautifully, are such an added bonus to the story. I loved them. The pictures, the moments captured in those illustrations, enhancing the reading experience so beautifully. It was exactly what the book needed to make it so gorgeous.
So, please just go read this amazing piece of literature as soon as you can, will you! Gah!
Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent. He is considered to be an icon among Indian writers and children’s authors and a top novelist.
He wrote his first novel, The Room on the Roof, when he was seventeen which won John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has written several novellas, over 500 short stories, as well as various essays and poems, all of which have established him as one of the best-loved and most admired chroniclers of contemporary India.
In 1992 he received the Sahitya Akademi award for English writing, for his short stories collection, “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra”, by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters in India. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 for contributions to children’s literature.
He now lives with his adopted family in Landour near Mussoorie.