Nostalgic Notes: A Gallery of Rascals by Ruskin Bond

About the Book

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Ruskin Bond is the most addictive and entertaining writer in modern Indian literature. The author of over a hundred novels and short-story collections, his fiction is especially celebrated for the unforgettable misfits, Dreamers, small-time con artists, rapscallions, thieves and drifters who populate it. For the first time ever, a gallery of rascals brings together the most memorable rogues to feature in Ruskin Bond’s fiction. 

A few brand new stories—‘a man called brain’, ‘Sher Singh and the hot-water bottle’, ‘crossing the road’— headline this collection and rub shoulders with much-loved tales like ‘the thief story’, ‘The boy who broke the Bank’, ‘tigers for dinner’ and ‘a case for Inspector Lal’. thrilling and effortlessly readable, the thirty stories in this book show exactly why Ruskin Bond’s fiction is irresistible.

About the Author

Ruskin Bond is the author of several bestselling novels and collections of short stories, essays and poems. These include The Room on the Roof (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), A Flight of Pigeons, The Night Train at Deoli, Time Stops at Shamli, Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra (winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award), Angry River, The Blue Umbrella, Delhi is Not Far, Rain in the Mountains, Tigers for Dinner, Tales of Fosterganj, A Gathering of Friends, Upon An Old Wall Dreaming, Small Towns, Big Stories and Unhurried Tales. Ruskin Bond was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1999, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Delhi government in 2012 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.

Having grown up reading Ruskin Bond's book, it is always a treat to read his work even today. It tickles the child and excites the adulting side in me to no end. His stories are simple yet profound. That is what makes him an author who is loved and revered by one and all. As the blurb correctly says, he is truly addictive.  There is no way anyone would not know him by now as a writer. For his work has been a part of school textbooks, college curriculum, adapted into movies and television series. He is an author who cannot be missed, atleast in India. His writing is familiar, in a way that it is not only relatable but is also one that warms up the cockles of your heart.

With a cover that is so delightful in every sense, the book speaks to a reader from the word go. Painted in shades of blue and violet, with images of people making merry along with one that resembles the author, the cover tells a story of its own. This book is different from his usual stories as it is a collection of short stories spanning across a hundred years and features a huge variety of crooks, thieves and villains committing various crimes. It is interesting to note how each one of them is unique and at the time, engaging in their own way.

Different only in their motives, these rogues are thoroughly entertaining to an extent that it is difficult to choose one favourite from these thirty. In his writing, there is a wonderful combination of fiction and fantasy making small town India come alive in every page. He has the power to tele-transport a reader to the location of the story and make it all come alive. It is as if you are a part of the story, witnessing it unfold right before your eyes. And as many adults have confessed before, I would also like to add - he makes you feel like a child once again with his writings. The innocence, the simplicity and the ability to look at life, with dreamy eyes and hope filled heart - is how all his characters make you feel.

Written in his signature style - witty, poignant, charismatic and charming - these stories leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling long after you are done reading it. This book is like that warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night or the cool breeze in summer evenings when your heart tugs the strings of memories and you are left with a goofy smile on your face after a nice walk down the memory lane.

Strongly recommended, for every age group. This book is worth cherishing. Read it, gift it to your loved ones and re-read it, for it has un-paralleled magic within those pages.