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(BOOK REVIEW) THE ROOM ON THE ROOF by Ruskin Bond By KALYA ANKEET RAO

AN ADOLESCENT NOVEL FILLED WITH NEW DISCOVERIES AND ADVENTURES OF RUSTY AND HIS NEW FRIENDS AND A SMALL WORLD IN THE ROOM WHICH WAS ON THE ROOF. The ROOM ON THE ROOF is one of the greatest and well appreciated work of RUSKIN BOND. The ROOM ON THE ROOF was his first novel written when he was seventeen and it received many laurels. The ROOM ON THE ROOF is an uncomplete work without VAGRANTS IN THE VALLEY. The VAGRANTS IN THE VALLEY carries on where the room leaves off. But I found one thing unique about both the novels that they were written from the eyes of an adolescent. The ROOM ON THE ROOF is an excellent story narrating the wanderings and adventures of an adolescent Rusty in search of his identity. The dilemma faced by Rusty in the ROOM ON THE ROOF was also faced by adolescent Ruskin bond and by every individual adolescent. This makes the novel an excellent piece of writing. The adolescent period in our life is full of excitement and new discoveries and exploring. We are free from any restrictions and break the bars of our childhood and step into a new world. It is a story of an Anglo-Indian adolescent Rusty who lived in Dehradun and was brought up by his uncle, Mr. Harrison in the English community. As he grew up, he could not help his eagerness and gathered courage to step into the new world of Indian bazaar and to his surprise, it was overwhelming. He met with a bunch of Indian friends and enjoyed the Indian life, festivals and the new chaat shop. Rusty never had chaat in his life, but when he tasted it for the first time; he liked it so much that then he was used to the chaat shop everyday. The sight of the chaat shop was mesmerizing and a great fun to read on with humor.

The writer had been emotional on one hand showing the brotherhood between Rusty and Kishen and on the other hand romantic showing the loving relationships between Rusty and Mrs. Kapoor. I think this true love added to the admiration of the adolescent novel. But after the accident of Meena , Rusty was all alone in this world without any friends. When Rusty met Kishen, he insisted him to live with him. Both started living together divorced from mankind, unknown in new world with many complexities. I liked the ROOM ON THE ROOF as a classical novel of adolescene. I liked it because, it is a novel where we discover and explore with Rusty. We could relate our lives with that of the protagonist. The writer has been successful in depicting the Indian bazaar life. The cover page design itself speaks of the whole story and ignite the minds of the readers to read on But I would like to strongly oppose the rude behavior of the uncle on Rusty. And I also disliked the fact how Rusty behaved with his uncle who had cared for him. I am sorry to state, but I think this act of Rusty may motivate many adolescents towards a wrong path. I also disliked the ending of loving and emotional relationships. I didn t like the ending of the story. The ending being emotional was not interesting at all. I would like to appreciate the writer to choose the characters for his novel from different walks of life and from different religion and sects and idea of blending the European culture with the Indian culture. The different characters also showcased the varied mindsets and behavior. I think DEHRADUN is the best place for such a novel .The scenic beauty is worthseeing and romantic as the writer has admired the beauty of the Indian nature throughout his novel. The plot of the novel is catchy that we cannot help ourselves reading on the story. I was just overwhelmed to see the writing style and would wholeheartedly

appreciate it. The dialogue makes the story alive. The piece of writing touches our heart and we cannot take off our eyes. THEY, WHO SLEEP LAST, WAKE FIRST. HUNGER AND PAIN

LENGTHEN THE NIGHTS AND SO THE BEGGARS AND THE DOGS ARE THE LAST TO SEE THE STARS; HUNGER AND PAIN HASTEN THE AWAKENING AND SO THE BEGGARS AND THE DOGS ARE THE FIRST TO SEE THE SUN. I have read many novels but till date the ROOM ON THE ROOF is my best novel. I would always request the prolific writer (RUSKIN BOND) to keep writings for us so that we get motivated by his excellent piece of writing.

*** *** *** This is a contest entry. Kalya Ankeet is a student in grade 10 of Army Public School, Bengdubi.

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