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Lavanya Bahuguna


JWB Reviews Ruskin Bond’s ‘Rusty and the Magic Mountain’

  • JWB Post
  •  January 30, 2016


I love reading Ruskin Bond not only because he’s from my neighborhood in Mussoorie but also because of his simplistic writing skill.

I’ll never forget the tips he shared at the Jaipur LIT fest for aspiring writers. Ruskin Bond’s writing style encourages those who are beginners in the field. The usage of simple words knitted softly in sentences that even a 1st grader can understand makes his books a favorite among school kids.

So what makes his stories, especially the Rusty-series, a good read for adults of every age-group? It’s the adventure and thrill one experiences while traveling to unknown places.

Rusty from Dehradun along with his friends Pitambar and Popat begins an adventure journey in the mysterious Himalayas. Rusty has always wanted to climb a certain Witch Mountain around which legends and superstitions have grown over the years. As you read the story, Rusty and friends will be seen dealing with a couple of men-eating tigers. This is not all. They also come across some strange looking people like the tall man with a hat and a scar on his face, a Queen who pets thousands of crows and a beautiful but mysterious princess and a colony of dwarfs. I can’t decide if it’s funny or scary when Ruskin Bonds calls this Queen ‘the ugliest woman in the world, a witch-like creature with a beak for a nose, crooked yellow teeth and a long chin with a tuft of hair growing from it’. *gulp*

Oh lord, and how can I forget about the blood-sucking cat! For a weak-hearted that I am, reading about a blood-sucking cat at night was horrifying.

But don’t you worry, child. The story has its share of fun moments, especially the ones where Pitambar keeps hogging lots and lots of golgappas.

Ruskin Bond describes Rusty as someone who ‘didn’t just want to write a mystery…he wanted to live one’. If you are somewhat like Rusty, I suggest you go buy this book and start reading it already. Even for a slow reader, the book requires a maximum of 3 days. And, if you are longing to explore an untouched place, pack your bags and move out, for God’s sake. And keep Rusty’s grandma’s words in mind:

“Always expect something good to happen. Good thoughts and feelings usually lead to good results…”

I rate the picturesque book ‘Rusty and the Magic Mountain’ 4/5.

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