Author: Ruskin Bond
Publication year: 2007
Purchase Link: Amazon.com
As the name suggests, Potpourri by Ruskin Bond is a medley of stories, memories, and poems. From paranormal to funny, this book has it all.
Ruskin Bond is a master storyteller and this book is a proof of it. The stories about Uncle Ken are worth a laugh or two. From being stranded in a country with no passport or money to trying to poison Rusty, the memories of Uncle Ken are hi-la-rious.
The story about Rusty and his best friend in school – the times they spent together bonding over books and many other things, brought back memories of my school days. Escape from Java is another such story which depicts the life of British Colonials in East Asia. These two stories also tell us about how lives changed during the war. From being happy today to escape from the clutches of evil-doers tomorrow, life must have been really tough during the war.
There are stories of Rusty’s life in Dehra – the smell of pine and maple, and lush green mountains – it was heaven on earth. Though I have never been to Dehra, I could imagine the scenery – just like the ones shown in the movie Barfi. It is believed that fairies live close to nature. Although they are not visible to the naked eye, they do make their presence felt and Rusty believed that they do exist.
There are a couple of ghost stories – the headmaster decides to take a shortcut through the forest and he sees a boy crying. The headmaster moves closer to the boy and asks what’s the matter. The boy turns towards the headmaster and the headmaster is in for a shock, for the boy has no face! He runs towards the school in terror only to find that the school gatekeeper is also faceless! There are many such stories – Rusty meets a girl at a party and she tells him where she lives. The address does exist, but the house is in ruins. And, the girl that Rusty met was a ghost!
Sussana’s seven husbands was a good read. The story was made into a movie – 7 Khoon Maaf, starring Priyanka Chopra. I haven’t watched the movie so I cannot comment on it. I liked Sussana’s seven husbands; it is a story of a woman who never found true love and even after passing on to another plane (if you know what I mean!) she’s still searching for a husband. How creepy is that! If you are on your way back home and a lady in a veil asks you to get into her carriage, ask her if her name is Sussana!
There are many such stories and I can go on and on, telling you how much I enjoyed reading each one of them. But it ruins the fun, doesn’t it? This is the first Ruskin Bond that I read and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I have also observed that there are many like me – Potpourri was their first RB book. So, if you haven’t read any of Ruskin Bond’s books until now, then start with Potpourri, I am sure you will love it.
Ruskin Bond is one of the best Indian authors. Be it the language (easy to read and understand) or the writing style, it is absolutely marvelous. This is THE BEST BOOK that I have ever read and I am definitely going to read more of Ruskin Bond from now on. 😀
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