Author: Ruskin Bond
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Publishing Date: 1st January 2006
Cost: Rs 130 (Paperback), Rs 99.75 (Kindle Edition), Free with KindleUnlimited
Ruskin Bond is a well-travelled man who has the nation evolving from a British colony, to becoming a strong independent nation. In the period following India’s independence, the nation saw some major changes. The names of cities such as Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Trivandram were restored to their past glory. Development was prevalent and the nation was learning to be self-sufficient and embrace its uniqueness. Ruskin Bond has been a witness to all of this. In the first chapter of the book ‘Funny Side Up’, the author remarks that he would not be surprised if his last name Bond was changed to Bonda (in the preview of all that name change that was happening in the nation).
Filled with many such interesting takes on life, the author takes one to his life in the countryside and talks about his home and the world around. The narration is so vivid that one would feel that they have met his characters in person. His characters include the eccentric cousin who believes himself to be Ranji (the great cricket player), the wise seven-year-old Gautam and an aunt with a phobia of flowers (now who would think that it is even possible to suffer from such a thing!) among others.
Not all the characters discussed in the book are human, and you may find yourself thinking about the wild boars and monkeys of ‘Funny Side Up’ for days at an end.
In today's fast-paced world, we are all in the rat race for success. This often leads us to miss out on the small joys of life. 'Funny Side Up' beautifully captures such intricacies and presents them to the reader in a hilarious way.
What sets this book apart from that of most humour books is Bond's ability to find humour in any possible situation. To illustrate this, let us consider an example from one of the stories from the book. The author was asked, "How can you write so well about nothing? ". To that, the witty writer replied that it is better to do that instead of writing nothing about everything. Throughout 'Funny Side Up' one will find multiple instances of such subtle humour.
Unlike most books in this genre, this is not something that will make you laugh out loud. Instead, you will find yourself chuckling while finding out about the author's Uncle Ken's trials. The monkeys and mynas that the author describes vividly will make the reader 'stop and smell the roses'.
The book is an instant mood-lifter and will bring a smile to your face irrespective of how rough your day has been going. The simplicity of Bond's writing style takes older readers to the memories of happier days. Within a few pages of getting to the book, one would get accustomed to the rhythm and enjoy every bit of it. It is indeed a great read for people of all age groups.
About the Author:
Born on the 19th of May 1934, Ruskin Bond is one of the most prominent names in the Indian literary circles. Of British descent, the writer published his first novel, ‘The Room on the Roof’ at the age of 17. The book won the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957, which paved the way for a lifetime of awards and recognitions.
In the course of his eight-decade long career, Bond has written several novels and over 500 short stories. His essays and poems have been published in several renowned magazines. His most notable work includes Our Tree Still Grows in Dehra, A Flight of Pigeons and The Blue Umbrella.
For his contribution to the Indian literature, the writer was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992. Ruskin Bond has also been a recipient of civilian awards like the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 1994.