A fictional hamlet, where on the face of it, nothing happens, full of eccentric people… ranging from a drunkard with a royal past, a passionate baker, a wannabe thief, a leopard hunting bank manager and funeral goer odd man. Welcome to Ruskin Bond’s ‘Fosterganj’.
Bond describes a period of life of a struggling author, who comes to this place, supposedly for inspiration, and the reader never once gets to read about the author actually at work! For he is too busy getting consumed by the lives of the people there… a place, where supposedly, nothing happens!
What I liked best was the way the author, in a matter of fact narrative, inserts meaningful insights of life, clothed in humour! And then sheer humour e.g. when he wonders whether the pickpocket who was enthusiastic about joining the army, he thinks, ‘He wasn’t exactly army material. But then, nether was Beetle Bailey’.
The author also throws in some elements of mystery and leaves them unsolved, leaving them to the imagination of the reader. The big black bird, neither a crow nor a raven, who makes appearances now and then, the caretakers of the Fairy Glen Palace, and of course the skeletons in the palace itself!
All in all, the reader won’t really find any nail biting finish or unexpected twists and turns. An idyllic Sunday read!
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